Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow:
Revised 22 December 2017
December 21, 2017 – Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest’s statue was removed by the city of Memphis, Tennessee to an undisclosed location. They city bi-passed the state law on removing historical monuments from public land – so they sold it.
What will they do with his General and Mrs. Forrest buried beneath it?
It was with some trepidation, that I set off for Memphis to shoot Nathan Bedford Forrest. The former Nathan Bedford Forrest Park has been renamed the Health Sciences Park on Union Street. Arriving at 7 AM, I had the place to myself. Metered parking was available on South Dunlap street (no weekend fee). To my relief, there had been no desecration of the monument.
Recent efforts my the Memphis City Council to remove the statue to another city was rejected by the Tennessee Historical Commission… read more
I proceeded north towards Henning, Tennessee to shoot Fort Pillow State Historic Park. It was about and hour and a half drive. Bass boats periodically droned up and down Cold Creek below the fort. It’s not easy to find and not very well marked. I am going to submit an update to Google Maps.
Parking at the trail and head on Crutcher Lake Road, it was about a mile hike to the restored earthworks. In the hour and a half I spent there, on a clear warm Saturday morning, I encountered no visitors.
Suggested reading on the larger historical perspective of this controversial figure of American history:
“Having once been a racist, Nathan Bedford Forrest became an outspoken advocate of black civil rights in Memphis, culminating in his beautiful yet largely forgotten speech before the black civil rights Pole-Bearers Association in 1875. Encouraging the black people in attendance to take an active part in their country’s government, he told them he was with them ‘heart and hand’ to help their cause in any way he could.” – Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Redemption
Check this 3D like 360º virtual tour of Fort Pillow and Nathan Bedford Forrest park. Historical markers are embedded in the tour.
Forrest Park: Madison Ave & S Dunlap Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Fort Pillow: 3122 Park Road Henning, TN 38041