The statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest was moved from the Tennessee Capitol to the museum
Officials felt their placement in the Tennessee State Museum allowed for a more appropriate historical context.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A decade -long effort to remove a chest of a Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan from the Tennessee Capitol has finally borne fruit.
Crews moved three busts, including Nathan Bedford Forest, from the state capital to the Tennessee State Museum on Friday morning.
The Tennessee State Building Commission, along with Governor Bill Lee, voted 5-2 to remove the busts of Nathan Bedford Forest, U.S. Admiral David Farragut, and U.S. Admiral Albert Gleaves from the capitol on Thursday.
Removal of the busts, which weigh up to £ 3,000 each, began before 8 am The cost of removing the busts was approximately $ 17,000 and covered by the State Museum.
The three busts will be displayed for public viewing at the Tennessee State Museum during regular business hours.
Forrest was a joint general, early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and slave trader.
The Forrest bust was first installed at the Capitol in 1978 and has sparked protests and demonstrations ever since.
Earlier this year, the Tennessee History Commission voted 25-1 to move the three busts just north of the Capitol building to the state museum, noting that it would be better equipped to provide the appropriate historical context.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton released the following statement after the vote:
“There was only one perfect man to walk in this world – everything was lacking. Our country was founded by imperfect people who made a great nation which means hope, opportunity, and freedom.
“Trying to judge the actions of the previous generation based on today’s values and the evolution of societies is not an exercise I want to do because I don’t think it’s beneficial.
“It is more useful to learn from our past and not repeat the imperfections of the past. Any attempt to erase the past is only aligned with society in the teaching of communism, which believes that the present dominates the past.
“From the very beginning, the legislature tried to follow the process and procedure in a respectful manner, and we have done that now. Going forward, the legislature will work to review the current law to include a more meaningful voice of the electorate.”
Admiral David Farragut was an accomplished U.S. naval officer, who received considerable recognition for his service to the Union during the American Civil War. He is from East Tennessee and the town of Farragut is named for him. Farragut ordered the Union blockade of ports in the South, helped capture the Confederate city of New Orleans and provided support for the siege of Vicksburg to General Ulysses S. Grant. Farragut is known for his victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, where he ordered his fleet to ignore Confederate shields in the harbor, famously proclaiming “Damn the torpedoes, full speed forward!”