Happy Birthday General Forrest
Today is the anniversary of General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s birthday. In honor of the astounding, yet controversial Civil War general, local Sons of Confederate Veterans camps and chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy gather at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park to celebrate. This year was no exception.
The park is located in downtown Memphis, about one block from the famous Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley recorded his first hit. A magnificent statue of Forrest atop his steed, King Phillip, is in the center of the park. The general and his wife are buried beneath it, as is their grandson, who was a hero in WWII. General and Mrs. Forrest were originally buried at Elmwood Cemetery, but they were moved when the park was opened.
The ceremony was attended by a crowd of around 150 reenactors and spectators. The guest speaker was Past-Commander-in-Chief Chuck McMichael. A flag ceremony, wreath ceremony, and musket salute followed. A new granite marker was also dedicated for the park.
Afterward, everyone enjoyed watermelon provided by the SCV. Fortunately, the heat wasn’t bad this year, and the rain held off.
His Grand Son Nathan Bedford Forrest III is Buried in Arlington Cemetery. The Marker was put there in remembrance by a distant relative of Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest. Both the General and Mrs. Forrest were buried in Elmwood Cemetery and moved to Forrest Park in 1905 with the permission of his son William.
It was a grand dedication on May 16, 1905 at 2pm with twenty five to thirty thousand in attendance in the park alone.