Tennessee Historical Commission Finalizes Vote to Move Busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, David Glasgow Farragut and Albert Gleaves


The Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) voted overwhelmingly in favor of removing the busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, David Glasgow Farragut and Albert Gleaves. The only member to vote against the measure was Commissioner Joanne Cullom Moore. The commission convened on Tuesday for a final hearing on the three busts. The final hearing was scheduled to take place last month originally, but was delayed due to the winter storm. Judge Kim Summers presided over the hearing. The meeting convened around 10 a.m. CST. Public comment lasted around three hours.

Public commentary focused on Forrest’s bust, by and large ignoring the busts of Farragut and Gleaves. Summarily, those in favor of removing Forrest’s bust stated that the general was a racist and a White supremacist. The only public commentary to mention Farragut and Gleaves came from those against relocation. One of Forrest’s descendants, Edward Smith, relayed information that there wasn’t enough room and humidity issues at the state museum or the military branch for the three busts.

“This is not about emotion, this is about the law and what the law requires,” stated Smith. “What I believe there is a viewpoint [discrimination.] I fall back on the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson: knowledge is the common property of all mankind. We should learn about the good and the bad and the ugly of American history.”

As The Tennessee Star reported previously, Farragut and Gleaves were selected alongside Forrest for removal in order to create an exhibit honoring military heroes in the state museum – not because they were contentious.

During final remarks preceding the vote, THC Chair Derita Coleman Williams asserted that there is a compelling public interest of the historical significance and consideration for relocating these busts. She added that the full history of these busts would be conveyed best within the state museum, and noted that the busts are already considered within the museum’s collection.

THC reported receiving approximately 700 comments in favor of removing the Forrest bust, and only around 20 against it.

Last summer, Governor Bill Lee supported the removal of the Forrest bust. The ACLU of Tennessee issued a letter on Monday in favor of removing the Forrest bust.

After the hearing, a spokesperson for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) stated that he believed the commission acted outside of the law in its decision.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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7 Thoughts to “Tennessee Historical Commission Finalizes Vote to Move Busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, David Glasgow Farragut and Albert Gleaves”

  1. 83ragtop50

    So Lee shows his true colors and the farce carried out by the commission in delaying this action as if it was not a foregone conclusion just shows how far downhill the Tennessee state government has slid.

    It has long been said that the Tennessee Republicans campaign like conservatives and rule like liberals. This is just further proof of that fact. Maybe it is time to move to Arkansas.

  2. jamesb

    i have mixed feelings about forrest.as a general he was great. as one to occupy a place of honor in our capital ,probably not. what really concerns me the most is the allegation of violence against him yet the burning, looting and murder in our country goes unnoticed by those who condemn forrest.

    but as a historical figure,most definitely. cant be cancelled

  3. Wolf Woman

    A friend of mine who is a writer, historian and Civil War expert sent me this in response to the THC and politicians decision:

    ” . . . never is forrest’s post-war efforts at racial reconciliation mentioned.

    While forrest is often wrongly identified as the founder of the klan (he wasn’t) never is the fact that forrest ordered the klan disbanded mentioned.

    Never is the fact that hundreds of black people attended forrest’s funeral and many thousands more lined the route to the grave mentioned.

    The concepts of redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, renewal are all now dead and one hopes only temporarily.

    This is a lost opportunity to talk about people who change, people who abandon their hates and prior errors, and try to build a better future.”

    1. CMinTN

      ^^^This! Remember also that many of these targets of cancel culture were democrats. They are ashamed of their own history and want to erase it so that no one knows.

  4. Ms Independent


  5. Kevin

    The new “brown shirts” of the Democrat party pretty much guaranteed this would be the outcome. Last year’s violence, destruction of property, and “occupying” of the Capital grounds were only a show of what would happen IF you don’t give them what we want!

    And the feckless RINO’s in charge of state government caved to the the threat. Oh but don’t worry, they preserved their little pile of cash in the State coffers!

  6. Rick

    Cave to the Commies!