Should Selma have a monument to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest? (poll)
Mike Cason
December 02, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A monument to Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest has caused controversy in Selma since it was erected in 2000.

Forrest fought in the Battle of Selma near the end of the Civil War and was considered a gifted cavalry leader. His ties to the KKK and work as a slave trader before the war make him a polarizing figure, especially in a city steeped in history of both the Civil War and the civil rights movement.

The Forrest monument was originally at a city-owned building and then moved to a Confederate memorial section of a city-owned cemetery in 2001.

In 2012, the bronze bust of the monument was stolen and has not been recovered.

Plans by private groups to make improvements to the monument and to Confederate Memorial Circle at Old Live Oak Cemetery last year sparked protests and a lawsuit after the city stopped the work and suspended the building permit. Under a proposed settlement to the lawsuit approved last week by the Selma City Council, the city would give Confederate Memorial Circle to the Selma chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and would pay $100,000 in damages to the company doing the work.

Selma is not the only place where there have been heated disagreements about efforts to recognize Forrest.

© 2013 Alabama Media Group

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