Statue of Confederate general removed from perch off I-65

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A controversial statue is being removed from its perch alongside I-65 in Crieve Hall on Tuesday.

For over 20 years, Bill Dorris kept a statue of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest on his private property, along with flags representing the Confederate states.

Dorris has since passed away. The statue has been a continuous subject of debate in recent years, following the removal or relocation of many historical monuments around the country.

In July, a bust of General Forrest was one of three that were removed from Tennessee’s capitol building, spurring further debate on the future of Dorris’ statue off I-65.

The statue, along with the flags, was erected in the late 1990s. Dorris has said he purposely placed the statue in plane view of the interstate to remind Tennesseans, and visitors to Tennessee, of the area’s history.

The Battle of Nashville, Trust, Inc., was given the land as part of Dorris’ will after his death on Nov. 24, 2020.

The <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Trust released a statement</a> regarding the removal of the Forrest statue:

“The BONT, in consultation and with the approval of Trent Watrous, the executor of Mr. Dorris’s estate, made the decision to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue from the Hogan Road property that Mr. Dorris had left the BONT in his Will.”This decision was made for several reasons-each reason sets aside the contentious debate about Forrest as a person or as a Confederate general:Forrest was not present at The Battle of Nashville.The statue is ugly and a blight on Nashville.It has been vandalized, is in disrepair, and is dangerous.Having the statue in such a prominent location in Nashville distracts from the BONT’s mission and would be and has been divisive in the city we are cherish.The Estate of William C. Dorris remains open in the Davidson County Probate Court, and no decision has been made regarding the statue’s disposition or location.”

Activists have vandalized the monument over the years, with the most recent attempt leaving the word “monster” on the side Forrest’s horse.

In September, Middle Tennessee State University voted unanimously in favor of gaining permission from the state to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s name from its Army ROTC building.