The boys from Louisiana do it right
THE CONFEDERATE VETERAN
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2021
Elm Springs is the name of one of the lovely antebellum houses in Maury County. It is located on Mooresville Pike about two hundred yards of where this road intersects with Highway 50. Located on a hill, it is plainly visible to all who pass by this way. The house was built about 1837 by Mr. James & Nathaniel Dick of the N & J Dick Company, two wealthy New Orleans cotton merchants. The home was a gift for their sister, Sarah Todd, wife of Christopher Todd formerly of Virginia. The Todd family lived here until the couple passed away and then the property was inherited by a daughter, Susan Todd, who was the wife of Abram M. Looney, a prominent attorney in Maury County & Tennessee State Senator.
During the War Between the States, Looney served the Confederacy as a Captain, later promoted to Colonel, in Company H, 1st Tennessee Infantry which Sam Watkins of “Company Aytch” fame was a member. He was an outspoken Southerner and this almost resulted in the loss of Elm Springs. In November of 1864 Confederate Units of the famed Army of Tennessee began the march north for Nashville in what would be known as the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. The Federal Army, which had occupied Maury County for several months, was preparing defensive positions ahead of the oncoming Confederate troops under Gen. John B. Hood. Their line of defense extended from the Mooresville Pike to the Mt. Pleasant Pike. As Union forces under the command of Major-General John M. Schofield began their hasty withdrawal from Columbia many of Maury County’s majestic antebellum homes fell victim to the torch. One of the defensive tactics used was the destruction of important buildings along the line. Elm Springs anchored the eastern flank of their line. Many houses were burned during those days and Elm Springs was slated to be destroyed too. In an act of retribution the historic home of Confederate Lieutenent Colonel Abram M. Looney was selected to be destroyed by fire as the last Union troops left Columbia. Responding to pleas of assistance from local citizens, Confederate Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong dispatched a squad of mounted infantry to insure the safety of Lt. Col. Looney’s home and property. Fires were started that might have burned the house except for the opportune arrival of Confederate troops who extinguished the flames.
The Akin family acquired the property about 1910 and in 1985 the Gillham family purchased it and restored it to near- original state. In 1992 it was acquired by the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its national head-quarters.
Elm Springs, Columbia, Tennessee
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.
The Reinterment of General Forrest
Last Saturday, September 18, the remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest, were relocated to the National Confederate Museum in Elm Springs, Tennessee. This location is less than 30 miles from General Forrest’s birthplace.
The relocation came after a long battle with the city of Memphis, Tennessee, after they decided they didn’t want the general and his wife buried in one of their parks anymore. The park was known for years as Forrest Park, until the corrupt city government decided to rename the park and pressure General Forrest’s descendants into moving the remains. It’s pathetic and shameful that this was allowed to happen. Apparently, Memphians don’t seem to recall all the wonderful things Forrest did for their city. But it’s for the best that the remains have been relocated to a place where they will be honored forever.
It wasn’t the first time that General Forrest and his wife have been moved. Originally, they were buried in Memphis’ beautiful Elm-wood Cemetery, but the people of Memphis wanted to honor the general in a much bigger way, so they dedicated a park to him and moved his and his wife’s remains to Forrest Park.
“the bodies of Gen. Forrest and his wife were re-interred from the Forrest family plot at Elmwood Cemetery to Forrest Park on November 11, 1904. The dedication ceremony took place on May 16, 1905 beginning at 2:30 p.m., with 30,000 Southerners from seven States attending.”
Many reenactors were on hand for the reinterment, as well as spectators who wanted to take in the once-in-a-lifetime event. The solemn occasion was also attended by the Forrest family, and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).
Now that the general and his wife have been permanently laid to rest, plans are in the making for relocating the beautiful equestrian statue of Forrest and King Philip on top of the gravesite. According to SCV Commander-in-Chief Larry McCluney, Jr., “This will not be easy nor quick. Much more work lies ahead of us, however, be certain we will rededicate this plaza to honor the general and his family.”
The Tennessee Star
Sons of Confederate Veterans ‘Put to Rest for Eternity’ Gen. Nathan Bedford in Columbia, Tennessee
COLUMBIA, Tennessee – Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was “put to rest for eternity” Saturday by the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) at the National Confederate Headquarters and Museum at Historic Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee.
The general was reinterred with his wife Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest at a private ceremony that was free to attendees but required a ticket, the number of which was limited to about 2,000.
SCV, organized in Richmond, Virginia in 1896, is a non-profit organization whose members are male descendants of Confederate veterans of The Civil War.
A torrential downpour passed over the area not much more than an hour before the official start of the event, which didn’t deter the dozens of SCV motorcycle riders.
In addition to at least five tour buses observed in the parking areas, so were marker plates on passenger vehicles from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
As attendees arrived even more than an hour before the ceremony, a couple hundred re-enactors were already gathered on the grounds, representing Confederate infantry, cavalry and artillery units as well as women dressed in the attire of the day.
Donald Kimbell and Ken McBride, who represented the 4th Louisiana Field Artillery, told The Tennessee Star that artillery units from all of the 11 states that seceded from the Union were represented.
Kimbell, who serves as Louisiana SCV’s chaplain, said that he decided to forego a vacation cruise in order to attend the interment ceremony.
“I’ve been on a cruise before, but I’ve never buried a Confederate General,” Kimbell told The Star.
As the discussion turned toward recent efforts to erase America’s history, McBride made the point about the interment ceremony for General Forrest, “History is being written right here today.”
The event was held as a funeral, with the caskets carried by nearly a dozen pallbearers each onto the field area between the Elm Springs mansion and the new museum, where the ceremony was held with attendees having set up lawn chairs they were advised to bring.
During the entrance portion of the ceremony, the crowd stood in notably silent and solemn reverence for nearly 10 minutes.
In attendance were several Forrest family members, including two great-great-grandsons and four cousins. Three other great-great-grandsons, while still alive, were not in attendance.
Following the presentation of colors and the invocation, opening remarks were given by the SCV Commander-in-Chief Larry McCluney, Jr.
McCluney noted the earlier heavy rain, but said, “I’ve never done a Confederate funeral, Confederate memorial service when God didn’t bless us with a break in the rain. It’s always rained before. It’s always rained after, but it always sun shine on such a momentous occasion.”
Indeed, the sun did come out from behind the clouds, making it quite warm during the more than hour-long ceremony.
The remains of Forrest and his wife were buried under a statue of the general in 1904, after being moved from their original resting place in a Memphis cemetery.
In the late-night hours of December 20, 2017, the city of Memphis arranged to have the statue taken down, circumventing state law that prohibits the removal of historic monuments from public property, by selling the public park to a non-profit.
The family then had to pursue legal action in order to gain approval to, once again, remove the remains, which the SCV agreed to oversee.
McCluney seemed mindful of the controversy without directly speaking about it when he addressed the family.
“I want to thank the family for allowing us to have the honor to carry on with these proceedings and to entrust us with the remains of their ancestors, who will finally be put to rest here at Elm Springs for eternity,” he said.
McCluney said the last phase of the long journey would be the relocation of the large monument depicting Forrest on a horse that was removed from the Memphis park and is currently being stored in an undisclosed location.
Brief comments were made by officials of SCV affiliated lineage societies, Mike Moore, adjutant general of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars and Dottie Meadows, president of the Tennessee Society Order of Confederate Rose.
Forrest’s farewell address to his men was read by SCV Past Commander-In-Chief Paul Gramling, Jr.
The eulogy was delivered by H. Edward Phillips, III, who is not just a cousin of Forrest, but also leader of the Forrest family legal team.
McCluney, who is an educator, used a referenced to the three R’s, but with a different meaning that was reflected in the day’s event: Remembrance, Respect and Reverence.
“That’s what today is about,” said McCluney. “We’re here to remember a hero, not just of the south, but an American warrior.”
Following the formal remarks, wreaths of magnolia leaves, a garland of which also adorned the stage, were placed beside the grave sites into which the remains will be placed at a later time due to the impending rain.