NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the second time in four months, vandals have painted the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest along Interstate 65.
The statue of Forrest was covered in pink paint Wednesday morning.
It sits on private property owned by Bill Dorris, who told News 2 he thinks the vandals stood near the street and shot paint balls at the statue.
It’s seen by thousands of people every day along busy I-65, but what is Dorris going to do now?
“Oh, just live with it. If they think the public will be pleased with painting it red, we will leave it red for a while,” he said with a grin.
It’s far from the first time someone has taken aim at the 20-foot statue of the controversial Confederate war general.
The retired Nashville businessman put up the statue in 1998. Over the years, it’s been hit with more than just paint balls. A few vandals have even fired bullets at it, and now there’s a makeover likely caught on tape.
“I have three, two, cameras right on top there,” Dorris told News 2, saying he plans to look at the video over the next few days.
While Forrest is revered as a Southern battlefield tactician, he was also a slave trader before the Civil War and an early founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
Many historians say Forrest later disavowed the Klan. Dorris evokes that period while looking at the latest vandalism.
“Anyone who runs around the countryside with a sheet over his head is a coward to start with,” he said. “If they come after dark—I haven’t seen the film yet—I think we got some cowards,” he added.
Just last year, the mayor of Oak Hill asked Gov. Bill Haslam to allow for the statue to at least be hidden from the interstate by trees. The Metro-Nashville council voted to make a similar request in 2015, but nothing was ever done.
This latest vandalism in Nashville comes days after statues of Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis were removed from parks in Memphis in the middle of the night.
The city sold two parks to a non-profit group that immediately took down the controversial monuments. Tennessee state Republicans have called for an investigation into whether the move was legal.