Controversial Nathan Bedford Forrest faces two-front war in Tennessee Legislature

A bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest is displayed in the Tennessee State Capitol Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Republican lawmakers this week forced a delay on a House Democrat's effort to replace the state Capitol's prominently displayed bust of controversial Confederate cavalry general and slave trader Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Bill Lee hopes to charge through the GOP-led General Assembly with a bill of his own in regard to Forrest.

Introduced by House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, on behalf of Lee, it would abolish a half-century-old Tennessee law requiring governors to sign an annual proclamation declaring July 13 as "Nathan Bedford Forrest Day."

Whether Lee can persuade fellow Republicans to approve the bill remains to be seen, underscoring the continuing controversy and divided opinions about Forrest in the Tennessean's home state 132 years after his death.

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