On July 11, 1998, the General Joseph E. Johnston Camp 28
completed one of the camps most ambitious projects - the unveiling
of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Equestrian Statue at Nathan Bedford Forrest
More than 400 sons and daughters of the South remembered the
Dixie of their ancestors and their favorite Tennessee War Hero.
Hundreds of Confederate battle flags waved and voices sang "
Dixie " as the statue was unveiled.
"He's crying, 'Follow me!' " said artist
Jack Kershaw. The statue stands between 13 battle flags and 13
Confederate flags. The horse and rider stand 25 feet high ( twice
life-size ) with the horse in gold leaf and Forrest in silver
The land and the flags were donated by Compatriot William Dorris.
The historic event was witnessed by several prominent people.
In attendance was Alberta Martin, said to be the last surviving
widow of a Confederate soldier.
State Senator Douglas Henry and Nelson Winbush, the black grandson of a slave holder
who fought under Forrest, also attended.
Participating in the unveiling were 40 other SCV camps, the United Daughters
of the Confederacy and 10 re-enactment groups in period dress.
The project was sponsored by The Southern League, The Mary Noel
Kershaw Foundation, and all interested chapters of S.C.V. and
The Forrest Equestrian Statue and Memorial Park
is located on Interstate 65 two miles north of Brentwood, Tennessee
and seven miles south of Nashville
The modeling, and completion, of the statue was an
enormous undertaking by artist Jack Kershaw. Below are three rare,
one-of-a-kind, photographs recently discovered in the Joseph E. Johnston
Camp 28 historical archives photography section. The project began as a
prototype, small-scale model, then expanded to the actual size. The horse's
forelegs, shoulders, head and mane required the use of a "cherry picker" to
reach the 25 foot sections. The horse's height was such that it had to be
modeled and completed outside. The General, himself, was modeled and completed
in a protective shed.
Once completed, the two sections were covered in gold leaf
(horse) and silver leaf (Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest),
assembled and taken to the Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Park for mounting.
The horse and rider are "perfectly" balanced.
The prototype for the equestrian statue
The horse in partial completion
Notice the 6 foot stepladder near the tail
The General takes form as artist Jack Kershaw completes detail to the