Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Well. . .Bye.

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 14, 2021

Update, March 1: It turns out that Bill Dorris’ estate is worth far less than one might expect, given his bequest of $5 million to his dog, who didn’t even live with him. Like, maybe ONE TENTH of that.

What a BS artist that guy was. Thanks to KEW for bringing this to my attention.

Charles William “Bill” Dorris (above), the Nashville attorney and developer who owned the land on Interstate 65 where that hideous fiberglass statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest stands, carked late last year. Dorris insisted he wasn’t racist, of course, but in 2015 he told Nashville Public Radio that the institution of slavery has been badly maligned, as it was a form of “social security” for African Americans. Dorris remained a self-indulgent asshole to the end, leaving $5 million in his will to his 8-year-old border collie, who didn’t even live with him. The dog will continue living with its long-time caretaker, Martha Burton, who I hope at least gets to benefit materially from every dime in that dog’s trust.

The rest of Dorris’ large estate is currently in probate court, that will decide the fate of the Interstate 65 property and the Forrest statue. The statue itself was created by Dorris’ friend, the unrepentant white nationalist and segregationist Jack Kershaw, who died and went to Hell in 2010.

Photo by Shelley Mays of the Nashville Tennessean.

8 Responses

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  1. Bill Underhill said, on February 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm


    No one could write a better obituary for Dorris than you. It says it all. Thank you.

  2. Carl Jón Denbow said, on February 14, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Andy, I agree with your assessment of Dorris. Theologically, however, I’m a little cautious about assigning people to Hell, as I think that’s God’s work not man’s. I would have preferred you to use a qualifier like, “and presumably went to Hell.” Also, I’m confused by your use of the word “carked.” I believe it means to put one in a worried state of mind. I think you were using it to mean “croaked.” Perhaps, in the Southern Dialect of the English language this word has another meaning. While I can speak Hillbilly, my main dialect is Yankee! 😉

    • Andy Hall said, on February 14, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      I agree entirely that I’m on shaky ground there, theologically. I may go back and revise that someday.

      As for “cark,” it’s apparently Australian slang. I picked it up from Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic. “Croak” is more conventional, but less interesting.

    • Matt McKeon said, on February 17, 2021 at 11:44 pm

      Listen, if God decided Dorris should hurry up to go to Hell to keep Rush company, who am I, a mere mortal to question the Divine Will.

    • Msb said, on February 21, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      “He’s passed on. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He has rung down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibule. If you hadn’t nailed him to the perch, he’d be pushing up the daisies.”
      Another good Britishism is “popped his clogs”.

  3. Carl Jón Denbow said, on February 14, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Well, “cark” seems to have roots that predate Australia. It goes back to Middle English. I wouldn’t as a general rule trust the Australians on any matter of usage of the English language. Hell, one can’t even even understand half of what they say. They make the Hillbilly dialect sound like Oxford English by comparison! 😉

    See, for the etymology of “cark”;

    BTW, some of my best friends are Aussies!

  4. Craig L. said, on February 14, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    I think it’s short for carcass with emphasis on the last three letters.

  5. Dave C said, on February 18, 2021 at 8:51 am

    I think I speak for many when I assert that of all the white-line neo-Confederate “lost cause” monuments, that effigy of Nathan “get there firstest with the mostest” Bedford Forrest, ex-slave dealer, Secessionist cavalry commander, war criminal, etc. is absolutely the most appropriate for its subject. Thanks for the context.

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