Forrest’s Fighting Preacher at July’s Round Table

On Sunday, July 8th at 3 P.M., the Franklin Civil War Round Table will present author and historian Dr. Michael Bradley, who will speak on David Campbell Kelley, a prominent Methodist who served as a Colonel under Bedford Forrest during some of their most dramatic campaigns and the subject of his latest book, Forrest’s Fighting Preacher.

Kelley began adulthood in the clergy, serving for two years as a missionary in China and returning home just a year before the Civil War. He raised a company of cavalry from his family’s large congregation that became part of Forrest’s original regiment. Kelley quickly became Forrest’s second in command, assisting in some of his most daring engagements, offering support in key decisions and serving as his unofficial chaplain. Following the war, Kelley returned to preaching, helped establish Vanderbilt University and launched a campaign for governor of Tennessee.

Dr. Bradley is a native of Fayetteville, Tennessee and attended Samford University for his B.A.  He earned his M.A. at New Orleans Seminary and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt.  He taught history at Motlow College for thirty six years before retiring in May of 2006.  He has also pastored for many years at two Presbyterian churches in Middle Tennessee.

Bradley has written numerous articles and books on the Civil War in Tennessee, including Tullahoma: The 1863 Campaign; With Book and Fire: Behind Union Lines in Middle Tennessee and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort & Staff in War and Peace. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant and a National Science Foundation Grant.  He was also a Fellow of Johns Hopkins University.

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