Michael R. Bradley is a native of the Tennessee-Alabama state line region near Fayetteville, Tennessee. He attended Samford University for his B. A., took a Masters of Divinity at New Orleans Seminary, and a M. A. and the Ph. D. from Vanderbilt University, graduating there in 1970.
For thirty six years Dr. Bradley taught United States History at Motlow College, a Tennessee Board of Regents junior college near Tullahoma. He retired in May 2006.
He has been pastor of two Presbyterian churches in Middle Tennessee, LaVergne Presbyterian from 1968 to 1976 and Clifton Presbyterian from 1977 to 2006. He served as Interim Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Manchester from January 2007 until June 2008, and became Interim Pastor of Tullahoma's First Presbyterian Church in May 2012.
During his teaching career Dr. Bradley received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant and a National Sciences Foundation Grant. He also was made a Fellow of Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Bradley is the author of several books on the War Between the States period including Tullahoma: The 1863 Campaign; With Blood and Fire: Behind Union Lines in Middle Tennessee; Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort & Staff in War and Peace; It Happened in the Civil War, a second edition of which appeared in 2010; and Home Fires in the Line of Fire, published as part of an anthology titled Sister States/Enemy States about the war in Tennessee and Kentucky. Two recent articles have been published in North & South magazine; “Death Lists in Middle Tennessee,” and “In the Crosshairs: Confederate Civilians Targeted for Death by the United States Army.” “Tullahoma: The Wrongly Forgotten Campaign” was published in Blue & Gray magazine in 2010. He also writes on other topics including the Revolutionary War, the Great Smoky Mountains, and historical stories. Dr. Bradley has written for various reference works, including The Civil Rights Encyclopedia and The Tennessee Encyclopedia, and Sports Encyclopedia. Dr. Bradley continues to research and write on Civil War history. A biography of David C. Kelley, a prominent Methodist minister who was a Colonel under Bedford Forrest,was published as Forrest's Fighting Preacher in 2011. Another book for general readers, Mysteries and Legends of the Civil War, was released in April 2011.Murfreesboro in the Civil War was published in 2012. The latest book is They Rode With Forrest was published by Pelican Press in June 2012.
In 2006 Dr. Bradley was elected Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is a Life Member of that organization.
In February 2010 Dr. Bradley was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
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