Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume — The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include: A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest, reprinted as: The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest. This work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection. He also authored, The War in Southeastern Virginia, released in October, 2001, and No Ordinary College: A History of The University of Virginia's College at Wise, (2004), both by the University Press of Virginia. Gone with the Glory: The Civil War in Cinema appeared in 2006. An updated edition of the James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Civil War Sites in Virginia (Virginia, 2011) arrived just in time for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, and in 2012 and 2013, Brian authored George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel and Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory.
In 2000, Dr. Wills received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the state of Virginia, one of eleven recipients from all faculty members at public and private institutions across the state. He was named Kenneth Asbury Professor of History and won both the Teaching award and the Research and Publication award from UVA-Wise.