Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New and Noteworthy---Forrest's Fighting Preacher

Forrest's Fighting Preacher: David Campbell Kelly of Tennessee, Michael R. Bradley, Hisory Press, 145 pp., illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, notes, 2011, $19.99.

Before the war he was a pastor, at the beginning of the war he was a recruiter, during the war he as an aide to N.B. Forrest and by the end of the war he had commanded a regiment, a battalion and a brigade. David Campbell Kelly's adventures are described in Forrest's Fighting Preacher: David Campbell Kelly of Tennessee. It serves as a fine 'slice of life' biography, a window into the Forrest's command, and a picture of Tennessee pastor.

Bradley reveals Kelly to be Forrest's trusted confidant. For Kelley, a clergyman who had served for two years as a missionary in China, his return to Tennessee conincided with the election of Lincoln and Tennessee's secession. He raised a cavalry company from his large congregation. The unit began its service in N. B. Forrest's original regiment. Kelley became Forrest's second in command, served in combat, offered on Forrest's staff and as ade-de-camp and chaplain. After the war, Kelley returned to the ministry and took part in the establishment of Vanderbilt University. Later he stood for the office of the governor of Tennessee.

Michael R. Bradley earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University and taught U.S. history for thirty-six years at Motlow College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Now professor emeritus, he remains an active author and speaker. He is recognized for his several works, including Nathan Bedford Forrest's Escort And Staff , Tullahoma: The 1863 Campaign for the Control of Middle Tennessee and With Blood and Fire: Life Behind Union Lines in Middle Tennessee, 1863-65 .

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