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, Ga. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War. His most recent publications are The River was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012), which was the recipient of the 2013 Richard Barksdale Harwell Award for the best book on a Civil War topic for the year 2012 presented by the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta.
His biography of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest is currently in reprint as The Confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest (University Press of Kansas). This work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection.
Dr. Wills also authored, The War Hits Home: The Civil 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 with Rowman and Littlefield. An updated edition of the James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Civil War Sites in Virginia (Virginia) came out in 2011.
In 2000, Dr. Wills received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of eleven recipients from all faculty members at public and private institutions across the state. He is descended from Charles Hasker, a Confederate officer who saw service on the CSS Virginia and the submarine Hunley before its final encounter with USS Housatonic.