There's a lot of Cherokee history in Bradley County.
In 1832, stripped of their rights in the state of Georgia, members of the tribe moved their seat of government from New Echota in northwest Georgia to Red Clay, in Bradley County. But Red Clay would not be the Cherokee capital for long. Only six years later the tribe would be sent west on a journey we now know as the Trail of Tears.
Click here for a virtual tour of the Red Clay State Historic Park and a story about what happened there.
At the opposite end of the county is Charleston, a small community with many links to Cherokee history. Charleston was once the site of Fort Cass, a headquarters that the U.S. Army used in its roundup of Cherokee in advance of the Trail of Tears. Nothing is left of Fort Cass, but you can find several historic homes there.
Bradley County was also the home of Paul Huff, one of Tennessee's seven Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from World War II. According to his citation, Huff was in Italy when he advanced alone in the face of heavy fire to determine the strength and location of the enemy. As a result of information he gained, an American patrol routed 125 German soldiers a few minutes later.
Here (to the right) is a picture of the current Bradley County Courthouse . . .
And here is a picture of the courthouse that was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the existing Bradley County Courthouse.
Hard to believe, isn't it?