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Bradley County, located in the southeastern part of Tennessee, has an interesting and diverse history. Here are seven facts about the county that you may not have known:

1. The Cherokee Nation once inhabited the area. Bradley County was once part of the Cherokee Nation, and several Cherokee town sites have been identified within the county. The Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of the Cherokee people to Indian Territory, passed through Bradley County in 1838.

2. The Battle of Cleveland was fought in Bradley County during the Civil War. On November 25, 1863, Confederate forces led by General James Longstreet launched a surprise attack on Union troops stationed in Cleveland. After several hours of intense fighting, the Union forces were able to hold off the Confederate attack.

3. The county seat, Cleveland, was named after Colonel Benjamin Cleveland. Benjamin Cleveland was a hero of the American Revolution and a landowner in the area. He is remembered for his bravery during the Battle of King's Mountain, a pivotal battle in the Revolution.

4. Lee University, a private Christian university, is located in Bradley County. The university was founded in 1918 as the Church of God Bible Training School, and it has since grown to become a respected institution of higher learning.

5. The Hiwassee River, which runs through Bradley County, was the site of the first hydroelectric power station in the South. The station was built at the Ocoee Dam in 1912 and provided electricity to the nearby towns of Cleveland and Benton.

6. In 1944, a B-25 bomber crashed in Bradley County, killing all nine crew members. The crash site was discovered in 1986, and a memorial was erected in honor of the fallen crew members.

7. The Red Clay State Historic Park, located in Bradley County, is the site of the last Cherokee Council meeting before the Trail of Tears. The park features several historic buildings and a museum dedicated to the history of the Cherokee Nation.

Bradley County has a rich and fascinating history, from its Cherokee roots to its role in the Civil War and beyond. Whether you're a history buff or just interested in learning more about Tennessee's past, Bradley County has plenty to offer.

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