By Sally Jenkins, John Stauffer
No guy larger exemplified the complexities of Civil-War period Southern society than Newton Knight, whose awesome tale is now the topic of a big movie starring Matthew McConaughey. In 1863, after surviving the devastating conflict of Corinth, Knight, a bad farmer from Mississippi, abandoned the accomplice military and started a guerrilla conflict opposed to the Confederacy. A pro-Union sympathizer within the deep South who refused to struggle a wealthy man’s battle for slavery and cotton, for 2 years he and different citizens of Jones County engaged in an insurrection that will have repercussions a ways past the scope of the Civil battle. during this dramatic account of a nearly forgotten bankruptcy of yankee background, Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer upend the normal fable of the Confederacy as a heroic and unified misplaced reason, revealing the fractures in the South.
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Additional info for The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy
He used to be tough past reason,” Newton stated. “He hanged a few of my corporation he had no correct to hold. ” considered one of Lowry’s males later bragged in a piece of writing to the cellular night information that “terror used to be struck” by way of the accomplice crusade of vengeance. if this is the case, the terrified have been regularly ladies, boys, and previous males. Lowry persisted to grab innocent kinfolk, old and young, to aim to strength guerrillas to show themselves in. The Jackson Mississippian newspaper precise his approach: “He held the daddy as hostage till the son used to be introduced ahead, which not often failed. ” The Confederates rounded up neighborhood boys who have been too younger for conscription and placed them in a stockade, known as the bullpen, the place they interrogated them and threatened them with putting in the event that they didn’t inform all they knew in regards to the Knight band. A twelve-year-old boy named W. B. Temples was once approximately hanged 3 times in a single day. The rebels positioned a noose round his neck, threw the tip of the rope over a limb, and drew him up within the air until eventually he choked, then enable him down. whilst the terrified boy regained his voice, he was once wondered back. while he back refused to respond to, the process was once repeated: the rope drew tight round his neck and he used to be jerked into the air. eventually, an officer intervened and freed the boy and instructed him to run on. As he tore around the geographical region, a few of the males fired after him. one other boy named Richard Blackledge, whose brother rode with Newton, was once picked up by way of the rebels for interrogation in the course of a visit to the gristmill to grind a few corn and held in a single day within the bullpen. whilst the boy’s father got here searching for him, a insurgent officer ironically educated him the kid was once in custody to “safeguard” him from the Knight band. The elder Blackledge responded hotly that he knew Newton Knight and different males in his corporation, yet he by no means knew any of them “catching up boys and outdated males, and retaining them clear of domestic. ” For his insolence the daddy used to be locked up with the son for the remainder of the evening. Lowry arrested Newton’s uncle, the aged William H. Knight. The previous guy was once threatened with striking except he printed the whereabouts of his son William “Dickie” Knight, some of the most ardent Unionists within the Jones County Scouts. The slave Joe Hatton was once despatched into the swamps to inform Dickie that if he didn't hand over, his father will be done in his stead. Dickie Knight sat on a rail fence, hearing Hatton. while Hat-ton had comprehensive, Dickie spent a couple of agonized mins brooding about what to do after which acknowledged, “You return and inform the officer to only cross forward and grasp Pap. He’s attending to be an previous guy now, they usually won’t knock him out of a long time. yet they could knock me out of an excellent many. ” Dickie Knight slipped again to his swamp hideaway, the place he trained the Jones County Scouts that he had made up our minds to visit New Orleans to “join the Yankees. ” He and a few of the boys hatched a plan to construct a ship to hold them down the Pearl River to the Crescent urban. Joe Hatton went domestic, no longer bothering to come back to Lowry’s males.