The Free State of Jones: Mississippis Longest Civil War by Victoria E. BynumBetween late 1863 and mid-1864, an armed band of Confederate deserters battled Confederate cavalry in the Piney Woods region of Jones County, Mississippi. Calling themselves the Knight Company after their captain, Newton Knight, they set up headquarters in the swamps of the Leaf River, where, legend has it, they declared the Free State of Jones. The story of the Jones County rebellion is well known among Mississippians, and debate over whether the county actually seceded from the state during the war has smoldered for more than a century. Adding further controversy to the legend is the story of Newt Knights interracial romance with his wartime accomplice, Rachel, a slave. From their relationship there developed a mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended, and the ambiguous racial identity of their descendants confounded the rules of segregated Mississippi well into the twentieth century.
Victoria Bynum traces the origins and legacy of the Jones County uprising from the American Revolution to the modern civil rights movement. In bridging the gap between the legendary and the real Free State of Jones, she shows how the legend--what was told, what was embellished, and what was left out--reveals a great deal about the Souths transition from slavery to segregation; the racial, gender, and class politics of the period; and the contingent nature of history and memory.
Infantry Charge Free State of Jones
Newton Knight (November 10, – February 16, ) was an American farmer, soldier and Southern Unionist in Mississippi, best known as the leader of the Knight Company, a band of Confederate army deserters who resisted the Confederacy during the Civil War. Local legends tell of Knight and his men forming the "Free State of Jones" in.
Victoria E. Bynum
The historical drama Free State of Jones isn't everything it might have been, but it tells a good story, and that's half the battle. Joining forces with other deserters, he led a band of freedom fighters based in south-east Mississippi, declaring loyalty to the union and protecting poor families who faced starvation if their goods were confiscated for the war effort. How far all this went is a matter for historical debate. How close were Knight's ties to his black allies, personified here by Mahershala Ali as the fictional escaped slave Moses Washington? Printing the legend, the film portrays Knight as a Robin Hood figure, and a charismatic orator who persuades his followers that racial divisions mean less than class ones — an idea that has some contemporary resonance, especially in a US election year. Matthew McConaughey as Newt. Credit: Murray Close.
Newton Knight November 10, — February 16, was an American farmer, soldier and Southern Unionist in Mississippi, best known as the leader of the Knight Company, a band of Confederate army deserters who resisted the Confederacy during the Civil War. Local legends tell of Knight and his men forming the " Free State of Jones " in the area in and around Jones County, Mississippi , at the height of the war. The nature and extent of the Knight Company's opposition to the Confederate government is disputed among historians. Knight has long been a controversial figure in the region, with people divided over his motives and actions. He and his allies developed a small mixed-race community in southeastern Mississippi. His birth year has been recorded by his son, Tom Knight, in a biography as , and his grandniece, Ethel Knight, wrote that he was born in
With two rat terriers trotting at his heels, and a long wooden staff in his hand, J. Gavin leads me through the woods to one of the old swamp hide-outs. A tall white man with a deep Southern drawl, Gavin has a stern presence, gracious manners and intense brooding eyes. One of them is titled Sal Batree , after the place he wants to show me. With a company of like-minded white men in southeast Mississippi, he did what many Southerners now regard as unthinkable. He waged guerrilla war against the Confederacy and declared loyalty to the Union. In the spring of , the Knight Company overthrew the Confederate authorities in Jones County and raised the United States flag over the county courthouse in Ellisville.
Sign in. Stars on the purple carpet at the Emmys decide which TV show characters would make great superheroes or supervillains , and more. Watch now. Title: Free State of Jones Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
The story is based on the history of Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War and the period immediately after. The overall story follows the history of Jones County, and some of the events portrayed are true. After surviving the Battle of Corinth and being told of the Twenty Negro Law , Newton Knight , a poor farmer from Jones County serving as a battlefield nurse in the Confederate Army , deserts and returns home to his farm and his wife, Serena, after seeing his nephew Daniel get shot and killed. While there, he befriends Rachel, an enslaved woman who has secretly learned to read. Newton's disenchantment with the Confederacy grows after finding out that troops were taking crops and livestock for taxes. After helping one family resist such a raid, he is pursued by Confederate agents and bitten by an attack dog. With the help of abolitionist -oriented Aunt Sally and multiple slaves, he escapes to a swamp where some runaway slaves led by Moses Washington tend to his wounds.