The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition: Mississippi's Longest Civil War

Front Cover
UNC Press Books, Jan 25, 2016 - History - 352 pages
2 Reviews
Between 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 they declared their loyalty to the U.S. government.

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 Knight's 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 South's transition from slavery to segregation; the racial, gender, and class politics of the period; and the contingent nature of history and memory.

In a new afterword, Bynum updates readers on recent scholarship, current issues of race and Southern heritage, and the coming movie that make this Civil War story essential reading.

The Free State of Jones film, starring Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Keri Russell, will be released in May 2016.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

I had no idea about this: during the Civil War, Newt Knight and a bunch of his neighbors in Jones County rejected the Confederacy and engaged in armed warfare against its representatives. Bynum tells ... Read full review

free stae of jones

User Review  - Debra T. - Overstock.com

good condition. came as promised Read full review

Contents

Race and the Ongoing Battle over the Free State of Jones
1
Part One The Origins of Mississippis Piney Woods People
9
Part Two Civil War Reconstruction and the Struggle for Power
91
Davis Knights Miscegenation Trial
177
Afterword
191
Appendixes
200
Notes
209
Bibliography
281
Index
305
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Victoria E. Bynum is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of history at Texas State University.

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