The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy

By Sally Jenkins, John Stauffer

No guy greater exemplified the complexities of Civil-War period Southern society than Newton Knight, whose tremendous tale is now the topic of an incredible movie starring Matthew McConaughey. In 1863, after surviving the devastating conflict of Corinth, Knight, a negative farmer from Mississippi, abandoned the accomplice military and commenced a guerrilla conflict opposed to the Confederacy. A pro-Union sympathizer within the deep South who refused to struggle a wealthy man’s struggle for slavery and cotton, for 2 years he and different citizens of Jones County engaged in an insurrection that will have repercussions a long way past the scope of the Civil battle. during this dramatic account of a nearly forgotten bankruptcy of yank heritage, Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer upend the normal delusion of the Confederacy as a heroic and unified misplaced reason, revealing the fractures in the South.

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One fed kindling into the oven. one other waved flies clear of the porch with a broom. whilst Jackie desired to smoke his pipe, he known as out, “Fire, fireplace! ” a toddler grabbed a burning cob from the oven and ran over to mild “ole master’s” tobacco. The Knight family’s wealth and holdings didn't finish at his estate line, both. adjacent Jackie’s land used to be the farm belonging to his daughter, Altimirah, and her forty-six-year-old husband George Brumfield, who owned 8 slaves. farms over, Jackie’s youngest and so much prodigal son, Daniel, and his spouse, Elizabeth, lived on a variety with ten slaves. Jackie Knight grieved over the secession hindrance for manifold purposes. He was once unwell, with now not lengthy to stay. He was once a patriot who’d had his personal adventure with soldiering, within the Chickamauga Wars and back within the conflict of 1812, and he knew the toll of clash. He may see it in his circle of relatives, which was once deeply divided by way of the problems underlying the secession predicament. so much of Jackie’s little ones have been aspiring planters with a stake within the slave economic system. yet there has been an important exception. Jackie’s eldest son, Albert, declined to possess slaves. Albert was once a modest shoemaker and tanner who made his personal approach and his personal dwelling. What’s extra, none of Albert’s twelve young children may personal slaves both. His modest, independent-minded son Newton might demonstrate a unique disdain for slaveholding. Albert used to be the only baby who wouldn't be bequeathed a slave in Jackie’s final will and testomony. If somebody may be anticipated to accomplice in and reap the benefits of Jackie’s slave possessing, it's going to were his eldest son. nonetheless, eldest sons may additionally be anticipated to reproach their fathers for his or her sins. Jackie Knight used to be self-made: born in North Carolina in 1773, he had driven his approach westward searching for virgin land, first to Georgia, the place in response to relatives culture he served as a gentle horse soldier within the Chickamauga Wars and an infantryman within the conflict of 1812, after which directly to Mississippi. He and his spouse Keziah and their wagonload of kids had arrived someday in 1815 or 1816 on the large expanse often called the Piney Woods, the place the land looked as if it would heave with emerging and falling hills, timbered through towering pines and cut up via creeks and hollows. “Here’s the place we stop,” he stated. He had outfitted a house out of felled logs and survived for years regardless of the lonesomeness and shortage of civil govt. In 1822, he was once one in every of eighty-nine settlers who petitioned to shape Jones County, which they named after John Paul Jones. by way of 1850, it was once nonetheless a spot with out a telegraph, newspaper, or railroad. but Jackie had made his fortune, because of commodities additionally infrequent in Jones County: cotton and slaves. Jackie’s acreage certified as a plantation, slightly. It sprawled on each side of the eddying Leaf River, which curled like a fats brown dust snake throughout the low thickets among Jones and Coving-ton counties. two times each year Jackie made journeys to the busy seaport of cellular, Alabama, to promote his items, drawing wagons loaded with up to 750 kilos of rice and twenty-five bales of cotton (bundles weighing four hundred to 500 kilos each).

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