The State of Jones

The State of Jones

The Small Southern County That Seceded From the Confederacy

Book - 2009
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"From 1863 to 1965, residents of Jones County, Mississippi engaged in an insurrection against the Confederacy that would have repercussions far beyond the scope of the Civil War. Their defiance became legendary, and the line between fact and fiction faded with each passing year. Until now..."--jacket cover.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385525930
Branch Call Number: 973.7472 Jenkins
973.7472 Jenkins
Characteristics: 402 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Stauffer, John 1965-


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Jun 22, 2016

Most readers will enjoy this book because of the "Robin Hood" element of Newt Knight's story. Opens in the 1910's with the arrival in the backwoods of Jones county of a newspaper man determined to interview the elderly Newt Knight, a rebel-within-a-rebellion. Using that interview, diaries, newspaper accounts, Confederate & Union papers, and family histories -- the authors weave a fascinating tale.

Jun 16, 2015

Civil war from a Southern, pro-abolition perspective. A very interesting book about a county in Mississippi that supported the North during the civil war. Jenkins' writing is solid, and she effectively makes the characters and environment "real", with descriptive language supporting solid research. It was compelling to follow the Southern abolitionists after the war, as not much changed on the losing side (except heightened hostility).
I was horrible at history, and I am thankful for books, like this, that teach me in the context of a good story about something that happened.
Definite for civil war and history buffs.

May 31, 2010

An account of Unionists in one southeastern Mississippi county during the Civil War and after as Jim Crow Laws became the rule. Principally it's the story of an unheralded leader Newton Knight, a yeoman farmer from the Piney Woods, a man of uncommon courage to do the right thing.



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Jun 22, 2016

Sally Jenkins is a journalist (Washington Post) and author of two previous books. John Stauffer is a Harvard Univ. professor and author of other books on the American Civil War. Film director and screenwriter Gary Ross (Seabisquit; Pleasantville) took this story to Jenkins and Stauffer -- suggesting they collaborate on a history. The movie has just been released (June 2016). Jones County was Mississippi's poorest. As the Civil War began, Knight and a majority of men in the county were subsistence farmers trying to eke out a living on the outskirts of a huge tract of land known as the "Dismal Swamp". Even as the men were pressed into the army and endured horrific starvation during the siege of Vicksburg, Confederate tax collectors were stripping their farms of crops, animals and even the cloth their wives were laboring to weave. Steeped in the anti-slavery theology of Primitive Baptists, Knight and many other farmers deserted. They voted to secede from the Confederacy and hid from Confederate bounty hunters in the Dismal Swamp. Knight was able to organize a resistance which lasted through the end of the war. The book is extremely well-documented (the footnotes occupy 67 of the book's 402 pages). The documentation was probably judged a necessity by historian Stauffer because it so completely busts the myth of the "solid South".


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