The State of Jones
The Small Southern County That Seceded from the Confederacy
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
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In 1863, after surviving the devastating Battle of Corinth, Newton Knight, a poor farmer from Mississippi, deserted the Confederate Army and began a guerrilla battle against the Confederacy. For two years he and other residents of Jones County engaged in an insurrection that would have repercussions far beyond the scope of the Civil War. In this dramatic account of an almost forgotten chapter of American history, Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer upend the traditional myth of the Confederacy as a heroic and unified Lost Cause, revealing the fractures within Civil-War era Southern society. No man better exemplified these complexities than Newton Knight, a pro-Union sympathizer in the deep South who refused to fight a rich man’s war for slavery and cotton.
John Stauffer is Professor of English and American Literature and Language and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.