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"The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition"Mississippi's Longest Civil War$
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Victoria E. Bynum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Sacred Wars

Sacred Wars

Race and the Ongoing Battle over the Free State of Jones

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Sacred Wars
Source:
"The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition"
Author(s):

Victoria E. Bynum

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627052.003.0010

This chapter narrates the 135 year debate over the facts and the meaning of the Jones County, Mississippi, uprising known as the Free State of Jones. It begins with Mississippi’s 1948 conviction of Davis Knight—the great-grandson of Civil War guerrilla leader Newt Knight and former slave Rachel Knight—for the crime of miscegenation. From there, “Sacred Wars” analyzes the effects of wartime family divisions, racism, and Lost Cause history on the subsequent folklore and histories that tell the story of the anti-Confederate uprising known as the “Free State of Jones.” The chapter emphasizes that the uprising was a community-wide insurrection against the Confederacy that reflected opposition to secession, class tensions over slavery, and escalating desertion rates reflective of anger over a “rich man’s war and poor man’s fight.

Keywords:   Lost Cause, Solid South, Miscegenation, James Street, Ethel Knight, Thomas Jefferson Knight, Southern Unionists, Southern yeomanry, “White Negroes”

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