Explore the fabled history of the Free State of Jones in this edition of the #ManyStories Series at the Two Mississippi Museums on Thursday, June 3, at 6 p.m. Victoria Bynum of Texas State University will discuss the story of Newt Knight, a renegade soldier who led a small band of citizens from Jones County and its surrounding areas to defend their homes against the Confederacy. This event will be held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium with a remote speaker, but guests are invited to attend in-person. Face masks and social distancing guidelines are required. The event will also stream live from the Museum of Mississippi History Facebook page.
A farmer from Jones County, Newton Knight became a man of legend in Mississippi during the Civil War. When Confederate forces ransacked Jones, Jasper, and Smith counties for supplies and forced residents to enlist, Knight deserted his post in the Confederate Army and led a skirmish against the Confederates with his own militia of fellow farmers who opposed the Civil War and supported the efforts of the Union.
Victoria Bynum is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of history at Texas State University and a National Endowment of the Humanities fellow. She is an award-winning author of three books published by the University of North Carolina Press on the political and racial histories of the American South during the Civil War