State of Jones historian and blogger, Vikki Bynum, is in the middle of a lengthy review [Part 1 – Part 2] of Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer’s new book, The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded From the Confederacy. If I remember correctly, the book is going to be turned into a Hollywood movie at some point soon. I am about half-way through it and while I’ve enjoyed it thus far it is clear from reading Vikki’s review that there are serious problems that I do not have the background to pick out. For instance, despite the book’s subtitle there is no evidence that a declaration of secession was ever issued. More problematic is the claim that Newt Knight served at Vicksburg. Other problems abound, accoring to Bynum. Given Vikki’s research into the State of Jones there is no one more qualified to judge the overall quality of this study. I highly recommend her book.
Trouble in the State of Jones
Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth
“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History