Analysis Of The Book ' The Miller County ' Mississippi ' Essay

1498 Words6 Pages
Dueling Doctors and Deserters Legendary Jones County, Mississippi is the setting for one incredible story about Confederate deserter Newton Knight and his band of rebels. Newt’s story has endured the tests of time. Sadly, many of the sources on Newt’s life are biased, exaggerated, or wholly inaccurate. After ten years of taxing research, Dr. Victoria Bynum wrote one of the most well received books on the topic, The Free State of Jones. In it, she presents factual evidence to narrate the Newton Knight story with as much integrity as possible. She used accounts not just from Newt, but also from other families in the county, to tell the story of the Knight Company as a community uprising against the Confederacy. In State of Jones, bestselling journalist, Sally Jenkins, and historian, Dr. John Stauffer wrote a much more interesting and exaggerated version of the same story. By taking the narrative approach, Jenkins and Stauffer tell a loosely based account of Newt’s story. The real story of Newt Knight never places him at the Battle of Vicksburg, nor does it imply that Newton left his white wife because she was sour-faced and homely (as opposed to the “mesmeric” Rachel, Newt’s black wife ). Furthermore, the real story of Newt Knight never claims that he was a Unionist and an advocate of racial equality both before and during the Civil War. However, Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer make all of these claims. Good historians know that when sources do not exist, the gap becomes part

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