Friday, May 29, 2009

Way down in Mississippi / where the pine trees grow / deep in Jones County / where the leaf river flows

In May of 2008 I posted the transcript of a Q&A I conducted with Victoria Bynum, regarding her fascinating book, The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2001). The exchange took place on-line, in the Civil War Forum, October 25, 2001.

It's an amazing story, and well told. Recently, I was pleased to learn from Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory that Professor Bynum has a blog dedicated to the subject or more accurately, to "
southern dissenters of the nineteenth century," to include the Knights of Jones County, and other renegades. What a perfect venue for bringing out more information and tantalizing tidbits. Kevin also made mention of a new book on the subject, by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer, which had escaped my notice until now.

Check out Bynum's blog, but be sure to also visit the affiliated website,, if only to hear Doctor G sing "Jones County Jubilee." That will put you in the mood for some reading on Newt (pictured above) & Rachel Knight.

Dr. Bynum is also the author of Unruly Women: the Politics of Social and Sexual Control in the Old South (UNC Press, 1992), and Southern Communities at War.


victoria said...

David, that 2001 Q&A was my first interview in regard to the Free State of Jones, and I still appreciate your early interest in the book. Thanks for telling your readers about my Renegade South website and blogsite. Dr. G appreciates the good words about his song "Jones County Jubilee" as well!


dw said...

Hi Vikki,

Glad you dropped by. I have such high regard for your Jones County book -- it's a fascinating, and uniquely American story -- on so many levels.

I see from your blog that your next book will be "Southern Communities at War: Essays on Civil War Dissent and Its Legacies." Sounds like a good one.

Do you know Libra Hilde by chance? Our sons are on the same Little League team and were comparing notes at the game today.


victoria said...


Thanks for your kind words about my Free State of Jones book! It took me years to research it and was truly a labor of love.

Southern Communities at War is just going into production, and will contain more on the Free State and its New South and 20th century legacies. But it will also contain essays on unionism and dissent in the N.C. Piedmont and the Texas Big Thicket as well.

No, sorry, I do not know Libre Hilde.