If you are a history buff about local history, then here is a book for you! The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War by Victoria Bynum is now in our church Library. Bynum is a Professor Emeritus at Texas State University and critics credit her with bringing together three violent times in American history–the Revolutionary Era, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement. Scholars marvel at her variety of sources which range from the manuscript censuses to church records, county records, and oral traditions.

Her book covers the time between the late 1863 and mid-1864, when an armed band of Confederate deserters battled Confederate cavalry in the Piney Woods region of Jones County, Mississippi. Calling themselves the Knight Company after their captain, Newton Knight, they set up headquarters in the swamps of the Leaf River.

A movie, starring Matthew McConaughey, has been made about the this Civil War drama and will be released this year. McConaughey plays Newton Knight, the leader of the band of Confederate deserters during the Civil War.