Who Was Newt Knight?

A True hero of the War Between the States.

Most of my regulars know that I live in the Deep South….Mississippi to be exact…..when I was in school I had to study the history of the state and not until later in life did I realize that we were not taught the whole history only a manicured version….

One situation that did not make my Mississippi History book in 1963 was the The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida…..I wrote about this here on IST….https://lobotero.com/2012/09/22/the-republic-of-west-florida/

Newton Knight was a Mississippian who was pro-North……(a Yankee lover)……

Ever hear the name Newton Knight, or the First Alabama Calvary? Not likely. The capitalist media, books, movies & TV, has always promoted stories of “former Confederate soldiers” who loyally served the Confederacy, just loved Gen. Robert E. Lee, had no issue with slavery, and so on. But there is another story, a hidden history, of poor white opposition to the Confederacy and to slavery.

Newton Knight was a poor white farmer who led a guerrilla band of “deserters” who fought the Confederacy tooth and nail. The First Alabama Calvary were anti-slavery pro-Union cavalry, mostly white but also Black, about 2,000 in total, who fought the Confederacy and eventually were escorts for Gen. Sherman during his historic march thru Georgia in 1864. But hardly anyone has heard of them.

Newton Knight – abolitionist guerilla leader in Mississippi A hidden history of the anti-slavery struggle

The movie “Free State of Jones” was about the exploits of Newton Knight…..the movie gave a basic look at the man although there were many incidents that were not accurate but made for some good Hollywood license.

Learn about the true man….this site gives you what Hollywood portrayed and what was real…..https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/free-state-of-jones/

I love history and Mississippi has had some great history as well as some really tragic history….Mississippi has now embraced this hero of the American Civil War….and is finally being given his due…..

“We Stood firm to the union when secession Swept as an avalanche over the state. For this cause alone we have been treated as savages instead of freeman by the rebel authorities.”

Newton Knight, Petition to Governor William Sharkey, July 15, 1865


This is great story that everyone should know before they talk bad about Mississippi….for not all Mississippians were not supporters of the Confederate cause.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

7 thoughts on “Who Was Newt Knight?

  1. I did know about Knight, and got the DVD of ‘Free Sate of Jones’ when it came out. I enjoyed the film, even though it took liberties with history, which I expected it to. There were also Confederate sympathisers in the North, who opposed the war from the start. Many of whom either joined the rebel army, or used their positions to spy for the Confederates. They were known as ‘Copperheads’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Fascinating read about Newt Knight. I didn’t know of him. There were Union troops out of Tennessee as well–eastern Tennessee where there were few, if any, slaves. Unfortunately, the rural areas of of north eastern Tennessee are some of the most prejudice areas of the state today.

    1. Growing up in Mississippi in the 1960s this was not something that was taught,,,,,,,so not even citizens were aware of this person. chuq

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