- Review: 'Free State of Jones' bares forgotten Civil War tale Updated: Jun-23-16 5:02 pm
Newton Knight was a poor Mississippi farmer and Confederate soldier who deserted the Army in early 1862, waged a rebellion against the Confederacy and ended up forming a little colony of exiles, which they referred to as the Free State of Jones. Their numbers rose with deserters as the Confederate effort floundered. They even took over Jones County and raised an American flag at the courthouse. It's a fascinating slice of forgotten history. Coming after three years after "12 Years a Slave" made sure we'd never forget the name Solomon Northup, it's not unreasonable to expect that maybe "Free State of Jones " could do that for Newton Knight or his fellow rebels.