From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
The myth of the Lost Cause persists: a unified South stood valiantly against Northern efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy Southern rights and culture. In an unabashedly subjective work, the authors attempt to deal a deathblow to the myth. Their focus is Jones County, Mississippi, a hotbed of anti-secessionist sympathy before and during the Civil War. There, pro-Union men resisted Southern conscription, aided and sometimes joined the Union army, and fought a guerrilla war against Confederate militia and regular forces. Jenkins and Stauffer make clear from the outset where their sympathies lie, and they paint the Jones resisters in a rather heroic light. At the center of their narrative is a farmer, Newton Knight, portrayed credibly as a man of immense physical and moral courage. Knight, descended from slave owners, despised slavery. Like many other Southerners, he viewed the Confederate cause as a rich man's war, poor man's fight, and he fought valiantly against it. Despite occasional lapses into hyperbole, this is an excellent work that casts light on an obscure aspect of the Civil War.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2009 Booklist