Movie : "Free State of Jones" story of Newton Knight

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Movie is a few years old, but on TV the other night. Does anyone know how historically correct or incorrect the events of his story play out. I don't question the racial situations as I believe them to be the way things were at the time. My question is really centered on the Confederate foraging that is shown to put Sherman march in a much better light. One thing to take percentages of crops etc., but the cruelty to their own neighbors leaves a very bitter taste. Also the cruelty toward the youths who had been promised a pardon, but instead were hung. I know terrible things happen in war, but was this the norm in the deep South? Or was this just Hollywood's version?
 

7th Mississippi Infantry

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There are more than a few threads about this film.

Here's a good one:

 

leftyhunter

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Movie is a few years old, but on TV the other night. Does anyone know how historically correct or incorrect the events of his story play out. I don't question the racial situations as I believe them to be the way things were at the time. My question is really centered on the Confederate foraging that is shown to put Sherman march in a much better light. One thing to take percentages of crops etc., but the cruelty to their own neighbors leaves a very bitter taste. Also the cruelty toward the youths who had been promised a pardon, but instead were hung. I know terrible things happen in war, but was this the norm in the deep South? Or was this just Hollywood's version?
We have some past thread's on the Move "Free State of Jones" perhaps one of the Mods can post some links.
Absolutely Confederate foraging parties were quite harsh. We have some past thread's and a current one on harsh Confederate foraging in Alabama.
I have a thread "Union vs CSA guerrillas" and absolutely there was widespread Unionist guerrilla warfare in almost all Confederate especially Southern Mississippi.
The movie "Free State of Jones" is fictional in terms of specific incidents such has Knight strangling a Confederate Colonel with his bare hands. However Knight is credited with killing a Confederate Colonel with a shotgun at the Colonels home.
What is not fictional is that there was a viable Unionist guerrilla warfare in Southern Mississippi and not just from Knight's guerrillas.
Leftyhunter
 
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diane

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It's a good film but not that accurate as some previous discussions show. Forrest once proposed a plan to use 5,000 or so hand picked troops to go through Mississippi and clean out the outlaws and Unionists as well as round up recruits who had been enlisted for the Confederacy but not sent in. Davis never looked at this plan, which might well have worked. Newt Knight and his free state was on Forrest's list! (Now there's a really interesting what-if...:smoke:)
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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I remember when it first came out, my reaction was, "In this day and age there is too much temptation for writers, distributors, studios and so forth to take too many liberties with history on something like the Free State of Jones to push modern agendas, it won't be worth watching." which I didn't, and when I heard it was a flop my mentality was a sarcastic "Gee I wonder why?" and I moved on.

Several months back it was about to come on the TV and I decided to watch it. My first reaction in the first 15 minutes was "Whoever designed this CW battle, and the camps and so on knows absolutely nothing about what any of them looked like!" and when the movie moved to Jones County and the big evil Confederate officer in charge was revealed with his troops my thoughts were "Were the costumers a bunch of monkeys!?" I mean seriously that character's so-called "Confederate" uniform is a costume from wally world! (I'm using that term loosely, it is a cheap ten dollar costume though, and these remarks are coming from someone who has headed that department up on films), and so many background details were horribly off. I've worked on budget flicks that didn't have a fraction of the budget and were horrible in prop and background details and still did a better job than "Free State of Jones"!

As for the story, it was okay but too many liberties with history to appeal to me, and sacrificing history to play modern politics. The acting, it was top shelf mostly with some details being a bit out there, acting and story wise. It has its moments though I'll admit, with more than a few scenes being great enough to sweep even my nitpicky self up into it.

As a normal movie, I'd say its okay and a good watch every now and then when it comes on TV and there is nothing else on, but never something to search out on DVD or streaming platforms. As a CW movie, I say avoid this thing like the plague, utterly horrible, doing justice to neither side of the war or even its characters, and doing injustice to all sides.

When I finally saw it, I thought "You know I need to put my preconceived notions aside and give it a chance." which I did, and came away with more disappointed than I would've if I had stuck to my notions and not watched it. But this is all me, and I'm a big nitpicker on historical period films, and I say everyone who interested in CW films should watch it, some may like it. After all my tastes are different from everyone else's.
 

7th Mississippi Infantry

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It's a good film but not that accurate as some previous discussions show. Forrest once proposed a plan to use 5,000 or so hand picked troops to go through Mississippi and clean out the outlaws and Unionists as well as round up recruits who had been enlisted for the Confederacy but not sent in. Davis never looked at this plan, which might well have worked. Newt Knight and his free state was on Forrest's list! (Now there's a really interesting what-if...:smoke:)
What if . . . indeed !

I imagine Forrest would have obliterated Newt Knight and his gang within one month or less.

But time was of the essence (as they say).

It was too late in the ball game for the Confederate High Command to reassign Bedford to pursue Knight and his band of "Merry Men".

Harassing Sherman's supply lines toward Atlanta was a much more strategic necessity.
 
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diane

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Let's face it. Any movie or novel about the civil war, whoever produces it, is going to reflect somebody's modern social and political opinions. It's an event that entails questions and issues we are still struggling with today.
That's certainly true. The real story of Newt Knight is indeed interesting but actually he was basically somebody who didn't like rules - anybody's! It does show the problem civilians in a war zone have - if the left one don't get you, the right one will - and on that one can see why he didn't turn over the troops he had recruited as partisans. A general like Forrest, however, didn't see eye to eye with Newt! For him, Knight was just another renegade who'd set up as a war lord.
 
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Nathanb1

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I reckon he could play a good Forrest ... and I've definitely got a soft spot for him :wub:

'Alright, alright, alright' gets me ... every. single. time.

:smoke:

In fact, he was probably my drawcard to watch this movie in the first place!
That's exactly who I always saw in the role. He can be pretty intimidating. Right size, right eye color, etc.
 
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