The Front Porch Crew have their final say about Gary Ross's movie The Free State of Jones. Reed gives a harsh rebuke to the "historians" involved in the movie. What does the Declaration of Independence have to do with Hillary's email scandal?
SCV member and Front Porch host, Reed Walters reviews the movie The Free State of Jones on his show The Front Porch. What were the historical inaccuracies found in the movie? Did Gary Ross have a political agenda and could Newt Knight be a 19th century Bernie Sanders? Here Reed's song about the Deason home and the scene that never made it to the big screen. Also listen to what the critics are saying about the movie.
The Smithsonian Magazine recently published an article, "The True Story of the Free State of Jones." In this article the Rosin Heel's website was quoted in describing Newton Knight as "... a thief, murderer, adulterer and a deserter.” While this is true let the record show that there is plenty of evidence to support this statement. Newt Knight murdered Amos McLemore in October, 1863 in the Deason home while he was nursing a cold and warming in front of the bedroom fire place. It was also alleged that Knight murdered his brother-in-law who he suspected was having an affair with his wife while he was away fighting for the Confederacy. While the movie, "The Free State of Jones" will celebrate the affair between the slave Rachel and Newt Knight, it will no doubt excuse this adulterous affair as a celebration of inter-racial relationships long before its time.
It is interesting that the author of this article had no problem dismissing the claims of the Rosin Heels concerning Newt Knight but was eager to quote a history teacher from Jones Junior College who claimed Knight ".... was a Primitive Baptist who didn’t drink, didn’t cuss," and "doted on children...." This statement is impossible to prove unless the history teacher was with Knight throughout his childhood and adult life and never witnessed him cussing or drinking. One can see how absurd this statement is and the JCJC history teacher shows his lack of historical integrity in making such a claim especially to a national publication.
The Smithsonian author showed poor investigative skills in finding the spokesman for the Rosin Heels. A member of the Rosin Heels was quoted but not an officer. It seems little effort was made in tracking down an officer who are all listed on the home page. Did the author contact any of these people? The Rosin Heels member chosen to discuss Newt Knight and the Free State of Jones no doubt had the credentials to do so. He has put countless hours into researching the topic. But the Smithsonian writer seemly ignored this man's historic knowledge opting for his opinion when the camp member referred to Knight as "white trailer trash." Sadly, getting both sides of this story was not on the author's agenda nor was it for the writers of the movie, "The Free State of Jones." The first trailer to the movie proves this. The history of this story is simple to them, bad guy verses good guy. Confederates were the oppressors, Knight and his gang the heroes, the piney woods version of Robin Hood with his merry men. In their narrative there is no room for a dissenting opinion that challenges Hollywood's version of Newton Knight and the Free State of Jones. Regardless of how one feels about these topics, the movie will betray the historical facts and play to 21st century sentiments and drama. The true story of the Free State of Jones is long and complicated and can never be told in an article, blog or two hour movie. The characters in this saga are also complicated and should never be regulated to a good guy, bad guy scenario. Anyone doing this, and that includes this website, violates the sacredness of truth and history. The webmaster of this site should be more careful to observe this fact but we doubt the producers and director of the upcoming movie or the Smithsonian magazine writer will do likewise.
Submitted by a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
By Al Benson Jr.
As I sat eating supper on New Years eve I could
hear the sound of fireworks gong off across the street from where we live. Some
folks in the South set off fireworks to celebrate the advent of the new
year. When we lived in West
Virginia several years ago they used to go out at midnight and shoot their guns
into the air.
But, as I listened to the fireworks going off tonight the thought
crossed my mind that hear is a little noise, a little flash when the
firecrackers exploded – and then nothing. It just so happened that while eating
supper I was reading a day-old copy of the area newspaper, I never buy it new if
I can get yesterday’s copy for nothing as it’s not worth the price they charge.
There was an article in it about the Emancipation Proclamation which the sainted
Abraham Lincoln made much ado about 150 years ago this New Year’s day. Reading
about the Proclamation and hearing the nearby fireworks gave me cause to reflect
on how like the fireworks, the Proclamation was q big “flash in the pan” that
really did nothing----certainly not what its adherents today claim. Many who
have been told about the Proclamation have been misinformed that with it
”Lincoln freeing the slaves.” This is the sort of historical legerdermain that
has been passed along to us as children through what passes for history books in
CHRISTMAS DURING THE WAR
And Some Customs Started During That Time
Many of today’s American Christmas customs really got a boost during of all times, the war. In the 1850's people in America began to put up Christmas trees and decorate them with strings of popcorn, dried fruit, pine cones and maybe some kind of candy. Interestingly enough it was New Year’s that people really celebrated with the exchanging of gifts and family gatherings with lots of food. Though before the war it was a happy time for the slaves on farms or plantations. The slaves during all times of the day would stop by the owners house with Christmas gifts for the family. In return, the family would give the slave families probably a new suit of clothes to each person. As far as the look of Santa was concerned that came from the illustrator Thomas Nast who worked for Harpers Weekly. The first drawing of Santa was in said publication during Christmas of 1863 giving out gifts to Union soldiers, dressed similarly the way he looks today, whiskers and all. Nast was an immigrant from Germany that came to America during the 1830's and went to art school in New York City and later aquired a job with Harpers Weekly. Festive cards did not begin until 1860, but the Christmas tree made its first appearance in Pennsylvania in the early 1800's. Trees were mostly popular with German immigrants on the East Coast and by the 1850's table top trees were popular on the eastern seaboard. Not all people were happy with the new traditions. The Calvinists and Puritans fined people who celebrated Christmas, because they saw it as a holiday that had been taken over by pagan traditions.
The first printed image of a decorated American Christmas tree appeared in 1836, when it was published in a booklet by a German immigrant. Of course Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” was published in 1843 and had a great influence on both sides of the Atlantic, but it was still relatively new during the war period.
In the Midwest, traditions took longer to adopt. A pastor in Cleveland, Ohio, set up a Christmas tree in the 1850's received public criticism for his foolishness. By the 1860's the Christmas tree had become an established part of the holiday celebrations. Santa, who also grew from German traditions, was not immortalized in America until 1822, when Clement Moore’s poem was published, “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” or more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas.”
By the 1860'a Santa was an established and wellloved figure of American children in both the North and South. Of course there were other illustrators that helped promote the season also. Besides Nast, Winslow Homer and Alfred Waud created scenes of Santa, Christmas trees, gift-giving, caroling, holiday feasting and Christmas cards. It was Nast and Homer that created scenes of the wartime practice of sending Christmas boxes filled with homemade clothes and food items to soldiers at the front.
This is the camp blog of camp 227 of the Jones Co. Rosin Heels. Here members post blogs about the SCV or the War. (Guest blogs do not necessarily represent the views of Camp 227. )
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