By Vikki Bynum
I had a great time on the set of The Free State of Jones movie last week! Watched a very intense Matt McConaughey, pictured above, bring Newt Knight to life for the battle of Corinth and its aftermath. Pictured below are two additional cast members: Christopher Berry, who portrays Jasper Collins, and Sean Bridgers who appears as William Wesley Sumrall. Collins and Sumrall were stalwarts of the Knight band, their histories recounted in my Free State of Jones and Long Shadow of the Civil War.
The battle of Corinth, Mississippi, occurred in October, 1862. In its grim aftermath, wounded men who survived languished and often died in the army hospital at Enterprise. Corinth was followed by Confederate passage of the “Twenty Negro Law”, which allowed slaveholders to apply for military exemptions based on slave ownership. Shortly thereafter, according to Newt Knight, Jasper Collins proclaimed to him that “this makes it a rich man’s war and poor man’s fight!” Newt agreed, and both men soon deserted.
Categories: The Free State of Jones