Marvin T. Jones to Speak on Civil War Unionists in Washington, DC.

Marvin T. Jones

Marvin T. Jones

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director of the Chowan Discovery Organization, is the author of one of Renegade South’s most popular essays, “The Chowan Discovery Group,” a history of the mixed-race origins of North Carolina’s Winton Triangle.

I’m pleased to announce that on May 7, 2016, Mr. Jones will present “Loyal Southerners During the Civil War,” which will feature his research on Unionists from the Winton Triangle area of North Carolina during the American Civil War, while drawing from my own work on The Free State of Jones and the East Texas Jayhawkers.

The Winton Triangle

The Winton Triangle

The Rock Creek Civil War Roundtable group will host the talk between 9:30 am and 11:00 am at the U.S Park Service’s Rock Creek Nature Center in Washington, D.C. 

Here’s an overview of the event by Marvin T. Jones:

On June 24, the release of the movie THE FREE STATE OF JONES will present to the public perhaps the best known story of Southern resistance to the Confederacy.  In anticipation of the movie’s release, Marvin T. Jones of Chowan Discovery will present an overview of loyal Southern groups, ranging from the Winton Triangle of North Carolina, to Jones County, Mississippi—where Newt Knight’s “Knight Company” held sway—to the Big Thicket of East Texas, where the infamous “jayhawkers” hid out during the war.

Very little has been told and much has been suppressed about Southerners who defended the Union during the Civil War.  In and north of the Winton Triangle, the unruly Jack Fairless Buffaloes operated in several counties along the Chowan River.  South of the Winton Triangle, the more soldierly Buffaloes of Bertie County co-ordinated with Union forces along the lower Chowan River.


chowan group

If you’re in the D.C. area, I hope you attend Marvin Jones’s talk! Many attendees will join Mr. Jones afterward for a fun lunch at Ledo’s Pizza at 7435 Georgia Avenue, NW in Washington, D.C.

7 replies »

  1. Should be interesting! Cannot attend! Who is publisher of Mr Jone’s book or presentation? Thanks!!

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Hi Don,
      Wish you could attend Mr. Jones’s presentation! I don’t know that he’s published any of the upcoming presentation, but his essay, “The Leading Edge of Edges: The Triracial People of the Winton Triangle,” is contained in Carolina Genesis: Beyond the Color Line, edited by Scott Withrow (2010): 181-209.



  2. Thanks Vickie! I got excited when I saw Mr Jones’ presentation included Jayhawkers of the Big Thicket! Many stories have been told through the years regarding this band of Union supporters led by Warren Collins an uncle to my grandmother France’s Collins Loftin! Stacey Artist. & Sarah came to the Thicket circa 1850 with several,of their sons & families including Warren , Edwin & Stacey Jr! There’s little doubt in my mind that these kinsmen of my grandmother influenced the decision of our relatives in Mississippi to leave their homes inJasper Co circa 1872-3 & go to Hardin Co. I know Elizabeth widow of Ezekiel & several more of their sons made the trip as well asvLydia widow of Simeon ! Decades passed with no one in our immediate family or Familes answering the question concerning the town or county or birthplace of Leonard & France’s Collins ! In 1979 I began looking for answers. The results of my research was placed in loose leaf binder entitled The Loftin Chronicles in 1982 was introduced to,those attending the annual reunion at Honey Island ! Included in the work was a section on my Collins relatives & the Jayhawkers ! Vickie please excuse my rambling ! My wife says it’s a typical Loftin trait! Again thanks! Dosilo


    • Don,

      Thanks for your “ramblings”; I love hearing from the descendants of East Texas jayhawkers! And, yes, their connections to the Knight Company of Jones County are quite extensive, especially among the Loftins, Collinses, Valentines, and Bynums (Lydia Bynum Collins is my distant aunt).

      Something I’m wondering about more and more is whether the Jones County Knight Band and the East Texas Jayhawkers might have had direct contact with one another DURING the war itself. Have you ever heard any rumors to that effect? I ask, because some members of the Knight Company traveled to Honey Island during the war—perhaps they were seeking to combine forces with their kin-related band?

      In addition to writing about the Texas Jayhawkers in my book, Long Shadow of the Civil War, I have an expanded essay on them and Warren J. Collins in the following collection on Texas Unionism, edited by Jesus de le Teja of Texas State University.



  3. Vickie I haven’t been able so far to find any proof that there was any direct contact between the Knight band & Collins band during Civil War! Still exploring notes!
    I have listened to tapes made of my father Leonard Harrison Loftin in 1972-3. 85 at the time! He told basically asmy story re his parents coming to Thicket where he & nine more siblings were born! All he could tell was his parents & Grandmother Loftin with several of her sons made the trip on oxen drawn wagons! Some Collins made trip but no names remembered! Said Collins went on up to Trinity County! If Lydia Bynum made the trip surely France’s would have repeated this when discussing the move in later yrs! But no records were made or kept as far as I can find! In fact the first mention of Lydia coming to Texas was in Long Shadow of The Civil War! I add this as a point of interest ! Enough rambling for now! Will be back to tell u of a book I have completed on Loftinfamily in America entitled Footprints On Sands Of Time!


  4. Vikki, I plan to attend. So glad you keep us informed . Looking forward to hearing what he has to share. It would only be better if you were the presenter!


    • Jan, it is so good to hear from you! Sure wish I was speaking near where you are, but I know you’ll enjoy hearing Marvin’s presentation!



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