I'll reference a few numbers from the Eighth Census of the United States (1860) to make this point. Winston County AL, frequently cited as a center of Unionism in Alabama, reported a free white population of 3,454. Winston's population total ranks next to the lowest in the state. Free population total for Jones County MS was even lower, being 2,916 (482 households, 361 farms of 3 acres or more).
According to the manufacturing census, the State of Mississippi included 976 mills and manufacturing establishments of different types. Valued at $4,384,492, these employed 4,583 persons. Eleven mills (six flour/meal, five lumber) were located in Jones County, operated by nineteen people and valued at $4,583. The number of employees in Jones County is less than 1/2 of one percent of the state total, the value of their mills being 1/10 of one percent of the state total.
According to the agricultural census, the total value of personal estates in Mississippi was $507,720,484. Jones County contributed $857,562 to that amount, or less than 2/10 of one percent of the state total. For the sake of comparison, almost every county in the Territory of New Mexico reported significantly higher amounts for personal estate. 14,533 acres were reported under cultivation in Jones County. With 694 total square miles in the county (640 acres per square mile), that's almost 97 percent of the county uncultivated.
On average, there were twelve persons per square mile in Mississippi. In Jones County, it's four per square mile. There's one farm for every 1.92 square miles, a virtual wilderness preserve. It's easy to see why this place attracted deserters.
To counter the point I just tried to make, was Jones County as anti-Confederate as advertised? Most professional men and craft workers listed on the seventy-three page census schedule for this county can be found on Confederate company rolls. For instance, in Co. "K", 8th Mississippi Regt., the "Ellisville Invincibles", we find Jacob R. Brown and Edward Campion (mechanics), Hansford D. Dossett (land speculator), Benjamin C. Deason (merchant), H. S. Pound (physician), F. K. Willoughby (painter), Robert J. Parker (saddler), Jacob Leonard (mason) and James M. Grubbs (miller). Several of these men served as commissioned officers.
Others appear in Co. "C", 7th Mississippi Battalion, the "Jones County Rebels"; Co. "B", 27th Mississippi Regt., the "Rosin Heels"; Co. "K", 37th Mississippi Regt., the "Jasper Guards"; Co. "H", 5th Mississippi State Troops, and other commands.