Somebody at the Knight family home murdered Newt Knight's son-in-law while the man sat on the front porch holding a baby. That person was probably Newt Knight. Other unarmed or innocent people were murdered in the Jones County area in this time frame that can be linked to Newt Knight. He is accused (now) of leading an murderous band of deserters that are claimed to be volunteers to help the Union and creating an independent government in Jones County; In the 1880s the Confederate post-master of Jones County was interviewed about it and said he didn't remember any such thing during that period.
It amazes me that recently so much detailed history can be found on one Mississippi Pineywoods man, a poor ignorant farmer, with no documentation by him from the period presented. I know of no men from that class who we can detail their lives like has been currently done with Newt Knight. These people rarely put their lives to paper. We have their Bibles; we have the government record, that’s about it. Local stories in these woods are very unreliable. It is the habit of these people to exaggerate, and blend different events and times together to make a better tale. Another habit of these people is to keep to themselves shameful, dishonorable or disrespectful acts or actions of family members. These types of histories are usually erased from memory within a generation. Family secrets are not given up easily in the Pineywoods. So the truth is sometimes very hard to find unless it made the state news to be recorded in history.
Case in point. A history told in my county [but nowhere else]....
Before the Civil War riverboats routinely traveled up and down the Pearl River in Mississippi. The Union Navy sent gunboats up the Pearl River to attack Jackson. The local people built fortifications along the river in Simpson County and cut down large trees and fell them across the river blocking the gunboats from traveling farther up the river. Those trees blocked and permanently ruined access by boats along the Pearl River forever.
The only truth to this tale is that access by boats along the Pearl River was permanently ruined...[by the building of railroad bridges across the Pearl in other counties before and after the war]. Everything else is not proven.