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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ellisville in Jones County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade? / The Amos Deason Home

 
 
Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade? / The Amos Deason Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 2, 2017
1. Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade? / The Amos Deason Home Marker
Inscription.
Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade?

On October 5, 1863, Major McLemore sat in front of the fire in the comfortable home of Amos Deason. He had been sent
 from Atlanta to round up a growing number of deserters who hid out in the swamps of Jones County, led by Newt Knight. 
After the siege of Vicksburg, the number of deserters swelled. The responsibility to round up these men brought the 
Confederate Major face to face with an enemy as deadly as Yankees. Thus Jones County's personal "civil war" began. This "inner" 
war of Knight and company versus the Confederacy drew women, children and slaves onto a field of battle that often included
 their homes. Ethel Knight in her book, Echo of the Black Horn, gives vivid accounts of such deadly skirmishes. Victoria Bynum's book, 
The Free State of Jones, gives a more scholarly, less vivid account of the event. Whatever his motives or intent, indeed, whether Knight
 was a Union sympathizer or simply a self-preservationist, both books include accounts of murder and theft by Knight and his followers. On 
page 108 of Ethel Knight's book we read that Newt and his men, "...often ate food that had been taken from a family or from the 
supplies of the destitute Confederate soldiers." On the other hand, these Confederates raided homes for food and horses also
. Poor people of Jones County! They undoubtedly did want to be free - of Rebels, of Knight and his deserters, and of Yankees.

The Amos Deason Home

The house is located at the corner of Deason and Anderson streets, 1.34 miles to the East. It is also known locally as the "Old Anderson" home 
because of
Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade? / The Amos Deason Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 2, 2017
2. Newt Knight: Robin Hood or Renegade? / The Amos Deason Home Marker
Marker is mounted to the store wall on the left side.
the family's long tenure and prominent connection to the town's history. Amos and Eleanor Deason built the house circa 18
45. It is the oldest standing structure in Jones County. What appears to be a masonry exterior is actually hand hewn planks constructed to 
resemble stone. The Greek Revival front entrance is enhanced by a wrap-around porch. It was the first house in Jones County to be painted. 
However, it is the history of events preceding and occurring during the Civil War which gives the house its' importance.
 Believing the Civil War would be a "rich man's war" and a "poor man's fight," many Jones Countians wanted to vote not to join the Confederacy. 
An anti-secessionist, J D. Powell, was elected to represent Ellisville in Jackson when the vote was taken. However, Mr. Powell gave in (sic) peer pressure or group sentiment and voted to secede. Amos Deason refused to take sides and declared his home to be neutral 
territory and open to everyone. When Major McLemore, a Confederate officer, was sent to Ellisville to round up Newt Knight and his band
 of Confederate deserters, he stayed at the Deason home. On the night of October 5, 1863, Knight slipped up to the house under cover of 
darkness and shot and killed McLemore as he sat in front of the fireplace. Legend has it that the blood stain which soaked the 
heart pine floor reappears in damp weather although it was scrubbed numerous times. McLemore's ghost is rumored to walk through the 
house at night. Isaac Anderson, Deason's grandson, moved into the house prior to 1900 with his wife, the former Sarah Rebecca Pool. 
The couple raised ten children in the house. Their mother took care of her home, her husband and their family. She cleaned,
Newton Knight image. Click for full size.
By Public domain
3. Newton Knight
cooked,
 sewed, preserved, knit socks, made clothes, and taught them the Scripture. A. D. Anderson, one of the children, opened the 
Nehi Bottling Company in Ellisville in 1926. I. R. Anderson another son, owned several sawmills, the Ford Motor Company in 
Laurel and what is now known as Laurel Oil, parent Company of this Shell Station/General Store.
 
Location. 31° 36.881′ N, 89° 12.579′ W. Marker is in Ellisville, Mississippi, in Jones County. Marker is at the intersection of Hal Crocker Road and U.S. 29, on the right when traveling west on Hal Crocker Road. Touch for map. Marker is mounted to the wall, on the outside of the store. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1106 MS-29, Ellisville MS 39437, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Amos Deason Home (approx. 0.8 miles away); Jones County Courthouse (approx. 1.1 miles away); Skirmish At Rocky Creek (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ralph Boston (approx. 5.3 miles away); Oak Park School (approx. 5.8 miles away); Masonite Corporation (approx. 6.4 miles away); Dr. King Visits Laurel (approx. 6.7 miles away); Hotel Pinehurst (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ellisville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Newton Knight. (Submitted on December 7, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Biography of Newton Knight - Military Leader. (Submitted on December 7, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Wikipedia article on the Amos Deason Home. (Submitted on December 7, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. ArchitectureNotable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 7, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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