The Jackson County War
Reconstruction and Resistance in Post–Civil War Florida
Offers original conclusions explaining why Jackson County became the bloodiest region in Reconstruction Florida
From early 1869 through the end of 1871, citizens of Jackson County, Florida, slaughtered their neighbors by the score. The nearly three year frenzy of bloodshed became known as the Jackson County War. The killings, close to one hundred and by some estimates twice that number, brought Jackson County the notoriety of being the most violent county in Florida during the Reconstruction era. Daniel R. Weinfeld has made a thorough investigation of contemporary accounts. He adds an assessment of recently discovered information, and presents a critical evaluation of the standard secondary sources.
The Jackson County War focuses on the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the emergence of white “Regulators,” and the development of African American political consciousness and leadership. It follows the community’s descent after the Civil War into disorder punctuated by furious outbursts of violence until the county settled into uneasy stability seven years later. The Jackson County War emerges as an emblem of all that could and did go wrong in the uneasy years after Appomattox and that left a residue of hatred and fear that endured for generations.
“Weinfeld’s work adds to our understanding of the period because it is the first book-length examination of Floridians’ use of terror to restrict the freedom enjoyed by African Americans. Moreover, the work illustrates the forces the reader to confront the extreme lengths many white Jackson County residents went to ensure the continuance of their privileged status after the South’s defeat in the Civil War.”
—Civil War History
“Weinfeld demonstrates the relevance of this history through his scholarship and writings, while reintroducing the Jackson County War to a new generation of students, lay and professional historians. Those interested in Florida politics, Reconstruction, race relations, racial violence, Southern history and the Civil War will enjoy this work.”
—Florida Historical Quarterly
“ . . . The Jackson County War represents the best in local history, providing students as well as scholars with a meaningful examination of violence during the turbulent post-Civil War era. This book is a must-read for everyone who is interested in learning more about grassroots Reconstruction in Florida.”
—Journal of Southern History