A quiet, unassuming, and wealthy plantation owner, Jack Hinson was focused on his family life and seasonal plantings when the Civil War started to permeate the isolated valleys of the Kentucky-Tennessee border area where he lived. He was uniquely neutral–friend to both Confederate and Union generals–and his family exemplified the genteel, educated, gracious, and hardworking qualities highly valued in their society. By the winter of 1862, the Hinsons’ happy way of life would change forever.
Jack Hinson’s neutrality was shattered the day Union patrols moved in on his land, captured two of his sons, accused them of being bushwhackers, and executed them on the roadside. The soldiers furthered the abuse by decapitating the Hinson boys and placing their heads on the gateposts of the family estate. The Civil War, now literally on Hinson’s doorstep, had become painfully personal, and he could remain dispassionate no longer. He commissioned a special rifle, a heavy-barreled .50-caliber weapon designed for long-range accuracy. He said goodbye to his family, and he took to the wilderness seeking revenge.
Hinson, nearly sixty years of age, alone, and without formal military training, soon became a deadly threat to the Union. A Confederate sniper, he made history after single-handedly bringing down an armed Union transport and serving as a scout for Nathan Bedford Forrest. A tenacious and elusive figure, Hinson likely killed more than one hundred Union soldiers, recording the confirmed deaths on the barrel of his rifle with precision.
Despite the numbers of men sent to kill him, Hinson evaded all capture, and like his footsteps through the Kentucky and Tennessee underbrush, his story has been shrouded in silence–until now. The result of fifteen years of research, this remarkable biography presents the never-before-told history of Jack Hinson, his savage war on his country, and the brutal cost of vengeance and war.
Read more analysis from the author of this book Lieutenant Colonel Tom C. McKenney, USMC (Ret)