All around, the American Civil War is raging, and a man called Jack Hinson has just cocked his long muzzle-loading rifle. He has drawn a bead on a Unionist soldier – something he’s done various times before. And in a moment he’ll pull the trigger and send the unlucky trooper to his maker. This is the shocking story of how Hinson turned into a stone-cold killer.
Before we dive into the details of Hinson’s story, let’s set the scene of the Civil War as it was fought across the U.S. The conflict proper had started in April 1861 when the secessionist forces from the south attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. This key event occurred not long after Abraham Lincoln had become U.S. president.
But the war’s roots went back to well before that outbreak of violence. At the heart of the quarrel between the North and the South that eventually led to such horrific bloodshed and destruction was one central issue: slavery. And this matter was entangled with the idea of states’ rights.