Winston County, Alabama, which became known as the “Free State of Winston”, had few slave owners since the hilly lands in the county were not suitable for plantations. Hence, members of the county disagreed with the movement for secession from the Union and sent a young school teacher as a delegate to the Alabama secession delegation, whom threatened have Winston County established as it’s own republic, separate from the Confederacy, if the Alabama left the union. That delegate, along with his followers, were arrested for their opposition.
In the bordering state of Mississippi, the “Free State of Jones” was established. Unlike, the neutral “Free State of Winston”, the independent area of Jones had a company of deserter soldiers, let by Newton Knight, that raided Confederate warehouses to give food and supplies back to the local people, whom had goods seized from their farms.