Jack Hinson's One-Man War, A Civil War Sniper, Tom C. McKenney, Pelican Publishing Company, 368 pages, $26.95.
Jack Hinson never planned to become a deadly sniper. A prosperous and influential Kentucky plantation owner in the 1850s, Hinson was devoted to raising his growing family and working his land. Yet by 1865, Hinson had likely killed more than one hundred men and had single-handedly taken down an armed Union transport in his one-man war against Grant's army and navy. By the end of the Civil War, the Union had committed infantry and cavalry from nine regiments and a specially equipped amphibious task force of marines to capture Hinson, who was by that time nearly sixty years old. They never caught him. Since then, the story of Jack Hinson has evaded astute historians, and until now, he has remained invisible in the history of sniper warfare.
John S. "Old Jack" Hinson watched the start of the Civil War with impartial disinterest. A friend of Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate officers alike, Hinson was opposed to secession, focused instead on his personal affairs. After a unit of Union occupation troops moved in on his land and summarily captured, executed, and placed the decapitated heads of his sons on his gateposts, however, Hinson abandoned his quiet life for one of revenge.
In this unprecedented and incredible biography, Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney masterfully recounts Hinson's extraordinary feats as a lone Confederate sniper. Equipped with a rifle he had specially made for long-range accuracy, Hinson became a deadly gadfly to the occupying army. An exemplary piece of historical scholarship and the result of fifteen years of research, this definitive biography includes an amazing cast of characters including the Earp Brothers, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Jesse James, the cousin of Hinson's wife. This breathtaking story was all but destroyed by the obliterating forces of history and is the only account in print chronicling this one man's impact on the Civil War.
About the Author
Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney, USMC (Ret.) is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an infantry officer and parachutist in the United States Marine Corps, serving in Korea and Vietnam. A student of military history, he has contributed articles to such magazines as Guideposts, the American Legion Magazine, Military, and Leatherneck. His books and activism for veterans' issues have had him appearing on hundreds of radio and television programs including Fox News, the Today Show, and CBS Morning News.
Text Source: Pelican Publishing
CWL: CWL is intrigued but wonders why 'Sniper' is in the title when the Civil War era language is 'sharpshooter.' Smoke is still coming from some flames in online discussion groups from this confusion. The use of the word 'sniper' in the title and the promotional text might come from the marketing department. Hopefully the author is sensitive to the word's impact.