We’re in the midst of the American Civil War. 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 many times before. In a moment he’ll pull the trigger and send the unlucky trooper to his maker. And there’s a shocking tale to tell about 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 raged on 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 was not long after Abraham Lincoln had become U.S. president.
But the war’s roots date back to well before that skirmish. At the heart of the quarrel between the North and the South which eventually led to horrific bloodshed and destruction was slavery. And this issue was entangled with the idea of states’ rights.