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A Shot in the Moonlight

A Shot in the Moonlight

How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South

The little-known true story of George Dinning, a freed slave, and Colonel Bennett H. Young, a Confederate war hero, who in 1899 joined forces to take on a Kentucky mob in court after Dinning was beaten almost to death for defending his farm against white attackers.

After moonrise on the cold night of January 21, 1897, a mob of twenty five white men gathered in a patch of woods near Big Road in southwestern Simpson County, Kentucky. Half carried rifles and shotguns, and a few tucked pistols in their pants. Their target? George Dinning, a freed slave who’d farmed peacefully in the area for 14 years, and had been wrongfully accused of stealing livestock from a neighboring farm. When the mob began firing through the doors and windows of Dinning’s house, he fired back in self-defense, shooting and killing the son of a wealthy Kentucky family.

So began one of the strangest legal episodes in American history — one that ended with Dinning becoming the first black man in America to win damages after a wrongful murder conviction.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, bestselling author Ben Montgomery resurrects this dramatic and largely forgotten story, and the unusual convergence of characters — among them a Confederate war hero-turned-lawyer named Bennett H. Young, Kentucky governor William O’Connell Bradley, and George Dinning himself — that allowed this thrilling but unlikely story of justice to unfold in a time and place where justice was all too rare.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / African American

On Sale: January 26th 2021

Price: $14.99 / $18.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 304

ISBN-13: 9780316535564

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