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John W. "Jack" Hinson, "Old Jack" (1807–1874) was a farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee who operated as a Confederate partisan sniper against Union forces in the Between-the-Rivers region of Tennessee and Kentucky during the American Civil War. Hinson, a prosperous plantation owner of Scottish-Irish descent, was neutral at the outbreak of the war but took up arms after two of his sons were executed as suspected bushwhackers by Federal troops; their heads were cut off and stuck on the gate-posts to Hinson's home.[1] Hinson used a custom made 50 caliber 41-inch barrel Kentucky Long Rifle to target Union soldiers more than a half-mile away on land, transports, and gunboats along the Tennessee River and the Cumberland River, killing as many as a hundred. Hinson also served as a guide for Nathan Bedford Forrest in his assault on the Union supply center at Johnsonville, Tennessee in November 1864. He was the father of Robert Hinson, who served as the leader of a highly effective partisan band in the Between-the-Rivers region until his death in combat on September 18, 1863. Jack Hinson was never apprehended despite the commitment of elements of four Union regiments to pursue him, and survived the war, dying on 28 April 1874 (according to the 16 May 1874 Clarksville Weekly Chronicle, via the Dover Record) in the White Oak/Magnolia area of Houston county, Tennessee. He is buried in the family plot in the Cane Creek Cemetery (with a different birth year of 1793 and death year of 1873), just off White Oak road (near McKinnon, Tennessee). A marker was placed in the Boyd Cemetery far away to the North, in the Land-Between-the Lakes (LBL) area. He is commemorated in a roadside marker in Kentucky,[2] and his story has been told in two books by Tom McKenney:

  • Battlefield Sniper: Over 100 Civil War Kills, Tom C. Lt. Col. McKenney[3]
  • Jack Hinson's One Man War.[4]


  1. "Book review", Washington Times
  2. "Civil War Sniper (Jack Hinson) Historical Marker"
  3. [1]
  4. McKenney, Tom. Jack Hinson's One Man War. Pelican Publishing Company, 2009.

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