The Unvanquished By William Faulkner Character List

Bayard Sartoris The narrator of all the stories; he is twelve years old in the first story, and he matures during the course of all the stories. In the final story, he is twenty-four years old.

Colonel John Sartoris Bayard's father, whom he admires in spite of recognizing many of his flaws. The Colonel is voted out of his regiment and replaced by Colonel Sutpen; Colonel Sartoris then returns to Yoknapatawpha County and raises a troop of irregulars.

Granny (Miss Rosa Millard) Colonel John Sartoris's mother-in-law; she takes care of and manages the Sartoris mansion during the Colonel's absence. She is beloved by the entire county for her humanitarian treatment of all of the citizens — black and white.

Ringo During the early stories, Ringo is the constant black companion and equal of Bayard Sartoris. Both boys are the same age and both nursed from Ringo's mother's breasts. As the boys grow older, the South's attitude toward Ringo's color becomes increasingly important until in the last story, the color line between the two young men has become a vast social gulf.

Drusilla Hawk Sartoris When her fiancé is killed in one of the early battles of the Civil War, Drusilla discards her feminine clothes, dresses like a man, and rides with Colonel John Sartoris's troops as one of the common soldiers. Later, she is forced to marry John Sartoris, even though she lives innocently in the same cabin with him and Bayard while attempting to help them reconstruct the ruined Sartoris plantation.

Ab Snopes While telling people that he is following the instructions of Colonel Sartoris to look after the "womenfolk," he is, in actuality, avoiding all contact with the war. He wheedles his way into Granny's lucrative mule trading business, not to help the people, but for personal gain.

Cassius Q. Benbow (Cash) In "Skirmish at Sartoris," he is the black man whom the carpetbaggers are trying to elect as U.S. Marshal; the prevention of his election is one of the main concerns of the story.

Matt Bowden and Bridger Matt Bowden is the person who first tries to get Bayard and Ringo to give up their search for Grumby, and later he and Bridger are the two people who hand Grumby over to Bayard and Ringo.

Gavin Breckbridge Drusilla Hawk's fiancé, whose death at the battle of Shiloh causes her to turn into a woman bent on revenge against the Yankees.

The Burdens Their first names are never given, but from other sources, we know that the two are Grandfather Calvin Burden I and his grandson, Calvin Burden II. In "Skirmish at Sartoris," they are presented as carpetbaggers trying to organize blacks into a voting bloc. Both are shot and killed by Colonel Sartoris.

Mrs. Compson A member of one of the most prominent families in the county; she is a friend of Miss Rosa Millard and is one of the ladies who is instrumental in getting Drusilla married. Her husband is considered eccentric since his favorite pastime is shooting sweet potatoes off the heads of black children. She appears, or is mentioned, in all of the stories in this volume, except "Ambuscade."

Colonel Nathaniel G. Dick Although his name is not mentioned when he first appears, he is the Yankee colonel who orders his men to stop their search of the Sartoris house in "Ambuscade," even though he knows the two boys are hiding under Graany's skirts. Later, in "Raid," he is the man who authorizes the return of the mules and silverware to Granny.

Aunt Jenny Du Pre (née Virginia Sartoris) Aunt Jenny appears only in the last story. She is Colonel Sartoris' sister; her husband was killed during the war. Faulkner comments that her eyes are wise and tolerant; proof of this is when she supports Bayard's decision not to kill Ben Redmond.

Brother Fortinbride He was an enlisted man in Colonel Sartoris' regiment, but when he was wounded, he was sent home to die. He recovered, however, and became a preacher, helping Granny distribute money and mules to the poor people in the story "Riposte in Tertio"; in "Vendée," he preaches Granny's funeral sermon.

Grumby The vicious leader of a group of raiders who prey upon unprotected women and children by riding up and down the land, pillaging and destroying everything in sight. He kills Granny in "Riposte in Tertio" and, in turn, is hunted down and killed by Bayard and Ringo in "Vendée."

Mrs. Habersham (Martha) In "Skirmish at Sartoris," she is the person most instrumental in trying to get John Sartoris and Drusilla Hawk married, even though the marriage does not take place until after the story ends.

Dennison Hawk, Jr. (Cousin Denny) He is Drusilla's ten-year-old brother, whom we first meet in "Raid," when he tells of his sister's encounter with the Yankees over her horse, Bobolink. In "An Odor of Verbena," Drusilla leaves to join Denny in Montgomery, where he is "reading law" (studying to be a lawyer).

Louisa Hawk (infrequently referred to as Louise Hawk) Drusilla's mother; she is convinced that her daughter has brought shame to the family by her wild, unfeminine actions, and she demands that Colonel Sartoris marry Drusilla. She appears in "Raid," is mentioned in "Riposte in Tertio," and is central to "Skirmish at Sartoris."

Joby Ringo's grandfather; he served as Colonel Sartoris' body servant and is present in all the stories. He is married to Louvinia; their son is Simon. He grumbles over the many tasks assigned to him, but along with Louvinia, he is fiercely loyal to the Sartoris family.

Loosh He is Joby's son; he figures prominently in "Ambuscade," where he seems to know more about the war than even the white people. He becomes involved in the freedom movement and leaves the Sartoris plantation after showing the Yankees where the silverware is hidden. After the war, however, he returns to the Sartoris homeplace. He appears in all the stories except "Vendée" and "Skirmish at Sartoris."

Louvinia Joby's wife; she is a loyal servant of the Sartoris family and she appears in all the stories. She expresses her disgust with her son Loosh because of his bold, arrogant behavior.

Uncle Buck (Theophilus) McCaslin and Uncle Buddy (Amodeus) McCaslin Twin brothers who both want to join the southern cause, but since they are seventy years old, it is decided that only one of them can go off to war; the other must remain at home. They play a game of poker to see which one goes; Uncle Buddy wins and, thus, Uncle Buck has to stay at home. He assists Bayard and Ringo when they track down Grumby, Granny's murderer, in "Vendée." Earlier, in "Retreat," we heard about Uncle Buck and Uncle Buddy's unusual social philosophy concerning the land and the freeing of the slaves. Uncle Buck is mentioned in several of the other stories but does not appear in them.

Colonel G. W. Newberry The Yankee colonel from Illinois from whom Granny gets her last batch of mules in "Riposte in Tertio."

Philadelphy Loosh's wife; she feels that she is obliged to go with her husband when he leaves the Sartoris family. She is one of the blacks whom Granny goes searching for in "Raid."

Ben Redmond In "An Odor of Verbena," he is Colonel Sartoris' partner during the building of the railroad, but when the two of them cannot agree any longer, each offers a price to buy the other out. Redmond asks a price, certain that Colonel Sartoris cannot raise that amount of money, but the Colonel is able to raise it and, therefore, he buys the railroad at a price far below its worth. When Redmond runs for the legislature, Colonel Sartoris runs against him, just for spite, and soundly defeats him. Later, he goads Redmond so frequently and so badly that even Colonel Sartoris' closest friends try to stop him. Finally, for a reason we never learn, Redmond kills Colonel Sartoris. When Bayard goes to confront Redmond unarmed, Redmond fires two shots at an intentional, wrong angle, then walks through a crowd of men, boards a train, leaves Jefferson, and is never heard from again.

Colonel Henry Sutpen Originally, Colonel Sutpen was second in command of the regiment that Colonel Sartoris had raised. When the regiment votes Colonel Sartoris out of command, after the second battle at Manassas, Sutpen is elected to lead the regiment. After the war, he refuses to join the night riders, organized by Colonel Sartoris. When Colonel Sartoris challenges him to a duel, Sutpen turns his back and walks away, maintaining that every man should go home and look after his own land. He appears only in "An Odor of Verbena."

Professor and Mrs. Wilkins This is the couple with whom Bayard Sartoris is living when Ringo arrives with the news that Colonel Sartoris has been killed (see "An Odor of Verbena"). Professor Wilkins offers Bayard his gun, but Bayard refuses to take it.

George Wyatt A member of Colonel Sartoris' troop of irregulars; he is immensely loyal to the colonel, and he is enthusiastic over the colonel's killing of the carpetbaggers in "Skirmish at Sartoris." In "An Odor of Verbena," he gathers other members of the colonel's old troop of irregulars to support Bayard when Bayard goes in to Jefferson to confront Redmond.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

How old is Bayard in the first story in The Unvanquished?




Quiz