Bayard Sartoris

Display Name: 
Bayard Sartoris
Sort Name: 
Sartoris, Bayard
AKA: 
Old Bayard Sartoris
"Colonel" Sartoris
Colonel (Bayard) Sartoris
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Sartoris
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, September 1, 1849 to Sunday, September 30, 1849
Real?: 
No
Narrator: 
First Person
Biography: 

Bayard Sartoris is the twelve-year-old narrator of "Ambuscade," though he is telling the story some years later (as other stories in the series and in The Unvanquished make clear). The son of a prominent planter who is now a colonel in the Confederate army, Bayard looks up to and admires his father, Colonel John Sartoris. At the time of this story, the hardships and realities of the Civil War have not reached him or his friend, Ringo, who is both black and a slave on the Sartoris plantation but despite that is treated as a member of the family in most respects. The two boys' innocence and naivete are highlighted throughout the story, in small ways as well as large. The boys misunderstand what is meant by the fall of Vicksburg, for instance, and later, after overhearing Loosh talk about emancipation, both boys are fearful that General Sherman will set them "free." These comical failures to understand the reality of war reaches its head when they shoot at a "Yankee" and then believe, at first, that they killed him.

Bayard Sartoris is a frequent character in other Faulkner texts, including the other stories in this series that were revised to form the novel The Unvanquished. He is a major character in Flags in the Dust, and he is referred to in several other stories such as "A Rose for Emily."

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character