"Ambuscade" is the first of eight stories, all but one written in the mid-1930s, in which Faulkner imaginatively returns to the Sartoris family, while also going back in time to the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The stories are narrated by the Bayard who appeared in the first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, as an old man struggling with modernity, deafness and a weak heart. In these eight stories he grows from a twelve-year-old boy to a young man through a set of losses, including the defeat of the South and two deaths in the family, and in the process discovers the human failings of the father he begins by idolizing. Faulkner may have been led back to Colonel Sartoris, as seen through the eyes of his child, by a desire to restore some of the shine to the idea of the aristocratic planter, an idea which he himself was tarnishing by writing about "Colonel Sutpen" in Absalom, Absalom! at the same time he wrote the first seven of these Bayard stories.
In addition to the Sartorises, father and son, two other characters recur throughout the stories. Beginning with "Ambuscade," Faulkner introduces a new member of the extended Sartoris family - Rosa Millard, Colonel John's mother-in-law whom Bayard calls Granny. She maintains the plantation and nurtures Bayard in the absence of his father. These three characters - Rosa, the Colonel and Bayard - are, with one slight exception, the only Sartorises who appear in the series. On the other hand, the only other character who appears with Bayard in all eight stories, an enslaved child Bayard's age named Ringo, may be an unacknowledged member of the family. Not until Faulkner collected the first seven stories into the novel The Unvanquished (1838) did he explicitly give Ringo a father. There are details in the stories - including the fact that he too calls Rosa "Granny" - which may suggest Faulkner considered making Ringo the illegitimate offspring of the Colonel and a female slave. But if he's considering that idea, even unconsciously, he never lets it come to the surface of the narratives, and so we include Ringo on the Strother family tree.

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Sartorises in Ambuscade
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Affiliated Characters

Bayard Sartoris - "Ambuscade"
Colonel John Sartoris - "Ambuscade"
Rosa Millard - "Ambuscade"