This is one of the nineteen fictions in which Colonel John Sartoris appears, but also one of the only two in which his wife is ever mentioned. And barely mentioned at that - when Drusilla refers to herself as "just a cousin of John's wife" (68). As far as we can tell from her elusive appearances, the first Mrs. John Sartoris died in childbirth. "Skirmish at Sartoris" is organized around John's second marriage, to Drusilla, although that hasn't quite happened when the story ends. There is little attempt to treat the marriage as a family matter. Faulkner uses it comically, even satirically, to dramatize the genteel ideas of propriety that have survived the Civil War, and subtly, perhaps even slyly, as a screen behind which he can tell a story about race and Reconstruction.

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Affiliated Characters

Bayard Sartoris - "Skirmish at Sartoris"
Drusilla Hawk - "Skirmish at Sartoris"
John Sartoris - "Skirmish at Sartoris"
Mrs. John Sartoris - "Skirmish at Sartoris"
Rosa Millard - "Skirmish at Sartoris"