Tennessee in the Civil War (Location Key)


More than half of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions include scenes in or references to Tennessee - particularly Memphis. A much smaller number mention or include scenes set in Tennessee during the Civil War. In The Unvanquished the irregular troop led by Colonel John Sartoris is described both hiding from and capturing Yankee soldiers, though these fictional events are non-violent. Historically, on the other hand, Tennessee saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, including the campaign for Chattanooga which is referred to in Requiem for a Nun, and especially the battle called 'Shiloh' in the North and 'Pittsburg Landing' in the South; Faulkner calls it Shiloh in "Raid," "Skirmish at Sartoris" and The Unvanquished, but Pittsburgh Landing in Absalom, Absalom! The battle was fought on April 6-7, 1862, just twenty miles north of Corinth, Mississippi, and so within about a hundred miles of the imaginary location of Jefferson; the casualties over the two days of fighting totaled 23,746. One of the fictional Confederate dead was Gavin Breckbridge, Drusilla Hawk's fiance. And a fictional Confederate regiment there was commanded by General Quentin Compson. According to the "Appendix" to The Sound and the Fury that Faulkner wrote in the 1940s, General Compson "failed" at the battle, though the text does not say how (329). According to Absalom! he lost an arm there, and in one of the novel's many unresolved narrative questions, either Henry Sutpen helped save the wounded Charles Bon (217), or Bon rescued the wounded Henry (275). (See also the entries in the index for Chattanooga and Shiloh.)

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Tennessee in the Civil War
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Tennessee in the Civil War