Unnamed Confederate Provost Man|Picket

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Unnamed Confederate Provost Man|Picket
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Unnamed Confederate Provost Man|Picket
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Ab Snopes' Civil War wound was never received in battle, or even from a Yankee, but Faulkner provides several different accounts of the Confederate who shot him while he was stealing a horse and left him with a lifelong limp. In "Barn Burning" that man is identified as "a Confederate provost's man" (5). We are assuming this is the same person who shoots him in two other texts, which provide slightly different versions of Ab's wounding. In one of the two (contradictory) versions offered in The Hamlet, he is shot by "somebody that never even owned the horses" he was trying to steal (32) - which suggests a soldier standing guard over them, like a 'picket.' In the (also contradictory) version provided by The Town, Ab is explicitly shot by a Confederate "picket" (5) - that is, someone posted outside an encampment near enemy troops- but then in the next chapter, by a "provost-marshal" (43; provost marshals and their men served as a military police force behind the lines). And it has to be mentioned that in the first account of Ab's wound in The Hamlet, it's "Colonel John Sartoris his self" who shots him in the act of trying to steal a horse (18). Faulkner mentions Ab's wartime misadventures with the Confederate army five times in three texts, and the details are never the same - The Town's first account, in fact, says he was hanged.