Unnamed Soldiers in Yoknapatawpha Regiment

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Unnamed Soldiers in Yoknapatawpha Regiment
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Unnamed Soldiers in Yoknapatawpha Regiment
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Colonel Sartoris' first military command was the regiment that he raised at the beginning of the Civil War. According to Uncle Buck McCaslin in "Retreat," Sartoris "bought and paid for" it, which presumably means that Sartoris underwrote the costs of arming and equipping the unit, though no further details about that process are provided (21). During the war's first year he led it as part of Stonewall Jackson's corps in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, but as described first in Flags in the Dust and then in Absalom! and again in "Raid" and The Unvanquished, at the end of that year the soldiers voted him out of the command. In Absalom! the Colonel who replaces him for the remaining duration of the War is Thomas Sutpen, who according to that account was equally responsible for raising it in the first place. An angry Uncle Buck calls the men in the regiment "a congress of politicians and fools" in "Retreat" (21), but Absalom! is the only text that provides any kind of description of the men in the regiment themselves; after the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg they appear as "ragged and starving troops without shoes, the gaunt powder-blackened faces . . ., the glaring eyes in which burned some indomitable desperation of undefeat" (154).