• AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE opens with a man standing on a railroad bridge somewhere in northern Alabama during the Civil War.
• The man is about to be hanged and stands with a noose around his neck and his hands tied behind his back.
• The rope around his neck is attached to a cross timber over his head and the footing is comprised of some slack boards laid upon the railway supports.
• Four other men are on the bridge: two privates, a sergeant and a captain, all from the Federal army.
• The only spectators are two sentinels and a company of infantrymen.
• All the men are silent and motionless as they revere death under any circumstances.
• The man who is about to be hanged is a good-looking man of about thirty-five wearing a well-fitting frockcoat befitting a prosperous planter.
• Clearly the man is no common criminal...
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