1. What is the setting for the story?
The story opens with a man standing on a railroad bridge, somewhere in northern Alabama, sometime during the American Civil War.
2. What is noted about the man's position and posture?
The man is fixed to the spot because his neck is in a noose. The man's hands are tied behind his back and he is looking down into the water below.
3. How is the apparatus for hanging the man set up?
The rope around his neck is attached to a cross timber over his head. The footing is comprised of some slack boards laid upon the railway supports.
4. What other characters appear at the scene with the condemned man?
Four other men share this platform with him: two privates, a sergeant, and a captain, all from the Federal army. At either end of the bridge stand two sentinels. These men do not appear to have anything to do with the impending execution. They simply block the ends of the bridge.
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