The man awaiting his fate on the railroad bridge in Alabama remains unnamed in Part I. He stands with his neck in a hangman's noose that is attached to a makeshift gallows on the bridge, and with his hands tied behind his back. The narrator suggests that the man may be a "civilian"--he is the only man present not dressed in military uniform--and probably a plantation owner
... if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter.
He also has the appearance of a "gentleman," with his fitted "frock coat" and well-groomed features. He is described as having a
... straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back... He wore a moustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers; his eyes were large and dark gray, and had a kindly expression...
In Part II we learn that the man's name is Peyton Farquhar, a wealthy slave owner and Secessionist, a proud Southerner from
... an old and highly respected Alabama family.
And in Part III, it appears that Farquhar is physically fit, a good swimmer who is able to walk in bare feet throughout the night in order to reach his wife and children back home.