In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", what does the captain's nod mean?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The captain's nod is the signal to drop Peyton Farquhar from the bridge.  The story takes place during the civil war, and Farquhar is being hanged by the Union army for attempting to blow up a bridge that would have cut the Northerner's off from obtaining supplies.