An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Questions and Answers
by Ambrose Bierce

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge book cover
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In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," why does the scout suggest that Farquhar burn the bridge?

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This scene is a subtle one in Part II of the story, which is a flashback. When the scout, dressed like a Confederate soldier, stops at the Farquhar plantation, Peyton asks for news about the front lines of the war. The scout tells him that the Northern forces have secured Owl Creek bridge (a railroad trestle) and built a stockade, suggesting that the site will be a staging area for further invasion into Southern territory. The scout continues, giving Peyton this important information:

The commandant has issued an order, which is posted everywhere, declaring that any civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels or trains will be summarily hanged. I saw the order.

This is clearly a warning. It is Peyton who continues the...

(The entire section contains 401 words.)

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