Marse Chan, a young Virginia gentleman, loyal to his family and to his state in the Civil War, during which he becomes a captain. His love for Anne never ceases, even though she rejects him following the duel with her father. He is killed leading a regimental charge. When he dies, he has next to his heart the letter of penitence and love that Anne wrote after her father agreed not to stand any longer between the lovers.
Anne Chamberlin, his pretty sweetheart, sorrel-haired and dark-eyed. Proud and unforgiving after her father’s duel, she rejects Marse Chan’s attempt at reconciliation before he leaves for the war. Her heart and thoughts remain with him, and when she dies not long before the fall of Richmond, she is buried next to Marse Chan.
Sam, Marse Chan’s servant, a slave given to Mr. Channing’s baby son to be his lifetime body servant. He is Marse Chan’s boyhood playmate, his idolizing servant at college and during the war, and the driver who takes his body home for burial. Sam is the prototype of the loyal slave in romantic Southern fiction who regards his relationship to his master not as bondage but as loving service to a kindly and wholly admirable superior.
Mr. Channing, Marse Chan’s father, a plantation owner and, like his son, a model Southern gentleman.
(The entire section is 419 words.)