In the beginning Peyton Farquhar is standing on a railroad bridge with a noose around his neck and positioned on loose planks. Their is soldiers standing around him and he thinks they are gonna step away and leave him hanging on the bridge.
He was a successful planter and very devoted to the southern cause. He was unable to join the confederate army and tried to help the souths war effort. He got news that the northern forces repaired the railroads.
Farquhar wanted to know how a civilian could attempt some form of sabotage. The solider said the best way would to be to set fire to the drift wood by the bridge.
He is awakened because of a loud splash. He realized the noose is broken. he is afraid of being shot but has to fight back pain to get a large gasp of air. The thought of his family urges him on.
He took a remote road and found himself standing at his own home. Then he sees his wife step down from the door toward him and as he moves toward her he feels a sharp pain in his neck. He is now dead. His broken body actually swinging from the bridge.