What is Peyton Farquhar's background?
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Peyton Farquhar is a well-to-do Southern planter. He is a civilian, who wanted to do something to help the Southern cause.
Farquhar is certainly dedicated to the southern cause. He owns slaves and is intent on southern victory so he can maintain his livelihood and lifestyle. He doesn't, however, choose to serve the cause by becoming a Confederate soldier. Why on earth not? Well, the narrator tells us that it is Farquhar's "imperious nature" (2.1) that keeps him from joining the military. That's basically just a nicer way of saying that he's bossy and arrogant.