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LIST OF CHARACTERS
He is a Confederate soldier who deserts from a hospital after being severely wounded. He walks toward Cold Mountain, his home that he loves, hoping that when he arrives the beautiful Ada will have him as her husband. He meets danger of every sort along the way.
She is a brilliant, Charleston society woman who finds herself helpless on her father’s farm in Cold Mountain after her father’s death. She has feelings toward Inman and awaits his return. With the help of Ruby she learns the ways of the land and begins to plan her future.
She is a nature-wise young woman that helps Ada learn how to run the farm. Her mother is dead and her father did not take much care of her so she is fiercely capable and independent.
Though it may seem absurd to list the setting as a character, the mountains are a primary force in the novel. The other characters interact with the land and are influenced in their feelings and actions by the land as much as they are by any other character. This is particularly true for Inman who was moving away from not only the war, but also the landscape that he considered vile, and moving toward not only Ada, but also the mountains he considered home.
Esco and Sally Swanger
They are an old couple whose sons have gone to war. They facilitate Inman’s meeting Ada, and later, Ada’s survival on the farm. Until Ruby shows up, they are the epitome of the old farm ways to Ada who cannot fend for herself. They offer Ada both food and advice.
He is the ruthless leader of the Home Guard, a group that tracks down Confederate deserters. He is more likely to kill the men he finds than to bring them back into service. The Home Guard is a constant threat to Inman and any other travelers or outliers.
He is Ruby’s father who seems to have been transformed by the circumstances of the war from a drunk into an inspirational fiddle player. He did little to raise Ruby, but reappears in Ruby’s life to be cared for by Ada and Ruby.
He is a preacher who Inman prevents from murdering a young girl that Veasey has gotten pregnant. He quits as a preacher and takes to the road where he meets Inman once again. They travel briefly together with Inman having to cover for Veasey’s greed and lack of character.