Cold Mountain

The informal leader of the Home Guard, Teague is arguably the primary antagonist of the novel. While the supposed purpose of the Home Guard is to discourage military deserters and strengthen the Confederate forces, it becomes clear over time that (in the novel at least) the Home Guard is made up of cowards too frightened of the war to serve in battle themselves—and Teague is no exception. We also come to see that Teague—far from being an honorable Confederate soldier—is an unabashed sadist who enjoys toying with his victims before arresting or killing them. It’s interesting to note that there are almost no good, loyal Confederate soldiers in Cold Mountain: the soldiers tend to be either deserters like Inman or bullies like Teague.

Teague Quotes in Cold Mountain

The Cold Mountain quotes below are all either spoken by Teague or refer to Teague. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Grove Press edition of Cold Mountain published in 2006.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Teague and his Home Guard roaring around like a band of marauders. Setting their own laws as suits them, and them nothing but trash looking for a way to stay out of the army.

Related Characters: Esco Swanger (speaker), Teague
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

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Teague Character Timeline in Cold Mountain

The timeline below shows where the character Teague appears in Cold Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: the ground beneath her hands
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Esco warns Ada of Teague and his Home Guard, a group of marauders and robbers who’ve taken the law into... (full context)
Chapter 8: source and root
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...pistol at the Home Guard horsemen. The old man addresses one of the horsemen as Teague, and asks him about the two black horsemen. Teague grins and doesn’t respond. When the... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
After Ayron, Teague, and Byron finish beating the old man they approach the old house he was defending.... (full context)
Chapter 16: naught and grief
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...off to vomit and take care of himself. While he’s away, the Home Guard—led by Teague—ambushes Stobrod and Pangle. (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Teague, grinning fiercely, tells Stobrod that he’s heard rumors of a gang of outliers hiding out... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Hospitality and Quid Pro Quo Theme Icon
Teague pauses for a long time. Then he stands up and orders Stobrod and Pangle to... (full context)
Chapter 20: spirits of crows, dancing
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...north. When Inman and Stobrod are nearly out of the woods, however, they’re ambushed by Teague and the Home Guard. Teague sneers at Stobrod, “Hard man to kill.” Inman looks to... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...leaving only three. One of the horsemen turns and rides away, afraid of the danger. Teague fires his rifle, but his horse is so agitated that he misses Inman entirely. The... (full context)