An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a short story by the American writer and Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce. Regarded as "one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature" it was originally published by The San Francisco Examiner on July 13, 1890, and was first collected in Bierce's book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (1891). The story, which is set during the American Civil War, is known for its irregular time sequence and twist ending. Bierce's abandonment of strict linear narration in favor of the internal mind of the protagonist is an early example of the stream of consciousness narrative mode.
The French director Robert Enrico won Best Short Subject at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival, and the 1963 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film, for his 27-minute film, La Rivière du hibou (1962), based on the story.
Author Kurt Vonnegut wrote in 2005: "I consider anybody a twerp who hasn't read the greatest American short story, which is '[An] Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,' by Ambrose Bierce. It isn't remotely political. It is a flawless example of American genius, like 'Sophisticated Lady' by Duke Ellington or the Franklin stove."