Will Benteen is a character appearing in Margaret Mitchell's novel, but notably absent from the 1939 motion picture. He represents the changing circumstance of the time in that he is 'Cracker' 'po white' and therefore not of the same social class as the O'Hara's, the family he eventually marries into.
Will Benteen doesn't make an appearance until half-way through the novel, after the battle of Gettysburg and after Scarlett has returned to Tara with Melanie, Prissy and Melanie's baby. He is a representative of those men who had gone to war and on return found there was nothing of their former life to go back too. Will initially comes to Tara after the war is finished, ill and hungry and in need of aid. Scarlett begrudgingly gives what little she has but in return comes to rely on Will for his silent acquiesence and aptitude for hard work. Will admires Scarlett's strength of character and although may question her moral motives, he understands that she does what she feels she has to do.
Eventually, although in love with Careen, he marries Suellen in order to stop her from becoming an outcast after the manipulation of Gerald O'Hara before his death. Will Benteen in the end runs Tara for Scarlett, making it his home. He acheives the respect of those who were before of a far higher social class than he.