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The regiment marches for several days until they are finally faced with a real engagement by the enemy ( confederate soldiers). Henry is surrounded by his fellow union soldiers, so he begins to fire his gun as the other members of the regiments but ultimately he scared in the midst of battle. Eventually the union soldiers prevail over the confederate soldiers as the victors and begin to congratulate one another, shortly after Henry decides to take a nap. Henry is awaken by the sound of the confederate soldiers attacking his regiment and fear ceases him and causes him to run away from the battle. While walking across the fields Henry tries to reason with himself and convince himself that there was no way that his regiment could have won so he was right to run away and save himself, because staying would have been like committing suicide. After a while Henry encounters a commander talking to a general and overhears that his regiment was able to hold back the confederate charge. This comment further depresses Henry but he still tries to console himself by holding on to the belief that all he did was preserve himself.
Shortly following that event Henry came across a group of wounded soldiers and decided to sneak into their line as an injured. He comes in contact with a proud soldier who talks about the courage of the soldiers in the army despite the injuries that he received which includes a bloody head and a broken arm. The wounded soldier goes on to ask Henry what kind of injuries has he acquired in battle; Henry frightened by the question hurries away toward the from of the line. Surprisingly Henry finds Jim Conklin in the line badly injured from the first battle that he endured.
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The other wounded soldier with the bloody head and broken arm continues to follow Henry around and what injuries had he received until an irritated Henry leaves the soldier in the forest to die. Henry then sees a regiment of union soldiers retreating and tries to stop them to find out the details of the battle but one of the soldiers hit Henry on the head causing him to have a bloody gash on his forehead. A little later Henry is reunited with his own regiment and leads his companions to believe that he was wounded in battle. His friend Wilson decides that it is his responsibility to take care of Henry while he is injured.
The following day the regiment becomes engaged in another battle but in this battle Henry is fueled from the anger of Jim Conklin’s death and therefore fights harder than any other soldier on the field. Despite the regiments hard work and aggression, Henry hears a higher officer insult the regiments fighting ethic. In the next battle Henry tries to prove the officer by fighting even harder, and proudly carrying the regiment’s flag when the flag bearer injured. Although the regiment fought bravely and skillfully they still lost the battle and were further insulted by the higher officers. Despite the insults given to the entire regiment the lieutenant and the colonel think that Wilson and Henry are the best fighters on the field. The regiment engages in even more battle but in one particular battle they take four prisoners, sieve the enemies flag and win the fence symbolizing a great achievement for the regiment. The book concludes with Henry realizing that even though he started out cowardly and did some dishonorable things at first courage comes when you are able to surpass your fears and that is when you gain the honor.
I believe the Red badge of courage was a wonderful book and I would recommend this to any lover of literature. The description of the events were so well illustrated that you could imagine every event as if you were in the story. The main character of the story was very well developed by the author and allowed the reader to be able so empathize with his emotions. I found that throughout the story it was a learning process not only for the main character but also for the reader as well. The Red Badge of Courage was a wonderful read and I can see why it is considered a classic novel.