Red Badge of Courage - Book Summary

      The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane traces the effects of
war on a Union soldier, Henry Fleming, from his dreams of soldiering,
to his actual enlistment, and through several battles of the Civil
War. Henry Fleming was not happy with his boring life on the farm. He
wanted to become a hero in war and have girls loving him for his
glorious achievements in battle. He knew his mother would not like to
see him go to war, but it was his decision to make. He dreamed of the
exiting battles of war and the thrill of fighting glorious battles. He
didn't want to stay on the farm with nothing to do, so he made the
final decision to enlist.

      After enlisting he finds himself just sitting around with
nothing to do. He manages to make friends with two other soldiers,
John wilson and Jim Conklin. Wilson was as exited about going to war
as Henry, while Jim was confident about the success of the new
regiment. Henry started to realize after a few days of marching, that
their regiment was just wandering aimlessly, going in circles, like a
vast blue demonstration. They kept marching on without purpose,
direction, or fighting. Through time Henry started to think about the
battles in a different way, a more close and experienced way, he
started to become afraid that he might run from battle when duty
calls. He felt like a servent doing whatever his superiors told him.

      When the regement finally discovers a battle taking place, Jim
gives Henry a little packet in a yellow envelope, telling Henry that
this will be his first and last battle. The regiment managed to hold
off the rebels for the first charge, but then the rebels came back
like machines of steel with re-enforcements, driving the regement
back. One man started to flee, then another, and another still. Henry
was scared, confused, and in a trance as he saw his forces depleating.
He finally got up and started running like a proverbial chicken, who
has lost...