The Red Badge of Courage | Study Guide

Stephen Crane

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Course Hero. "The Red Badge of Courage Study Guide." Course Hero. 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 12 Nov. 2018. <>.

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The Red Badge of Courage | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Spring

    A rumor circulates that the 304th Regiment will leave their winter camp the next day.

    Chapter 1
  • Same day

    The men argue about whether they will see action; Henry wonders if he will run in face of battle.

    Chapter 1
  • For 3–4 days

    There is no movement of troops; Henry continues his internal debate.

    Chapter 2
  • For 3–4 more days

    The 304th Regiment marches from camp to camp; the men grumble about their leaders.

    Chapter 3
  • First day of fighting

    Henry surprises himself that he handles his first battle so well.

    Chapter 5
  • Shortly thereafter

    When the enemy attacks again, Henry's fear overtakes him, and he runs.

    Chapter 6
  • Later on the 1st day

    Henry tries to justify his actions, believing himself to be morally superior to other soldiers.

    Chapter 7
  • Afternoon of the 1st day

    Henry joins a line of wounded soldiers walking away from the fighting.

    Chapter 8
  • Shortly thereafter

    Henry envies the wounds of his fellow soldiers; he stays with Jim Conklin until Jim dies.

    Chapter 9
  • Later still

    Henry abandons the tattered soldier to die alone.

    Chapter 10
  • Evening of the 1st day

    A fleeing Union soldier hits Henry on the head with the butt of his gun.

    Chapter 12
  • Nighttime on the 1st day

    Wilson and Simpson believe Henry's story of getting shot by the enemy; Wilson dresses Henry's wound.

    Chapter 13
  • Second day of fighting

    With renewed confidence, Henry decides to see how the day will turn out.

    Chapter 15
  • Later in the morning

    Henry complains about the commanders; a comrade's comment humbles him.

    Chapter 16
  • Late morning of 2nd day

    Henry turns his hate against the enemy and feels as one with his regiment.

    Chapter 17
  • During the next battle

    Henry leads the charge, develops a love for the flag, and rescues the flag when the bearer is shot.

    Chapter 19
  • A lull in the fighting

    Henry uses his anger at being called a "mule driver" to spur on the troops.

    Chapter 20
  • Later during the lull

    A soldier reports that a colonel praised Henry and Wilson to the lieutenant.

    Chapter 21
  • During another battle

    Henry leads another charge, his regiment repels the enemy, and Wilson captures the enemy's flag.

    Chapter 23
  • Late afternoon on 2nd day

    Henry is pleased with his actions, regrets fleeing the day before, and shows growth of character.

    Chapter 24

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The tall soldier (Jim Conklin) reports news of movement the next day. The youth (Henry Fleming) has an idealized version... Read More
Chapter 2 The rumor that the regiment would go to battle the next day proves false. Henry Fleming broods on his behavior, continui... Read More
Chapter 3 During the third day of marching, the regiment changes from a novice one to a more experienced one; the soldiers are tir... Read More
Chapter 4 The youth's brigade stops in the woods at the edge of a field. They can see skirmishes through the smoke of gunpowder, a... Read More
Chapter 5 As cries of "Here they come!" run up and down the line, the youth can't remember if his gun is loaded or not. The captai... Read More
Chapter 6 After the battle the youth is pleased with himself and his fellow soldiers for the manner in which they fought. He feels... Read More
Chapter 7 Henry Fleming is surprised to learn his regiment won the battle; he feels like he has been caught in a crime. He tries t... Read More
Chapter 8 When the sounds of another battle reach Henry's ears, he runs toward the fighting in order to watch it. The noise is so ... Read More
Chapter 9 Henry, still self-absorbed, thinks the wounded soldiers can see his guilt; he begins to envy them: "He wished that he, t... Read More
Chapter 10 The tattered man remarks on Jim's strength and encourages Henry to keep going since there is nothing else that can be do... Read More
Chapter 11 Henry realizes the sound of the battle is getting closer. He is pleased to see the fearful troops retreating and believe... Read More
Chapter 12 Henry is horrified to see the men he thought were so strong running away from the fighting in terror. He has the urge to... Read More
Chapter 13 As Henry nears his regiment, he fears he will be ridiculed by his comrades, but he is too tired and hungry to come up wi... Read More
Chapter 14 When Henry firsts wakes up, he fears the other slumbering men are dead but comes to his senses when the men are awakened... Read More
Chapter 15 While the regiment is standing at order, Henry holds on to the packet Wilson had given him the day before when he though... Read More
Chapter 16 The men relieve another regiment and settle behind furrows along the edge of the woods looking out at a level stretch of... Read More
Chapter 17 As the enemy starts to attack, Henry fumes "with rage and exasperation." Henry has a "wild hate for the relentless foe,"... Read More
Chapter 18 Returning after an unsuccessful search for water, Wilson and Henry observe the battlefield from a distance rather than f... Read More
Chapter 19 Henry, being very fast, is unconsciously in the front of the regiment, leading the charge. He is very clear sighted, awa... Read More
Chapter 20 Henry wins the tussle with Wilson over who will carry the flag. The depleted regiment has drifted back, and the officers... Read More
Chapter 21 As the men make their way safely back to the line, they are teased by the soldiers who remained in place. Their remarks ... Read More
Chapter 22 While his regiment rests, Henry observes intense battles going on around him with "serene self-confidence," and he notic... Read More
Chapter 23 The colonel orders the men to charge the enemy, and Henry is surprised to see that the men have rallied themselves to do... Read More
Chapter 24 The fighting recedes from where the men are resting, and they are ordered to return across the field to their regiment. ... Read More
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