The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

3.5 182
by Stephen Crane

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Chapter 1

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs
revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape
changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble
with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the
roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to


Chapter 1

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs
revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape
changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble
with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the
roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper
thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks,
purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of
a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam
of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.

Once a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to
wash a shirt. He came flying back from a brook waving his garment
bannerlike. He was swelled with a tale he had heard from a reliable
friend, who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman, who had heard it
from his trustworthy brother, one of the orderlies at division
headquarters. He adopted the important air of a herald in red and gold.

"We're goin' t' move t'morrah--sure," he said pompously to a group in
the company street. "We're goin' 'way up the river, cut across, an'
come around in behint 'em."

To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very
brilliant campaign. When he had finished, the blue-clothed men
scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat brown
huts. A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with
the hilarious encouragement of twoscore soldiers was deserted. He sat
mournfully down. Smoke drifted lazily from a multitude of quaint

"It's a lie! that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!" said another private
loudly. His smooth face was flushed, and his hands were thrust sulkily
into his trouser's pockets. He took the matter as an affront to him.
"I don't believe the derned old army's ever going to move. We're set.
I've got ready to move eight times in the last two weeks, and we ain't
moved yet."

The tall soldier felt called upon to defend the truth of a rumor he
himself had introduced. He and the loud one came near to fighting over

A corporal began to swear before the assemblage. He had just put a
costly board floor in his house, he said. During the early spring he
had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort of his environment
because he had felt that the army might start on the march at any
moment. Of late, however, he had been impressed that they were in a
sort of eternal camp.

Many of the men engaged in a spirited debate. One outlined in a
peculiarly lucid manner all the plans of the commanding general. He
was opposed by men who advocated that there were other plans of
campaign. They clamored at each other, numbers making futile bids for
the popular attention. Meanwhile, the soldier who had fetched the
rumor bustled about with much importance. He was continually assailed
by questions.

"What's up, Jim?"

"Th'army's goin' t' move."

"Ah, what yeh talkin' about? How yeh know it is?"

"Well, yeh kin b'lieve me er not, jest as yeh like. I don't care a

There was much food for thought in the manner in which he replied. He
came near to convincing them by disdaining to produce proofs. They
grew much excited over it.

There was a youthful private who listened with eager ears to the words
of the tall soldier and to the varied comments of his comrades. After
receiving a fill of discussions concerning marches and attacks, he went
to his hut and crawled through an intricate hole that served it as a
door. He wished to be alone with some new thoughts that had lately
come to him.

He lay down on a wide bunk that stretched across the end of the room.
In the other end, cracker boxes were made to serve as furniture. They
were grouped about the fireplace. A picture from an illustrated weekly
was upon the log walls, and three rifles were paralleled on pegs.
Equipments hung on handy projections, and some tin dishes lay upon a
small pile of firewood. A folded tent was serving as a roof. The
sunlight, without, beating upon it, made it glow a light yellow shade.
A small window shot an oblique square of whiter light upon the
cluttered floor. The smoke from the fire at times neglected the clay
chimney and wreathed into the room, and this flimsy chimney of clay and
sticks made endless threats to set ablaze the whole establishment.

The youth was in a little trance of astonishment. So they were at last
going to fight. On the morrow, perhaps, there would be a battle, and
he would be in it. For a time he was obliged to labor to make himself

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The Red Badge of Courage 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 182 reviews.
mothman More than 1 year ago
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane is a classic. It is about Henry Fleming, a country boy, in 1863 that joined the Union side of the Civil War. This book is awesome. The author really knows how to write. This book makes you feel like you are in the war. The action is the best I have read. It is definitely an easy but fun read. It really summarizes the Civil War experience. The men in this have a lot of courage. It is like Stephen Crane was in the war. It is sad to read that Henry sees a lot of his friends die in the battle. You find out in that time war was very hard. There was a lot of difficulty getting around. It is amazing that these people could do this, but they did not give up. This book shows that we are the bravest of them all. The Battles take place in Chancellorsville, WV. War books are my favorite, and that is why I read this book. I suggest this book for young readers that like action and war. This amazing book should be in every library in the world because it is so good. This is one of the best books I ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michelle Winters More than 1 year ago
This book takes you on an adventure. The author clearly describes the battlefield and at one point i felt as if i was in the book. There was some old sayings and some different words but it really isnt hard to figure out. I strongly recommend this book to any civil war freak like me.
Nico16 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was interesting. The writing in it was definitely different from any other book I have ever read. At sometimes it was difficult, other times it could be too descriptive, and other times it was just confusing to the point that you had to read it a second time. If you could understand it, there were parts that were actually very good. Personally, i thought the characters were very well created, and i liked the ways that they changed at the end of the book. I wouldn't recommend the book, but if you are up for a challenge, give it a shot.
wesleym More than 1 year ago
This amazing book that I read is called The Red Badge of Courage. This is a good historical fiction book by Stephen Crane. This book is interesting because of the battles that the main character goes through. Henry Fleming, the main character of this book, is a country boy. He is sensitive, and he is also confused about the war. There is another character in the story. In the story he is called tall soldier. The setting of this story is during the Civil War, it doesn't give a particular date, but I'm guessing it's around 1861 - 1865 or so. It is also set in a southern state. This book is about bravery and courage. It is this because Henry has to have bravery and courage while he's in the war, because of all the battles. Henry Flemings signed up for the army at the beginning of the story. He then was accepted to the army. He then went into many battles. At one of the battles he tried to run away because he got scared. After that he had to march for a really long time to go to another battle. Then most of his friends he got in the army were all being killed. Three of them were stabbed. I thought this book was pretty cool. I liked the book mostly because of the battles he goes into, it makes it exiting. The only thing I didn't like about the book was it was kind of boring in some parts.
Aidda More than 1 year ago
As far as classic literature goes this is one of the more engaging. The entirety of the book takes place on and between battlefields. Some people will claim the book has no plot but more experienced readers will find that the conflict lies within the narrator himself. The book combines elements of the struggle within our own minds to protect ourselves and do what we¿re suppose to with the physical struggles of war. This literature will probably not be as enjoyable to readers who don¿t wanting to dig any deeper than surface deep into the book, but for those that do the novel holds some very interesting things to muse on.

The real story is father down than skin deep if the reader is willing to look.
NotAustin More than 1 year ago
The Red Badge of Courage, a book written by Stephen Crane tells us about a young boy who decides to fight in the American Civil War. The story revolves around a farm boy named Henry Fleming. Dreaming of the glory of war, he recklessly enrolls to join the 304th Regiment and is confronted with the hardships of battle. At first Henry is doubting whether or not he will run from a confrontation with the opposing Confederates. Unfortunately, Henry runs away from his first battle after thinking it was the smart move to do. The soldiers who stayed behind ended up winning, underscoring the cowardice of Henry. He ends up running into a forest, and witnessed the death of a soldier in his regiment. With the dying thirst to prove himself, Henry has an internal conflict within himself. He fights with courage and valor the next battle and distinguishes himself as one of the best fighters in his regiment. His commanding lieutenant comments that if he had 10,000 wildcats like him, they could win the war in a week. I have mixed views about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, themes, and symbols that are conveyed throughout the book. I dislike the sudden difficulty of vocabulary and understanding the concept of the book proved to be a challenging endeavor. One part of the plot I enjoyed was the time when Henry went all out during his second battle and took down many foes. His lieutenant even commended him on his awesome talent. One of the themes in the book is courage. Henry believes that he will be honored greatly for his courage if he joins the war efforts against the Confederate states. He joins the war blindly without second thought and greatly worries his mother. Last but not least, a symbol that is highlighted in this story is when Henry encounters the dead man in the forest. This symbolizes that even though the man died in battle, he is not even given any recognition for his actions. This proves that Henry's original reason to join the war is invalid.
yearningtoread More than 1 year ago
Henry Fleming, a young man who joined the army against his mother's wishes, wants to know the meaning of courage. He wants to be brave, to fight in the war and be honored for his love for his country. But then come the doubts, the rage, the fear. And Henry, the youth, must learn the hard way what it really means to wear the red badge of courage. It's a short novel, and beautifully crafted and written and built, but it's not an easy read, per se. (I want to read it again soon because I had a to read it a little fast for my liking in order to get my homework done.) Most of the characters have names, but Crane tends to use their character handles in reference to them. Henry is most often referred to as "the youth." There is the "tall soldier," "the loud soldier," etc. This is a very original and - I found - fascinating way to identify the characters, but for a reader who is not used to reading like that, it is more difficult and takes more time. Crane also uses many metaphors to describe the battefields and what "the youth" is feeling. He also uses a lot of color. And while this makes for a beautiful story with beautiful illustrations, it is a bit harder to follow. But don't let that stop you. By all means, read this book. What fasinated me most about it was the way I felt while reading it. I could picture everything perfectly. The battlescenes flowed from beginning to end, ever deathly and beautiful all in one. I almost felt like I was reading in slow motion. I could picture "the youth" scrambling in the field, avoiding every bullet and tumbling into the trees in fright. I was there, among the soldiers. I was fighting and killing and brandishing a weapon. I saw the battles in a three dimensional whirl-wind of color, with bullets singeing my face and debris cutting my skin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. If you are like me and love military novels you will love this book. As soon as you pick up this book you will be lost in the journey and history of the civil war. In this book you fallow a young man that comes into the store a week little boy but at end he comes out a strong man. If you think you will never de strong you should read this book and you will soon change your mind. This book would be best for teens or adults.
chevy3000 More than 1 year ago
The Red Badge Of Courage is a great book.I recommend this book to any 7th grader, it's easy to read and if you like books about wars this is the book for you
BilleBoi More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a little hard to follow when the characters are talking, but overall, it was entertaining. There were some suspenseful moments, boring parts, and parts that just made no sense at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever i love it highly recommened
Anonymous 28 days ago
What is the deal with all these reviews that arent even reviews? You people mess up the stars of the book for people who really are looking for opions of the book. Its bullcrap. That said, i really didnt like this book. I know its a classic but i hated the way it was written. It was annoying and boring. I didnt enjoy it at all and i really like civil war books.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*the boy inspects the dragons from a tree branch* "Fascinating... they seem to be intelligent. If only the others knew."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Color: all green Breathes: Acid Age: 76 (11in human years) Personality: Very friendly, but can be very agressive when angrey or hurt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Check out bio at fiw frist res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeep_Thang More than 1 year ago
I love going back and reading the classics a couple of time a year. This was one of those times and one of those books. While I did not have the honor of serving my country in the military, I do come from a strong military family and am an avid military book and movie buff. I found this book one of the most realistic battle reads of all time. Great characters. Great plot. Loved the period dialog. Highly recommend this to any military junkie who hasn't read it since high school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hm. I think I scared everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ima be June Iparis!!!!!! Teddeh knows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reses changed. It is at res four
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg bb ASAP!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago