When The Red Badge of Courage starts, Henry Fleming is introduced,he has signed up for the army against his mother's wishes, he so far he has done nothing but sit around the camp. Henry begins to worry whether he will be able to fight bravely, or whether he'll run away when the shooting starts. He talks to some other troops about it, but since he can't really explain his fears, he feels alone. Jim Conklin, a friend from home, thinks he'll do whatever the other boys do. And a loud soldier named Wilson is full of boasts. The first sight of battle is terrifying, and Henry feels terrible. The loud soldier, who thinks he's going to be killed, gives Henry some letters for his family.
During the first battle Henry fights good. The troops hold the enemy back. while they are resting the enemy comes for more. Now Henry is very scared.
When two men standing near him run, he throws down his gun and races with them. He tells himself that the unit was about to be wiped out, and that he was saving himself. Soon after realizes that the line stayed. Now he is upset at the other soldiers for making him look like a scared little girl when he thought that he was right. Feeling awful, Henry walks into the woods. Soon Henry confronts a horrible sight- a dead man decaying, and his face is covered with ants. He stares at the dead soldier, realizing that this is-the real law of nature.
When he leaves the woods, he walks along with some wounded men. He envies them and wishes that he had a wound, a red badge of courage. One of the men, he realizes, is Jim Conklin,is dying. Henry and another soldier follow Jim into...