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The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage
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The Red Badge of Courage Chapter 23 Summary
An officer says the men have to charge the fence. It seems the Johnny Rebs are hiding behind this fence and must be flushed out.
Henry gets ready to flush. He "felt the daring spirit of a savage religion-mad. He was capable of profound sacrifices, a tremendous death" (23.5).
He thinks of the "bullets only as things that could prevent him from reaching the place of his endeavor" (23.5).
The two armies fight and clash for possession of the all-important fence.
Henry sees something else he wants: the Confederate flag! (He is not content with one flag and is going for the matching set.) Conveniently, the rebel flag bearer just happens to be wounded. Badly.
Henry makes a super-human effort and "spr[ings] at the flag as a panther at prey" (23.20).
He manages to obtain the Confederate flag as well as retain his own Union flag.
Meanwhile, the Union soldiers have captured some POWs. Henry and the other men are surprised to see how the Confederates look and act just like them, like real people and everything.
With the battle over, Henry can once again shoot the breeze with Wilson.
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