In this novel, isolation has to do with the psychological distance between a young, uncertain soldier in the Civil War and the rest of his regiment. Because he doubts his abilities to fight and feels that the other men lack this fear, the young soldier deems himself "a mental outcast" and is all the more tormented by his hesitance. Isolation is also constructive, though – the young soldier spends much of the novel in literal isolation, sorting out his concerns through contemplation and careful consideration. Only when he is alone is he allowed the safety and peace of mind to do so.
The most important steps in Henry’s transformation are mental changes he undergoes while in solitude, not the actions he takes in battle.