The Red Badge of Courage Chapters 11-14 Summary

Chapter eleven continues Henry's internal debate about what to do next. He had no rifle although he could easily obtain one from a dead soldier, and he had lost his regiment although he could fight with any regiment. His mind cycled through self-hate as he considered himself a loon. Still feeling connected to his surroundings, he wanted to know who was winning the war although he didn't much care if his side won out. He feared the judgment of others, thinking they would laugh at him as a joke.

He continues in chapter twelve to wander until he notices that the men have turned and seem to be running toward him. Screams and smoke indicated that war was approaching. Henry tried to find out what was going on. When he went up to one young man, the man was so scared, asking Henry to let him go, that he swung his rifle and hit Henry on the head with it. After that Henry struggled to stand. He felt the blood with his fingers as he tried to walk. Men nearly ran him over as they headed for a gap in the fence. He heard cursing and gunfire, so he did not want to stop moving although he could no longer lift his head. Finally, a cheery man assisted him in walking. He found out what regiment Henry belonged to and walked him back to his group who seemed to be involved in the battle.

In chapter thirteen Henry runs into Wilson who recognizes him and asks if he needs help. Henry explains that he got separated from his regiment and was shot in the head. Wilson, an amateur nurse, calls Simpson over to take a look. Simpson decides Henry must have been grazed by a ball because he has a lump that looks suspiciously like he was hit in the head. He has Wilson bring him over by the fire where Wilson wraps his head in a wet cloth, gives him something to drink, and lets Henry sleep in his sleeping bag.

Chapter fourteen starts with Henry waking up after what felt like much longer than one night. He looked around at all the wounded soldiers, feeling as though he was surrounded by dead people. In the distance he heard drums and bugles. When Wilson tried to check his head wound, he yelled at him to leave him alone, saying that Wilson was rough with him, but likely wanting to hide his fake bullet wound. Wilson then told Henry to get something to eat. Around the fire he talked about the war, and how he thought their side wasn't doing well. Henry mentioned that Jim Conklin had died. A couple of the men were fighting amongst themselves, and the men encouraged them to save it for the battlefield.

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