As his regiment leaves the field, what does Henry think about his past? About his future?Think about what has occurred previously and Henry's immaturity.

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Please give more details so that we can answer your question adequately. Henry's regiment fights in several battles, so we need to know which one you are referring to.

If you mean the time when Wilson hands him a bunch of letters, this is the point at which Henry realizes that he is not the only soldier who is afraid of war. He finally realizes what war is all about. It is not about heroic deeds or badges for courage. It is about killing or being killed. He gains the confidence to turn his fear into anger, and he is able to take up the flag when the regiment's standard bearer falls. He is no longer worried about being a deserter.

The eNotes summary ends with these quotations from the book:

In the final chapter, Henry feels "a quiet manhood, non-assertive but of sturdy and strong blood." He proceeds into the next round of battle as "a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds."

I hope this is the scene you had in mind.

Read the study guide:
The Red Badge of Courage

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