The protagonist of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, Henry Fleming undergoes many of the emotional trials that many young men suffer during extreme pressure. At the beginning of the novel, he displays an anxious nervousness of how he will respond to his first combat. Fear overtakes him as his unit prepares for the first attack, but after his regiment initially turns back the enemy, he feels relief. It is only short-lived, however, and during the second Confederate charge, his fear returns in the most awful way. His guilt after "skedaddling" overwhelms him, and he spends the day trying to come to terms with his cowardly actions. After his crime is covered up by his story that he has been wounded, he again feels a profound relief and determines to make up for his deceit. During the next day's action, impulsive recklessness causes him to move into the open, daring the enemy to deliver a true "little red badge" that will redeem him in his own eyes. His actions are considered inspired heroism by the rest of his unit, and it prompts the others to bravery that many of them did not know could be summoned. After the battle, he again feels guilt at his perceived bravery, and when he confesses to his friend, he absolves himself of the false bravado (and the previous lack of courage) of which he had little control. As he moves out to the next skirmish, he is light-hearted, for he has "passed the supreme test," and the unknown emotional trials of before have been answered.