The Red Badge of Courage Questions and Answers
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What did one of the soldiers attempt to steal from a civilian in "The Red Badge of Courage"?

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One of the solidiers attempts to steal a horse from a civilian.

Soon after the regiment begins its march to parts unknown, the mood of the men changes.  Happy to be moving at last, the men are in high spirits, and "blithe and merry speeches...(go) from rank to rank".  Henry observes that the men seem to have forgotten their mission; "whole brigades (grin) in unison, and regiments (laugh)".  In the atmosphere of giddy exuberance, "a rather fat soldier (attempts) to pilfer a horse from a dooryard...(he plans) to load his knapsack upon it".  A young girl rushes out of the house grabs the animal's mane, and a scuffle ensues.  The young girl, "with pink cheeks and shining eyes", is obdurate in her defense of the horse; she hangs on "like a dauntless statue.  The regiment, amused, whoops by the side of the road, entering the confrontation verbally "whole-souled upon the side of the maiden".  When the fat soldier finally retreats without the horse, "loud and vociferous congratulations (are) showered upon the maiden, who (stands) panting and regarding the troops with defiance" (Part 1, Chapter 2).

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sabbapal | Student
A soldier tries to steal a horse from a farm girl that they pass on their march. He is beated by the soldiers, and they give the horse back, but it shows a development of a slight arrogance, and that they think they can take anything in the name of the Union, and won't be punished.