What happened to Henry's lieutenant as they drew close to the actual battle in The Red Badge of Courage?
As they approach the field of battle, the lieutenant becomes loud and insolent, beating Henry with a sword to get him to keep up with the ranks. Henry at this point "hate(s) the lieutenant, who (has) no appreciation of fine minds...he was a mere brute" (Part I, Chapter 3).
When they finally reach the battle site and first encounter the shells and bullets, the lieutenant is shot in the hand. The captain binds the wound, and the lieutenant's "wondrous...swear(ing)" serves to relieve the anxiety of the men for a few moments (Part I, Chapter 4).
check Approved by eNotes Editorial