The Confederate mass that had sent other veteran troops running to the rear was called an unseen "composite monster" by the narrator of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. A general delivered the order to the 304th that "you've got to hold 'em back," but he looked at the inexperienced unit with disdain. The lieutenant of Henry's company, meanwhile, kept up a constant chatter of reminders to his men. Henry noticed that their was a lack of "heroic poses" from both his comrades and the officers in the rear. The Confederates are described as an almost superhuman force, variously described as a "menacing fate," "red rage,""redoubtable dragons," and a "red and green monster."
He began to exaggerate the endurance, the skill, and the valor of those who were coming. Himself reeling from exhaustion, he was astonished beyond measure at such persistency. They must be machines of steel.