Being a Civil War enthusiast and historian, I recognize Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage as one of the finest fictional novels about the conflict. Its combination of realism and naturalism--especially within the psychological contexts--is one of the novel's strong points. I like Crane's purposeful use of vagueness throughout: The name of the battle is never given (it is supposedly the overwhelming Confederate victory at Chancellorsville); and the men, though given vivid characterizations, are nonetheless addressed by nicknames. The dialogue, though often sparse, is realistic. Perhaps the primary strength of the novel exists in the descriptions of Henry's psychological disposition. He is alternatlely racked by hesitancy, fear, doubt, pretended cockiness and, eventually, extreme self-confidence in his desire to make up for his earlier cowardice. In the end, nothing is resolved (remember, Henry's regiment has won their tiny battle within a battle, but the Union army is badly defeated, though this is never mentioned in the narrative). The men gather their wits and move on to fight again in some unnamed new place.