The Red Badge of Courage


Stephen Crane

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Red Badge of Courage makes teaching easy.

The Red Badge of Courage Characters

Henry Fleming (the youth)

Henry Fleming is a young private who volunteered for the infantry against his mother's wishes. Having "dreamed of battles all his life," Henry has romantic notions of war influenced by Greek classics such as… read analysis of Henry Fleming (the youth)

Wilson (the loud young soldier, the youth's friend)

Wilson is a new volunteer and Henry's closest friend in the regiment. He begins as a brash and confident soldier, but by the start of the first battle Wilson is deeply afraid that he'll… read analysis of Wilson (the loud young soldier, the youth's friend)

Jim Conklin ("the tall soldier")

Another friend of Henry's in the regiment, Jim offers Henry a pragmatic viewpoint on courage at the beginning of the story: run when others run, fight like mad when they fight. He also embodies the… read analysis of Jim Conklin ("the tall soldier")

Tattered man

A nameless, dirty, and twice-shot soldier who meets Henry in the procession of the wounded. By asking Henry about the fighting and Henry's non-existent wounds, the tattered man works like Henry's external conscience. Henry thinks… read analysis of Tattered man

Henry's mother

Appearing only in an early flashback, Henry's mother objects when he volunteers for the army. Henry's mother does not share her son's glorified visions of war. Instead, she advises him to avoid shameful acts… read analysis of Henry's mother
Get the entire The Red Badge of Courage LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Red Badge of Courage PDF

Insulting officer

An anonymous officer who says of Henry's regiment that "they fight like a lot 'a mule drivers." Having just won their fight, Henry feels otherwise. These two difference shows how the meaning of battles… read analysis of Insulting officer

Cheerful soldier

An anonymous soldier who shows up to guide Henry after he is slammed on the head by a rifle butt, and, dazed, is searching for safety. The cheerful soldier embodies the selflessness and altruism of… read analysis of Cheerful soldier


A mid-level commander in Henry's regiment named Hasbrouck. He is described as fiery with an endless supply of foul language. The lieutenant represents the qualities of selfless valor and leadership that Henry and Wilsonread analysis of Lieutenant

Dead soldier

An anonymous, deceased Union soldier whose decomposing body Henry finds in the woods. The dead, decomposing body's position in a "chapel" of trees implies a profound uncertainty about the promises of religion; could this body… read analysis of Dead soldier