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 and corrupt men—advice about self-preservation, not glorious self-destruction. Capping it off, she also makes him promise to mail back any socks or shirts that need mending. Henry's mother's comments contrast Henry's ideals of war with the mundane realities of life as a soldier.
The timeline below shows where the character Henry's mother appears in The Red Badge of Courage. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...battles, his imagination inflamed by newspaper reports of great victories. He remembers enlisting against his mother's wishes. She warned him not to disgrace himself or do anything that he would be... (full context)