With the Old Breed

by

E.B. Sledge

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1st Lt. Edward “Hillbilly” Jones Character Analysis

Company K’s machine-gun platoon leader, whose outstanding behavior on Guadalcanal allowed him to become an officer, is the second most popular officer after Haldane. Similar to Haldane in competence, intelligence and integrity, Hillbilly also impresses Sledge with his humility and honesty. He shares an intimate moment with Sledge in which he tells the young infantryman that everyone experiences fear in combat, but that what ultimately matters is doing one’s duty. In his ability to listen to Sledge, Hillbilly brings the young man comfort, thus demonstrating qualities of generosity and compassion. Like Haldane, he proves just as committed to his men’s emotional well-being as to the strategic advancement of the war. Hillbilly is later killed in battle.
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1st Lt. Edward “Hillbilly” Jones Character Timeline in With the Old Breed

The timeline below shows where the character 1st Lt. Edward “Hillbilly” Jones appears in With the Old Breed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4: Assault into Hell
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
That night, Sledge has a conversation with Company K’s machine-gun platoon leader, a man nicknamed “Hillbilly.” Sledge describes it as one of the most decisive conversations in his life. Hillbilly is... (full context)
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship and Camaraderie Theme Icon
As Sledge and Hillbilly begin chatting about their childhoods in the South, Sledge feels comforted by Hillbilly’s optimistic, soft... (full context)
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
...soon grows tense, as the man’s screams could easily reveal their position to the Japanese. Hillbilly attempts to reassure the man, and someone hits him in the jaw to keep him... (full context)
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
...the man is dead. Noticing the agony on the faces of veteran officers such as Hillbilly and Hank Boyes, Sledge realizes that this is more horrifying moment than anything these men... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: Into the Abyss
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Friendship and Camaraderie Theme Icon
...it home, comes to speak to him. Remembering the comforting conversation Sledge once had with Hillbilly, he comforts his friend in the same manner. He concludes that such conversations are a... (full context)