• The background of the novel is the American Civil War as depicted through the eyes of a Union recruit.
• At camp, there is an illustration of how rumor runs through a bored regiment.
• Henry's youthful idealism before joining the army is typical of the inexperienced.
• Henry's enlistment is done over the objections of his mother.
• Henry enjoys the initial glory of wearing the blue uniform when he stops by his school
• Adoration continues from the public as the regiment makes its way to Washington.
• When faced with the reality of going into battle, panic and fear set in.
• The image of cowardice and running from battle looms large in Henry's mind.
• There are psychological effects on the realization of unfounded rumors among the soldiers.
• Henry defines his real test as only coming in blood, blaze, and danger.
• Henry imagines his comrades as either heroes...
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