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  • Exposition
  • Conflict
  • Henry
  • "He was convicted by himself of many shameful crimes against the gods of tradition." (15)
  • Rising Action
  • Jim
  • Tattered Man
  • Henry Fleming, the main character, decides to enlist in the army (against the will of his mother) to fight for the Union side in the Civil War in order to prove his masculinity and further his progression to manhood. Henry leaves home and makes the trip to camp.
  • Rising Action 2
  • As Henry arrives at camp, he begins to question his bravery and ability to fight in battle. As he feared, when the first actual fighting comes for the regiment, Henry flees from the battleground and is later lies about what actually happened to him that day and the days after.
  • Rising Action 3
  • Lieutenant
  • After Henry flees from the initial battle, he begins a small journey around the war grounds, being reunited with one of his old friends from camp named Jim, and also meeting new people, such as the Tattered Man.
  • Rising Action 4
  • Colonel
  • "Mule drivers - hell t' pay - don't believe many will get back." (118)
  • After Jim dies and Henry abandons the Tattered Man, Henry meets a stranger that helps him get reconnected with his regiment, the 304th. Henry returns to his comrades and is accepted by one of his old pals, Wilson. Henry claims that a head wound he received from a fleeing friendly soldier was from battle, and he gains the respect of some of his fellow soldiers.
  • Wilson
  • Henry rejoins the brigade and heads off to fight the next battle with the 304th. They await the enemy in the trenches and the woods for quite some time, then the enemy descends upon them. Henry fights in a frenzy, firing and reloading with intense rage, refusing the retreat. When the battle is over, Henry is revered as a valiant fighter, and all of the men in his regiment see him as very brave.
  • Enemy
  • As the battle races on, Henry and Wilson discover one of their friends, Jimmie Rogers, has been hit. They leave to go find a stream that was near the battle grounds, but instead hear a group of generals talking about how the 304th "fight like a lot 'a mule drivers". After hearing this, Henry and Wilson know that they need to prove themselves to their commanders, and they are willing to do anything for their cause. The two return to camp and get into battle formation. They decide not to tell anyone what they have heard.
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