He meets a spectral soldier with a distant, numb look on his face. Henry eventually recognizes the man as a badly wounded Jim Conklin. Henry promises to take care of Jim, but Jim runs from the line into a small grove of bushes where Henry and the tattered man watch him die.
Henry continues to wander until he finds himself close enough to the battlefield to be able to watch some of the fighting. He sees a blue regiment in retreat and attempts to stop the soldiers to find out what has happened. One of the fleeing men hits him on the head with a rifle, opening a bloody gash on Henry’s head.
Eventually, another soldier leads Henry to his regiment’s camp, where Henry is reunited with his companions. His friend Wilson, believing that Henry has been shot, cares for him tenderly.
The next day, the regiment proceeds back to the battlefield. Henry fights like a lion. Thinking of Jim Conklin, he vents his rage against the enemy soldiers. His lieutenant says that with ten thousand Henrys, he could win the war in a week.
The derisive officer tells the regiment’s colonel that his men fight like “mud diggers,” further infuriating Henry. Another soldier tells Henry and Wilson, to their gratification, that the colonel and lieutenant consider them the best fighters in the regiment.
The group is sent into more fighting, and Henry continues to carry the flag. Henry reflects on his experiences in the war. Though he revels in his recent success in battle, he feels deeply ashamed of his behavior the previous day, especially his abandonment of the tattered man. But after a moment, he puts his guilt behind him and realizes that he has come through “the red sickness” of battle. He is now able to look forward to peace, feeling a quiet, steady manhood within himself.