A young boy, Henry Fleming, decides to enlist in the army dueto his strong desire to participate in the battle or the civil war; however,his mother, Mrs. Fleming, initially objected the idea. "Still, when he hadlooked back from the gate, he had seen his mother kneeling among the potatoparings. Her brownface, upraised, was stained with tears, and her spare formwas quivering." Although Henry's mother got to accept the reality of herson enlisting in the army, she was sincerely worried and sad.
What if I run?What if I die?
While the regiment were waiting for orders from other soldiers, a rumor was spread in the military by Jim Conklin, the tall soldier. He declared that a battle is about to take place; therefore, other soldiers started arguing against him.
As Henry Fleming returns to the hut where the regiment is camped, he thinks about war; additionally, he starts recalling his desire to enlist in the army, remembers his mother's refusal to support the idea of enlisting in the battle, and his eventual decision to enlist over his mother’s objections.
As Henry awaits for the battle against the troops with the rest of the soldiers, he starts questioning his abilities in fighting with all of his will and power; moreover, he imagines himself running and fleeing away from the battle due to his lack of confidence which increases his anxiety.