The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and Other Civil War Stories


Some war stories seem to romanticize and glorify war. The Red Badge of Courage isn't one of them. I consider this story, published in 1895, the quintessential Civil War novel and one of the great works of American literature from the nineteenth century. Set on an unnamed battlefield, 18 year old Union soldier Henry Fleming confronts his fears head on after doubting his courage in battle. Grim, unsettling and serious as a heart attack, this gem of a novel is much more than a war story told around a campfire. It is a story of morality, duty, and honor wrapped in prose that, though archaic and dated, describes fear until the foreboding tone seems concrete and viable.

If you are interested in other awesome works of fiction with a Civil War setting, why not read the book that spawned the classic film Gone with the Wind.

For a truly remarkable short story set during the war, I recommend An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge. As a Confederate sympathizer is being prepared to be hung by the Union army at Owl Creek Bridge, an elaborate escape to freedom occurs, or does it? This enthralling short story by famed recluse and all around nasty guy Ambrose Bierce was published in 1890 and influenced a powerful short film that became a Twilight Zone episode in 1962.

Submitted by Dan@Central

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This page contains a single entry by Dan K. published on October 11, 2010 8:59 AM.

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