Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a "red badge of courage," to counteract his cowardice.
When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer, who carries a flag.
A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1983.
The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone.
An abbreviated version of Crane's story was first serialized in The Philadelphia Press in December 1894.
This version of the story, which was culled to 18,000 words by an editor specifically for the serialization, was reprinted in newspapers across America, establishing Crane's fame.
The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900).
Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle.
It has never been out of print and is now thought to be Crane's most important work and a major American text.
Stephen Crane published his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, in March 1893 at the age of 22.