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In Chapter Twelve, Henry clutches a man as he runs by. He can only stammer out the word "why." The man who he stopped screams, "Let go me! Let go me!" When Henry does not, the man hits him on the head with his rifle butt and runs away.
The youth's legs turn to jelly when the rifle hits him. He falls to the ground and crawls around on his hands and knees. He is fighting with his body to stand. When he does, he touches his head. His wound is painful and bleeding, but it also provides him with the "red badge of courage". Everyone assumes Henry was wounded in battle.... only he knows how he attained the badge.