The Red Badge of Courage

what was the importance of the last paragraph of chapter 12

chapter 12

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In the last paragraph we have the unnamed and faceless “cheerful soldier” who escorts Henry back to his camp. This character has an almost supernatural quality about him, and is the subject of numerous and colorful interpretations: some maintain that he is Jim Conklin’s ghost, while others believe he represents Jesus Christ. In all probability, Crane’s commitment to realism would have precluded an interpretation that makes the cheerful soldier a supernatural or divine being; instead, he seems simply one more bewildering element in the incomprehensible realm of battle