The Question and Answer section for The Red Badge of Courage is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
In Chapter One, we find the most discussed rumor revolves around the regiment's expectation that they will soon be moving forward to engage in battle.
"It's a lie! that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!" said another private loudly. His smooth face...
Henry doesn't want Wilson to accuse him of cowardice, so he lies to him.
They win the battle because of their final charge.... the selfless action of men willing to sacrifice everything. It is their recklessness in the face of danger that keeps them alive.