The Historian's Red Badge of Courage
ebook ∣ The Historian's Annotated Classics
By Paul A. Cimbala
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Stephen Crane's novel The Red Badge of Courage provides an extraordinary take on the battlefield experiences of a young soldier coming of age under extreme circumstances. His writing took place a generation after the war's conclusion, at a time when the entire nation was coming to grips with the meaning of the Civil War. It was during this time in the late 19th century that the battle over the memory of the war was taking place.
This new, annotated edition of the novel is designed to guide readers through references made through Crane's characters and how they reflect Civil War military experiences—specifically how "the youth's" experiences reflect the reality of the multi-day battle of Chancellorsville, which took place in Virginia beginning on May 1, 1863, and concluded on May 4 of the same year. The annotated text is preceded by introductory essays on Crane and on the Civil War. Crane's short story "The Veteran" is also included to allow readers to better understand the post-war lives of Civil War soldiers.