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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set during the United States Civil War, sometime between 1850 and 1865, when the 304th regiment of New York is out on a military campaign. The majority of the setting takes place on or near a battlefield.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
The Youth. He is a young man who joins the Civil War and dreams of greatness as a soldier. During the war, he experiences great anguish and grows from his experiences.
The Tall Soldier who announces the first rumor of battle. He is later mortally wounded and dies as the Youth tries to help him.
A man with an infantile face who leads the 304th regiment.
A soldier who helps Henry when he returns injured. Early in the novel he is referred to as the Loud Soldier and later in the novel as the Friend of the Youth.
A soldier whose hand is trod on early in the war.
A wounded soldier who asks Henry about his injury and warns him to get Conklin out of the way before the artillery battery arrives.
Henry's Mother. She is sad to see her son go off to war. Although uneducated, she is wise enough to realize that war is not like her son believes it to be.
The experienced soldiers who have many tales about their experiences in battle.
The young soldiers who are new to the military. They typically move around frequently, complain a lot, and do not understand the war.
Soldiers of various rank who are usually not effective leaders. They get their men to follow orders by screams and threats.