The Red Badge of Courage HTML version

Chapter 4
The brigade was halted in the fringe of a grove. The men crouched among the trees and
pointed their restless guns out at the fields. They tried to look beyond the smoke.
Out of this haze they could see running men. Some shouted information and gestured as
the hurried.
The men of the new regiment watched and listened eagerly, while their tongues ran on in
gossip of the battle. They mouthed rumors that had flown like birds out of the unknown.
"They say Perry has been driven in with big loss."
"Yes, Carrott went t' th' hospital. He said he was sick. That smart lieutenant is
commanding 'G' Company. Th' boys say they won't be under Carrott no more if they all
have t' desert. They allus knew he was a--"
"Hannises' batt'ry is took."
"It ain't either. I saw Hannises' batt'ry off on th' left not more'n fifteen minutes ago."
"Th' general, he ses he is goin' t' take th' hull command of th' 304th when we go inteh
action, an' then he ses we'll do sech fightin' as never another one reg'ment done."
"They say we're catchin' it over on th' left. They say th' enemy driv' our line inteh a devil
of a swamp an' took Hannises' batt'ry."
"No sech thing. Hannises' batt'ry was 'long here 'bout a minute ago."
"That young Hasbrouck, he makes a good off'cer. He ain't afraid 'a nothin'."
"I met one of th' 148th Maine boys an' he ses his brigade fit th' hull rebel army fer four
hours over on th' turnpike road an' killed about five thousand of 'em. He ses one more
sech fight as that an' th' war 'll be over."
"Bill wasn't scared either. No, sir! It wasn't that. Bill ain't a-gittin' scared easy. He was
jest mad, that's what he was. When that feller trod on his hand, he up an' sed that he was
willin' t' give his hand t' his country, but he be dumbed if he was goin' t' have every dumb
bushwhacker in th' kentry walkin' 'round on it. So he went t' th' hospital disregardless of
th' fight. Three fingers was crunched. Th' dern doctor wanted t' amputate 'm, an' Bill, he
raised a heluva row, I hear. He's a funny feller."