The Red Badge of Courage (1951) Movie Script

The Red Badge Of Courage was written
by Stephen Crane in 1894.
From the moment it was published...
it was accepted by critics
and public alike...
as a classic story of war.
And of the boys and men who fought war.
Stephen Crane wrote this book
when he was a boy of 22.
Its publication made him a man.
His story is of a boy who, frightened...
went into a battle and came out of it...
a man with courage.
More than that, it is a story
of many frightened boys...
who went into a great Civil War...
and came out as a nation...
of united, strong and free men.
The narration you will hear spoken
consists of quotes...
from the text of the book itself.
Spring, 1862.
The bloody war between the states.
Tales of great movement shook the land.
Marches, sieges, conflicts.
But for the untried army
on the Rappahannock...
war was simply a matter of waiting...
and endless drilling.
Regiment, march!
Right, march!
Left, march!
I reckon I'll dig some worms
and go fishing.
Yeah? The fish ain't biting.
But there's nothing else to do.
Now that my tent's got a plank floor...
it's comfortable as home.
I only need a rocking chair.
I just like to sit and rock.
How's things?
Just like they was yesterday,
and the day before, and will be tomorrow.
I wouldn't be too sure about tomorrow,
if I was you.
- What do you mean?
- Nothing.
Sure you mean something.
Come on. Tell me like a good feller.
- Can you keep it to yourself?
- Of course I can.
I know a fellow that's got a brother...
who's an orderly
up at division headquarters.
This fellow's brother
saw some orders last night.
The orders said this here army
is going up the river, cut across...
and coming around in behind the Rebs.
- Thunderation!
- Yeah, you just wait.
Tomorrow you're going to see
the biggest battle you ever saw.
You just wait.
The army's going to march.
We're going up the river. Cut across,
and come around in behind the Rebs.
It's a lie. A thundering lie! I don't believe
this old army is ever going to move.
You believe it or not, I don't give a hang.
I believe you. I'll tell you why.
I finished laying a plank floor for my tent.
I held off all winter,
because I thought we'd move.
Come spring,
I decided we're here for good.
So I started the plank floor.
That's probably what got things going.
- What's that, Wilson?
- No more drilling.
It's going to be out-and-out fighting.
What are you talking about?
A feller I know saw the orders.
We'll go up the river, cut across,
and come around in behind them.
But why are we going up the river
instead of down...
where the land's flat and clear?
We could stand up to each other
and have a proper fight.
This way, it's all hills.
We'll be climbing more than fighting.
You don't understand, Bill Porter...
There was a youthful private...
who was deeply troubled
by the talk of his comrades.
They were so sure of their courage.
Have you heard the news, Henry?
You mean about the battle?
Yeah. We're going up the river, cut across,
and come around in behind them.
Likely as not, this story will turn out
just like all them others did.
You just wait till tomorrow.
You'll see real out-and-out fighting.
What do you think, Jim?
I can't believe
they'll keep drilling us forever...
- and it's getting nigh onto that.
- Jim?
How do you think the regiment will do?
They'll fight all right, once they get into it.
We'll be on them like wildcats.
They won't know what hit them.
Think any of the boys will run?
There may be a few,
but there's their kind in every regiment...
especially when they first go under fire.
But the boys come of good stock mostly.
I figure they'll do better than some.
Worse than others.
We'll chew them up
and spit them out in little pieces.
Did you ever think you might run,
too, Jim?
I thought it might
get too hot for Jim Conklin...
in some of them scrimmages.
If a whole lot of the boys started to run,
I suppose I'd start and run.
If I once started to run,
I'd run like the mischief, and no mistake.
But if everybody
was standing and fighting...
I'd stand and fight.
By Jiminy, I would. I'll bet on it.
- What's wrong, Henry? Scared?
- Scared? Me?
Of course not. What a dumbfool question!
I am, a mite.
So they were at last going to fight.
Tomorrow, perhaps,
there would be a battle...
and he would be in it.
Was it possible that he would be
a part of a great battle in a great war?
In the darkness he saw visions
of a thousand-tongued fear...
who would babble at his back,
and cause him to flee.
Who goes there?
It's me, Yank. Just me.
Move back into the shadows, Yank.
Unless you want
one of them little red badges.
I couldn't miss you,
standing there in the moonlight.
Are you a Reb?
That's right.
I don't see much point
in us sentries shooting each other...
especially when
we ain't fighting no battle.
So, if you'll just get out of the moonlight...
I'll be much obliged to you.
Thanks, Reb.
That's mighty polite of you, Yank,
to thank me.
I take it most kindly.
You're a right dumb good feller.
So, take care of yourself.
Don't go getting one of them
little red badges pinned on you.
Left, march!
Move. Halt!
Forward arms!
Shoulder shift!
"No more drilling," he says.
"That's all behind us now.
"From now on it's going to be
out-and-out fighting," he says.
Who says?
- Why, Tom Wilson.
- What Tom Wilson?
Arms out! Forward!
The one who knows
everything in the world.
- That Tom Wilson.
- You can all go...
We can all go up the river, cut across,
and come around in behind them.
Wait till we fall out.
I'll learn you something.
Private Wilson, step forward.
Was that you talking in ranks? Speak up!
- Darn it all, Lieutenant.
- Answer yes or no.
Yes, sir.
Private Wilson, six hours extra duty.
Fall back.
Arms out! Forward!
Two! Dismissed!
I want a word with you, Porter.
All we ever do is drill.
I'm getting mighty sick of it.
Thunder, I joined up to fight!
I want to smell gun smoke for once.
What are these guns for, anyway,
to shoot or to drill with?
Might as well be broomsticks.
We'll get our orders one of these days.
I reckon that day will come soon enough.
Not for me, it won't.
I wish I was as full of fight
as some of you fellas.
Guess I just ain't high-spirited enough
to be a good soldier.
Hey, fellas!
Tom Wilson and Bill Porter
are going to have a fistfight!
- Hit him on the nose, Porter.
- Give it to him, Wilson!
Looks like they're scared of each other.
How about a little action?
What is this, a fistfight or a round dance?
- Can I have the next waltz?
- Come on, let's see something!
Grab your knapsacks! We're marching!
We're going!
Here we go, boys!
He felt alone in space.
No one else seemed to be wrestling
with such a terrific personal problem.
He was a mental outcast.
What did I tell you?
Are we going up the river or ain't we?
Who was right?
Go on. Answer me,
you fellas who were laughing.
You was right. Nobody can deny that.
I heard some officers saying that
we had the Rebs where we want them.
We'll give them a darned good thumping.
They'll wish they'd stayed to home.
I hope this here gun shoots straight.
Wouldn't worry about it if I was you.
More about how steady I was holding it.
I wish I had my dog along.
First time I ever went hunting
without my old dog.
I wonder what the name of
this here battle's going to be.
Company, halt!
At rest!
Go on, miss!
Catch him, hit him with your stick!
How can you tell which one is the pig?
The pig's the cleanest, that's how.
The pig's better-looking, too.
We'll trade you the clean one
for the one in uniform.
Before you say yes, miss,
you better ask the pig.
He might not like it.
And you'd better run!
What are you doing here?
You're getting blue.
You're looking thundering peaked.
- What the dickens is wrong with you?
- Nothing.
We're going after them now.
By the eternal thunders,
we're going to lick them good.
This time we're in for a big battle,
and we got the best end of it.
How we'll thump them.
You're going to do great things, I suppose.
Great things?
I don't know.
My grandpappy fought with Washington.
It's in my blood, I reckon.
How do you know you won't run
when the time comes?
Run? Me?
Well, plenty of good-enough men...
thought they'd do great things
before the fight...
but when the time come, they skedaddled.
That's all true, I suppose.
But I'll do my share of the fighting.
The man that bets on my running
is going to lose his money, that's all.
You ain't the bravest man in the world,
are you?
No, I ain't. I didn't say
I was the bravest man in the world, either.
I said I was going to do
my share of the fighting.
And I am, too.
Who are you, anyhow?
You talk like you was Napoleon Bonaparte.
You needn't get mad about it.
All right, young man.
Get back in the ranks. No lagging behind.
Forward march!
Forward march!
Form a line here!
Form a line here!
Everybody in the line by fours. March!
I don't hold to laying down
and shooting from behind a hill.
Wouldn't feel a bit proud doing it.
- Going to do my fighting standing up.
- Go ahead. Fight any way you please.
What kind of a battle is this,
where fellers lay down to fight?
I'll fight standing up,
or I ain't going to fight at all.
You want to get shot,
that's your business.
I ain't going to lay down before I'm shot,
and that's all there is to it.
Form your company and move on! Fall in!
Right face!
Turn left, march!
Why are they marching us out of here?
I can't stand this much longer.
I don't see any point to it.
Me neither.
I'd like to know what's going on.
We're being reconnoitered around
the center, to keep the Rebs from nearing.
Envelope them or something.
I'd rather do anything
than tramping around...
doing no good to anybody
and just wearing your legs out.
So would I. It ain't right.
If anyone with sense was running...
Shut up, you darn little cuss!
You little fool!
You ain't had that coat and pants on
for six months.
Yet you talk
as if you was George Washington.
On the double!
Captain, the Rebs
are on that hill over there.
We'll to try to push them off.
Maybe we will, maybe not.
Take your positions on that road there,
and hold it whatever happens.
Fix bayonets!
Here come our lancers.
I thought
you were going to do your fighting...
Do your fighting standing up.
Shut your dadburn mouth.
Henry, listen.
Something tells me
it's my first and last battle.
I'm a gone goose. I just know it.
I want you to send this to my folks. They
gave it to me last year when I turned 21.
Looks like we're getting a good licking.
Go back! You cowards!
Go back, you cowards!
Get back in there and fight!
Get back in there and fight!
Go back, you cowards!
I'm hit! I'm killed!
The Rebs, they're coming.
Hold your fire.
Hold your fire.
You've got to hold them back, Captain!
You've got to hold them back.
All right, we'll do our best, sir.
Lieutenant, you mind me.
We got to hold, no matter what happens.
Yes, Captain. You men mind me.
We've got to hold! Can you hear me?
Get ready.
Hold your fire.
Give me this!
Here, fire!
Keep firing!
The men look much bigger
through the powder smoke.
Bayonets as thick as a spiked iron fence.
I was so scared, my feet was frozen.
I never seen a man killed before.
Lost a pile of men, they did.
We lost some, too.
Who's that?
Gosh, it's Tim Foster.
It was him.
They're carrying in the hurt Rebs.
I hope there won't be no more fighting
till a week from Monday.
Unless I miss my guess,
them Rebs got their bellies full.
We showed them
some real fighting, all right.
So it was all over at last.
The supreme trial had been passed.
The red, formidable difficulties of war
had been vanquished.
He felt that he was a fine fellow.
He saw himself even, with those ideals...
which he had considered
as far beyond him.
A ball shot off my kneecap.
Somebody come help me.
Help me, somebody.
I can't let go of this tree.
Look, a ball shot off my kneecap.
Help me, somebody.
- A ball shot off...
- Bleeding like a cow.
Bleeding like a darned cow, it is.
Here, let me bind that leg for you.
Bleeding like a cow, it is.
Can't seem to stop her from bleeding.
Here they come again!
They're coming at us.
The youth stared.
Surely, he thought, this impossible thing
was not about to happen.
He waited as if he expected
the enemy to suddenly stop...
apologize, and retire bowing.
It was all a mistake.
Get back!
Get back!
I'll have you shot for a deserter!
Taylor's rushing his men.
They'll reach the woods before we know it.
We can't have that.
They'll be worn out
before they're committed.
I'd give my shoulder straps
for a fresh brigade.
Tompkins, go over and see Taylor.
Tell him not to be in such a hurry...
to stop his brigade on the edge
of the woods, come to detach a regiment.
The center will break unless we help it.
And tell him to hurry up.
Yes, sir.
We've held them, General.
Held them, have they?
We'll wallop them now!
We've got them sure!
Jons, ride after Tompkins.
- See Taylor, and tell him to go in.
- Yes, sir.
- Colonel, you inform Whiterside.
- Yes, sir!
They've held them, by heavens!
The youth cringed,
as if discovered in a crime.
So his regiment had won after all.
His imbecile comrades had remained.
And their very ignorance
had brought them victory.
He felt betrayed.
He wondered what they would remark,
when later he appeared in camp.
His mind heard howls of derision.
Don't jostle so, Johnson, you fool!
You think my leg's made of iron?
If you can't carry me decent,
let someone else do it.
Make way there, can't you?
Who does he think he is?
Some lunkhead of a general?
There's the kind that get the privileges.
Small wounds, big talk.
You just wait,
you won't get by with your insults.
I'll have you all court-martialed!
He regarded the wounded soldiers
in an envious way.
He conceived persons
with torn bodies to be...
peculiarly happy.
He wished that he, too, had a wound.
A red badge of courage.
Pretty good fight, wasn't it?
Pretty good fight, wasn't it?
Darn me, if I ever seen fellas fight so.
Lord, how they did fight.
I knew the boys would be all right
once they got square at it.
They ain't had no fair chance up to now.
This time they showed what they was.
I knew they'd turn out this way.
You can't lick them boys. No, sir.
They're fighters, they be.
Where are you hit, old boy?
Where are you hit?
Make way!
Jim Conklin.
Hello, Henry.
Where you been?
I thought maybe you got keeled over.
There's been thunder to pay today.
I was wondering about it a good eon.
You know, I was out there...
and, what a circus.
By Jiminy.
I got shot.
I got shot.
I'll tell you what I'm scared of.
I'll tell you what I'm afraid of.
I'm afraid I'll fall down, and then you
know them darned artillery wagons...
they're like to run over me.
That's what I'm afraid of.
You don't have to worry, Jim.
- I'll take care of you. I swear I will.
- Sure? Will you, Henry?
Sure, Jim.
I've always been a good friend to you,
wasn't I, Henry?
I've always been a pretty good fella.
It ain't much to ask, is it...
just to pull me along out of the road?
I'd do it for you, wouldn't I?
Better get him out of the road.
There's a battery coming.
He'll get run over for sure.
He's a goner anyhow,
in about five minutes.
- We'd better get him out of the road.
- Jim, come out of the road.
Move off the road!
Look where he's running.
Jim, what are you doing?
Don't touch me.
Leave me be...
can't you? For a minute?
Jim, what are you doing?
What made you do this?
Leave me be.
He were a regular jim-dandy, weren't he?
A regular jim-dandy.
I wonder where he got his strength from.
I've never seen a man do like that before.
He were a regular jim-dandy.
What's happening over there?
What's the matter?
- What are you running from?
- Let go!
- What's happening over there?
- Let go.
You're in a pretty bad fix, son.
Well, I'm going your way.
Come on. I'll give you a lift.
What's your regiment?
- 304th, I'll betcha.
- Maybe there ain't none of us left.
You'd be surprised at how many of you
is still alive and kicking.
Always seems like more of you
is getting killed than there are.
- I don't think we're going right.
- Just stick with me.
I'll find your regiment for you.
I wonder who won today, us or the Rebs?
Reckon nobody knows,
not even the General.
'Course, they'll say we won a big victory.
Got to keep the people's spirits up...
especially the womenfolk.
They're mighty apt to get discouraged
with their husbands and sons away.
Corporal, that the 304th down there?
I just passed it in that clearing, behind me.
You see? I knew we was going right.
I gave myself up for dead
any number of times.
There was so much
shooting and hollering...
you couldn't tell, to save your soul,
which side you was on.
It was the most mixed-up thing
you ever did see.
When I saw what I did today,
I said, "There ain't no use...
"worrying about yourself.
"Just turn your affairs over to the Lord,
and go on and do your duty.
"Then, if you get killed, it's his concern.
"Anyway, dying is only dying.
"Supposing you don't hear
the birds sing tomorrow...
"or see the sun go down,
it's going to happen anyway."
And you know, son,
that thought gave me peace of mind.
You ought to write your folks a letter,
and tell them you ain't killed.
There's your regiment.
Goodbye and good luck,
and may the good Lord watch after you.
Oh, happy am I. Oh, happy am I
Who goes there?
Hello, Wilson.
Henry Fleming.
- Yeah, it's me.
- Well, by ginger, I'm glad to see you.
I gave you up for a goner.
I thought you was dead, sure enough.
I've had an awful time.
I've been way over on the right.
I got separated from the regiment.
Terrible fighting over there.
- And I got shot.
- Got shot?
- I got shot in the head.
- Why didn't you say so right off?
- Wait, I'll call the corporal.
- Who are you talking to?
You're the darndest sentinel.
Why, hello, Fleming. You here?
I thought you was dead hours ago.
Where was you?
- Over on the right. I got separated.
- He got shot in the head.
He's in a terrible fix.
I ought to look after him.
All right. Better take care of him.
It hurts. It hurts like blazes.
It's been bleeding all the way here,
but it's stopped now, I guess.
Terrible pain when I got hit.
I must have been unconscious
for a long time.
When I come to, I thought I'd keel over
from the hurt it gave me...
when I started walking.
You know,
I might have a bullet in the head.
A wound like that's likely to be fatal.
Let's have a look at your head.
Maybe it's a bad one.
You're mighty lucky.
It ain't as bad as you feared.
You've been grazed by a ball.
Raised a queer sort of a lump...
as if some fella
had lammed you on the head with a club.
The most of it is that in the morning
you'll feel a number 10 hat wouldn't fit.
Might get some other ailments, too.
You can't never tell.
Still, I don't much think so.
It's just a dang good belt on the head,
nothing more.
I'll have you fixed up in about a minute.
You don't holler or say nothing.
I'm a blacksmith
at taking care of ailing folks.
And you never even squeaked.
You're a brave one.
Most men would have been
in the hospital long ago.
- Tom.
- Yeah?
Jim Conklin's dead.
What? Jim Conklin's dead?
Yeah, he's dead.
You don't say. Jim Conklin.
Poor cuss.
Come on, we'll put you to bed
and get you a night's sleep.
Just lie down there and get some rest.
- Tom.
- Yes, Henry?
Did the Lieutenant or anyone
say anything about me being missing?
The regiment lost over half its men,
and I thought they was all dead.
But they keep coming back.
Seems we didn't lose but a few.
They were scattered all over.
Meandering around, and fighting
with other regiments, just like you.
I brought your watch back.
He had performed his mistakes
in the dark...
so he was still a man.
What do you think the chances are?
You think we'll wallop them?
Not if we don't do a lot better
than we done yesterday.
Where I was, over on the right...
I'd say that we was getting
a good pounding.
I thought we handled them pretty rough.
Not at all.
Why, you didn't see none of the fight.
None compared to what you saw, I guess.
Maybe we are in for a licking.
What's got into you?
Day before yesterday...
you was going to lick
the whole caboodle, all by yourself.
Was I?
Perhaps I was.
- No, you wasn't, neither.
- You needn't mind, Henry.
I reckon I was a pretty big fool
in those days.
You talk like it was years ago,
instead of day before yesterday.
Seems like years.
Company, fall in!
We're always being
pushed around like rats.
Makes me sick.
Nobody seems to know
where we're going or why we're going.
We're kicked around from pillar to post.
Why were we marched into these woods...
except to give the Rebs
a regular potshot at us?
Come in here and
get our legs tangled in briers.
Then we fight, and the Rebs
have an easy time whipping us.
- It'll turn out all right.
- The devil it will.
Our generals are a bunch of lunkheads.
You think you fit the battle
by yourself yesterday.
No, I don't think I fit
the whole battle myself.
You boys shut up.
Don't waste your breath
in long-winded arguments.
You been squawking like old hens.
No need to do anything but fight.
You'll get plenty of that in 10 minutes.
I've never seen such fools.
Lieutenant, there's your position.
Get in quick, and fight like everything!
- We may be attacked at any minute.
- Come along, men!
Hop on your bellies against that bank!
The first rule is fire...
By diddy, here we are.
Everybody fighting. Blood and destruction.
- They're coming right at us.
- They'd better watch out.
If they keep on hitting at us
they just better watch out!
That's all I say.
They keep on hitting at us,
they'll knock us into the river.
The devil they will!
The youth was not conscious
that he was erect upon his feet.
He lost every sense but his hate.
For the first time in his life,
he was possessed by a great passion:
The passion to destroy the enemy.
He felt the power of an army in himself.
He was a battle cry, a bullet, a sword.
Fleming, you fool!
Don't you know enough to quit
when there ain't nothing to shoot at?
Get back in here!
If I had 10,000 wildcats like you,
I could tear the stomach out of this war...
in less than a week, that's what I could do.
- Did you ever see such a wildcat?
- You all right?
You feel all right? There ain't nothing
wrong with you, is there?
Get mad, that's all you got to do.
And get this war over in a hurry.
By thunder, I bet this army
ain't got another regiment like us.
You bet.
"A woman, a dog and a walnut tree.
"The more you beat them,
the better they be."
- I'm just dying of thirst.
- Me, too.
I figure there ought to be a creek
over in those woods.
Sir, can me and Fleming
go after some water?
- I think I know where there's a creek.
- Okay, but come back.
- Take my canteen.
- Take mine.
Enemy's forming for another charge.
It'll be directed against Whiterside.
They'll break through
unless we can stop them.
- It'll be the dickens to pay stopping them.
- What troops can we spare?
The 12th was ordered in to help the 76th.
We haven't really got any.
There's the 304th.
They fight like mule drivers.
- We can spare them best of any.
- Get them ready.
I'll send word when to start,
be about five minutes.
Yes, sir.
Not many of your mule drivers
will get back.
That was the General, the General himself.
He's talking about us.
How long does it take to get water?
Where you been to?
- Well, speak up!
- We're going to attack.
- Attack? Who said so? How do you know?
- We heard the General say so himself.
He said the enemy's forming
for another charge against Whiterside.
- The officer said he could spare the 304th...
- We'll be attacking any minute.
By Jiminy, this is what I call real fighting.
- Attack. By Jiminy!
- Well, I'll be darned.
- Attack? What for?
- Wonder why they picked us.
Get your men set. We're going to attack.
Let's see a good, straight line now, men.
At ease.
- Good afternoon, boys.
- Good afternoon, General.
We're going to give the Rebs
a darn good licking today.
- What are you having for supper tonight?
- Hardtack and sowbelly.
- I'll be around if you fix an extra plate.
- Be an honor.
- Good luck.
- Thank you, General.
At ease.
- Good afternoon, boys.
- Afternoon, General.
We'll give the Rebs
a good licking today, won't we?
- What are you having for supper?
- Hardtack and sowbelly.
- I'll be around if you fix an extra plate.
- It would be a great honor.
- At ease, boys. At ease.
- Attention!
Good afternoon, Captain.
What are you having for supper tonight?
- Hardtack and sowbelly, sir.
- Mind if I eat with you tonight?
All right. After you've licked the Rebs,
we'll all have supper together.
Good luck.
- At ease, boys.
- Attention!
- Howdy, boys.
- Howdy, General.
Good afternoon, General.
At ease. Howdy, Jim.
- Howdy, General.
- How are those wounds?
Stinging some, General,
but they're mending.
Fine. Anybody want a chaw?
- Thank you, General.
- You've got a hole in your cap, Lieutenant.
Bullet hole, sir.
- Well, good luck, boys.
- Thank you, sir.
- Having supper with us tonight, General?
- Go to blazes, Corporal!
I hear the gamecocks.
Sound the attack.
Thy will be done, sir.
On the double!
You fellas! Come on!
All we got to do is cross this here field.
What are you,
soldiers or a bunch of mule drivers?
Come on!
- Here they come.
- They're right on us, by Jiminy!
Pull them quick and take good aim.
Come on, men! Follow them!
We've got them now.
After them. Forward, men, forward!
- Come on.
- Forward!
Don't take it too hard, old boy.
I wish I was dead.
I just wish I was dead, that's all.
I'd a heap rather be dead.
I run out of powder.
I'd have killed another Yankee
if I'd had powder.
- You're lucky you weren't killed yourself.
- Want a drink of water?
- Not Yankee water.
- It's Reb water.
My canteen, but it's Reb water.
- What state are you fellers from?
- We're all from Tennessee.
- How about y'all?
- We're from Ohio.
I never spoke to nobody from Ohio before.
I never spoke to nobody from Tennessee.
What's your name?
- Lucius M. Pettigrew.
- I'm Bill Porter.
- You just oughta heard.
- Heard what?
The Colonel and the Captain was talking,
and the Colonel says:
"Captain Allworth, by the way,
who was the lad that carried the flag?"
What do you think of that?
"Who was the lad that carried the flag?"
he says.
And the Captain says,
"That's Fleming, and he's a jim-hickey."
It happened right by us.
And the Colonel, he says:
"He is, indeed.
He kept the flag way to the front.
"I saw him. He's a good one."
"Yes," says the Captain.
"He and a feller named Wilson.
"They was at the head of the charge,
howling like Indians all the time.
- "A feller named Wilson," he said.
- Go to blazes. He never said that.
He did, too. And then the Colonel says:
"Were they indeed?
My sakes, those two babies?"
"They were," says the Captain.
"Well," says the Colonel...
- "they deserve to be major generals."
- What a lie.
That's the truth. I heard it myself.
We was there, Fleming,
and it's just as Thompson told you.
That old Colonel's a right smart feller.
Tom, there's something
I just got to get off my chest.
What's that?
when things started getting hot...
I was mighty scared.
- We all was.
- Yeah.
But I lit out.
You mean you ran away, Henry?
Not very far. I was only scared
for a minute, you understand.
Just a minute.
After that, I was that ashamed...
that I couldn't get back
in the fight soon enough.
Instead of looking for you fellas,
I just threw in over on the right...
and went to fighting.
There, now, I told you all there is.
I'm glad you did,
because it makes me feel a sight better.
I skedaddled myself yesterday,
when about half the other fellas did.
Only, the Captain caught me
and made me stay.
Reckon I was more scared of him
than I was of the Rebs.
I guess confession's good for a fella, Tom.
What I mean is, it's good for the soul.
Look! They're our fellas.
I'll be doggoned.
I didn't know any of our fellas
was over that way.
Howdy, boys. Seen any Rebs?
We're hunting them.
There was a whole passel of Rebs here
a minute ago.
We chased them off the wall.
Do tell. We heard you fellers
shooting down this way...
but we figured you was shooting at crows.
Crows? We was fighting a battle!
- You hear that?
- What was that?
You darned fools,
the battle was over that hill...
where we was with Whiterside.
Whiterside? Who's Whiterside?
Why, just the best darned general
in the whole Northern Army.
Never heard of him.
- Go to the rear and assemble.
- Fall in!
Right, march!
After all the trouble we went to
getting that wall...
I'd like to set by it a little while.
Is it a fact?
Is the credit for winning this battle...
going to old what's-his-name? Whiterside?
I allow it is.
If I'd have known that,
I wouldn't have charged nohow.
Anyway, the Rebs didn't win.
That's something to be thankful for.
I'm thankful I'm all in one piece.
Me, too. I got holes in my cap,
holes in my pants...
but there ain't no holes in me,
except the ones that was intended.
You know,
it's mighty pretty country around here.
I mean, it would be
if they wasn't fighting battles all over it.
- Sun's going down.
- Days are getting shorter all the time.
Reckon we'll be home for spring planting?
Just listen to them birds.
They don't take no time
to tune up and start singing.
Soon as the shooting stops
and the smoke clears...
they're right back at it.
So it came to pass, that as he trudged...
from the place of blood and wrath...
his soul changed.
He had been to touch the great death...
and found that after all,
it was but the great death.
Scars faded as flowers...
and the youth saw that the world
was a world for him.
He had rid himself
of the red sickness of battle.
The sultry nightmare was in the past.
He turned now, with a lover's thirst...
to images of tranquil skies...
fresh meadows, cool brooks.
An existence of soft and eternal peace.