Today the students in my “War in Literature” class finished Stephen Crane‘s classic The Red Badge of Courage. Surprisingly, Crane was just 23 years old when he wrote the novel and he had no combat experience. The fictional battle that takes place in the novel is likely based on the real Civil War battle of Chancellorsville. His story depicts the inner turmoil of the fictional soldier Henry Fleming, and after its publication, Crane earned high praise from readers and critics around the world. This novel is considered one of Crane’s most important works and a significant text in the American literary tradition.