Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Ambrose Bierce's 'Chickamauga' depicts the encounter of a lost boy with a battalion of wounded and retreating soldiers. Bierce blends the boy's fantasy with the gruesome realities of combat to create a chilling effect.

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These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Set during the Civil War, the story begins with a six-year-old Southern boy who wanders away from his house and disappears into the nearby woods, all the while dreaming of military victories and heroic conquests. Unbeknownst to him, his mother has called a search party to find the missing boy and is frantic over the whereabouts of her young son.

When the boy wakes up, he sees unidentifiable figures approaching him and comes to see that they are a multitude of horrifically mutilated soldiers, all of whom are crawling on their knees across the ground.

The child is entertained by the sight because it reminds him of the circus, allowing him to interpret the scene as a humorous spectacle of sorts. Inspired by this memory, the child mounts the back of one of the crawling soldiers, who swiftly flings the boy off of his back.

The child watches as the soldiers gather around the creek, which turns red from the excessive amounts of blood pouring from the soldiers.

The child realizes that the battle took place all around him in the woods while he was sleeping, and the reader learns that the soldiers had nearly trampled the boy as they formed and re-formed their combat lines during the battle.

Finally, the child sees a canopy of smoke arise from the belt of the woods and recognizes that a fire is blazing. He even attempts to elevate the spectacle by adding more fuel to the fire but is unable to because the fuel is too heavy for him to carry. The boy then recognizes some of the outbuildings burning on the property and realizes that it is his own home that is burning down.

Realizing that the soldiers had attacked his plantation, the child attempts to scream but cannot, making only strange and indescribable sounds. The child is revealed to be a deaf mute, and the story ends with him silently observing the destruction. Chickamauga study guide contains a biography of Ambrose Bierce, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Chickamauga essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce.

Remember me. Forgot your password? Study Guide for Chickamauga Chickamauga study guide contains a biography of Ambrose Bierce, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Essays for Chickamauga Chickamauga essays are academic essays for citation.


Chickamauga Background

They crept upon their hands and knees. They used their hands only, dragging their legs. They used their knees only, their arms hanging idle at their sides. They strove to rise to their feet, but fell prone in the attempt.



Thoughts on reading and studying the short story by a guy who's read and written about a lot of short stories. Post a Comment. Sunday, June 18, Ambrose Bierce, "Chickamauga". Here are some of the discoveries I made about the story with the help of my students. The anti-war theme of Bierce's story depends on the basic tensions between child world and adult world and between fantasy and reality.

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