Throughout the Series
In Hope is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson attempts to cheer up those around her, for example trying to console Betty, by promising to her that Henry is alive and well, to which Betty responds, “I thought poets were supposed to avoid clichés”.
In The Soul has Bandaged moments, Betty talks of her relationship with Henry. At first, she blamed him for prioritizing the newspaper over their family’s safety. But since he’s been gone, “writing stitched us back together again…it became a source of hope.” And she anxiously awaits his next letter.
In This is my letter to the World, Henry finally arrives at Higginson’s camp at the same time the latter receives Emily’s letter. All while Henry’s own wife still waits for a letter from him. Higginson is constantly apologizing and vows to “do better”. He eventually gets to the point, and reveals that he wants Henry to train a black regiment in literacy. When Henry arrives, he experiences a bit culture shock. His Massachusetts upbringing does not jive with that of the formerly enslaved black people, and they balk at his mission. It turns out that what they need most are basic amenities like food, new clothes, and to finally be paid.
In Sang from the Heart, Sire, during Henry's literacy class, one of his students reveals that he can see through time.
In A little Madness in the Spring, on the frontlines, Henry is finding it increasingly difficult to motivate the black squadron. He believes Higginson’s promise that a successful uniform inspection could lead to their being armed, but the others have seen this trick done before. To inspire them, he brings out his sewing kit, and talks of his life. Henry has been writing letters to Betty that he refuses to send. “Maybe it’s better they forget me,” he says, “as odds are they’ll never see me again.” But little does he know the harm he’s causing back in Amherst. Nevertheless, Henry advocates for making the small changes they can, rather than feel useless in the face of things they have no sway in. “The world tore my family apart,” he tells them, “and sadly my sewing skills can’t mend a broken community or a broken heart. But what I can fix is a uniform”. Unfortunately, Henry’s uniform inspection does little to change the situation of the squadron. Despite an advancing army, Higginson waffles, in a true white liberal manner, on the issue of arming them. Both attempts at group liberation are blocked by the white men in charge, but it’s significant that Henry sees the pain of the black soldiers and vows to step up the fight, because this is his duty and his life.
In The Future never spoke, unbeknownst to Henry, Sojourner Truth encourages Betty to get back out into the dating scene. This coming after Freddie arrives with nothing from Henry. Sojourner plays matchmaker and persuades Betty and Freddie to go on a sunny stroll. On the frontline, Henry informs Higginson that the Confederate soldiers march toward their encampment, and the regiment still doesn’t have weapons. Higginson claims Henry’s crew must solidify the barricade and that he needs approval from Lincoln to grant them guns. But Henry asserts rightfully that that won’t suffice. So, Higginson relays to Henry to intercept a fresh rifle delivery and circumvent authority altogether. Back Armherst, Freddie informs Betty of Henry’s whereabouts and that he’s in Buford serving in the South Carolina volunteer regiment. While there’s no correspondence from Henry, Freddie says he hears the rumors. Henry for his part finds himself strategizing with the regiment regarding the rifle interception.
In My life had stood - a loaded gun -, unbeknownst to her, Betty is disraught by his lack of contact. Then thanks to Death's abilities, Emily finds herself on a battlefield, with Death’s carriage running through. She watches at Henry’s regiment fights the confederates. The battle itself reeks of budget constraints; when Henry overpowers a soldier, his regiment sees victory is at hand.
In Grief is a Mouse, Higginson sees Henry’s regiment has seized victory without his help, and afterward he announces his intention to visit a certain young Amherst-based poet by the name of Emily Dickinson. Henry mentions his acquaintance with Emily. Higginson is shocked and recites one of her poems, and Henry walks off with him, presumably sending a message to go to Betty after all.
In This was a Poet -, once Betty is done with Emily's dress, she comes down, where Higginson hears her name and runs out to tell her of Henry’s bravery. The fact that he lives is enough to bring Betty to tears, and that’s before he brings out the bundle of letters from her estranged husband.