The cow that lowed, the man who milked, the chickens that came running and the woman who called them, the fragrance streaming from the plowed land and the plowman. These he possessed. . . . The wood smoke rising from the home-hearths rose from his heart.

This passage from Chapter XII describes how Johnny develops his sense of self and his sense of country simultaneously. In the aftermath of the first battle of the Revolutionary War, Johnny looks around at his countrymen, who are optimistically preparing themselves for war. He finally realizes who he is and what identity he has been seeking—he is an American. He is a patriot, a soldier, an idealistic believer, and he believes in the equal rights of man. Until this moment, Johnny has modeled himself on Rab and has tried to comport himself based on Rab’s beliefs and behavior. But now Rab is dead, and Johnny realizes that he is an independent person and more than just Rab’s follower. He has developed into someone who feels strongly about a cause. Without Rab, he must now govern his own actions based on his own ideology. Likewise, Johnny realizes how important it is for America to fight for its own right to govern itself, and he is ready to fight for this goal.