In Charles Brockden Brown’s novel, Edgar Huntly, or Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker, the main character, Huntly, traverses the American wilderness to retrieve Clithero and discover the truth of Waldegrave’s murder. This journey into the woods imitates the literary trope of a katabasis, or descent to the underworld by the archetypal hero. However, Huntly’s epistolary narrative, however, reflects the problematic attempt on his part to qualify himself as a hero. Displaced within his story as a failed hero-figure because of his unreliable narration, his text remains elusive as a moral story, unlike most classical mythological hero tales such as The Odyssey and The Aeneid. In this paper, I use Huntly’s story to foreground his displaced heroism when writing about his descent into the American wilderness. Additionally, I compare and contrast Huntly’s journey with the classical katabasis and how the dangers of the American wilderness transforms into an underworld. Huntly does emerge from this underworld, but he becomes a destructive force. Lastly, I posit that, while Huntly’s narrative parallels the mythological hero’s journey to the underworld and back, the portrayal of his displaced heroism inverts the archetypal hero story and challenges the morality of America as a new nation.