Cover image for The long road to Gettysburg
The long road to Gettysburg
Murphy, Jim, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1992]

Physical Description:
116 pages : illustrations, maps ; 27 cm
Describes the events of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 as seen through the eyes of two actual participants, nineteen-year-old Confederate lieutenant John Dooley and seventeen-year-old Union soldier Thomas Galway. Also discusses Lincoln's famous speech delivered at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
Reading Level:
1070 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.6 2.0 8474.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 5 Quiz: 07058 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E475.53 .M946 1992 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A description of the Battle of Gettysburg as seen through the eyes of nineteen-year-old Confederate lieutenant John Dooley and seventeen-year-old Union soldier Thomas Galway.

Author Notes

Jim Murphy's nonfiction books have received numerous awards, among them the Sibert Medal, three Orbis Pictus awards, the Margaret A. Edwards award, and two Newbery Honors. Jim also was a finalist for the National Book Award. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim lives in Maplewood, NJ, with his family.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. Beginning and ending with the dedication ceremony at which Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, Murphy's intriguing book presents the story of the battle from the points of view of two actual participants. Murphy introduces readers to a Confederate lieutenant, John Dooley, and a Union corporal, Thomas Galway, then follows their footsteps and relates what they see during the battle, often in their own words. Meanwhile, maps and background information give a sense of Gettysburg as a whole. Though some readers may have difficulty with the back-and-forth shifts of perspective, this method makes for a more evenhanded account of the divisive war than Murphy could have achieved by giving one soldier's perspective alone. In the end, Dooley, one of 42,000 wounded at Gettysburg, lies in the rain for two days and nights before being tended and sent to a Union prison. Galway helps with the burial detail's monumental task before moving out with Meade's forces. The firsthand accounts, drawn from Dooley's and Galway's own writings, give the narrative immediacy and personalize the horrors of battle. Like Murphy's The Boys' War [BKL D 1 90], this volume is generously illustrated with period drawings, engravings, paintings, and, especially, photographs. An important addition to the Civil War shelf. ~--Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Excerpts from the diaries of two young officers, Lt. John Dooley of the Confederacy and Cpl. Thomas Galway of the Union army, are at the heart of this compelling account of the Civil War's bloodiest battle. Expertly blending details about the battle and each side's plans with the diaries, Murphy conveys all of the tension, tedium and excitement of the battlefield. Archival photographs of the site powerfully present young readers with a grim reminder of the high cost of waging this conflict. Several photos show dead horses and soldiers, their bodies not yet removed for burial. The conclusion explains what happened to the young officers after the war was over, neatly tying up the end of the book and making these men from long ago even more real to today's readers. Ages 9-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Balancing tactical and historical descriptions of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with the firsthand diary accounts of two young soldiers, one Union and one Confederate, Jim Murphy's title (Clarion, 1992) is solidly narrated by Ray Childs, Terry Bregy, and William Dufris, each lending his talent to a different section of the text. The use of different voice actors for the narration is especially effective in helping listeners differentiate the Union and Confederate points of view, with snippets of snare drum music separating the passages to further reinforce the shifts in viewpoint. Another narrator reads the introduction and conclusion, which describe the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg and includes Lincoln's famous address. Key figures are quoted and given distinct voices, some more successfully than others. Listeners will get a sense of the emotion, pain, and fatigue experienced by the two soldiers through the performances, though occasionally the voice used for Galway, the Union corporal, sounds too similar to the narrative voice, making it difficult to differentiate the diary excerpts from the exposition. Overall, this is a worthwhile addition to non-fiction audiobook collections.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1. We Are Marchingp. 9
2. Rumors and a Long Marchp. 24
3. I Will Fight Him Inch by Inchp. 38
4. Lightning Before the Stormp. 54
5. Pickett's Chargep. 66
6. A Few Appropriate Remarksp. 88
Conclusionp. 103
Bibliographyp. 110
Indexp. 113