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 --As in The Boys' War (Clarion, 1990), Murphy returns to the Civil War, this time focusing on the Battle of Gettysburg. He introduces two participants--19-year-old Lieutenant John Dooley, CSA, and 17-year-old Union army Corporal Thomas Galway--through whose eyes the action unfolds. Each is a fairly ``typical'' soldier: for Galway, who has experienced anti-Irish prejudice, the war is personal; Dooley is there to defend the honor and integrity of the South. Through alternating narratives, readers see the march northward through Virginia and Pennsylvania, and are present for Pickett's Charge. Murphy does not spare the grim details of battle, and the well-chosen, sepia-toned illustrations and their accompanying captions do much to illuminate the text. The maps are comprehensive and thorough in recording the troop movements. The book closes with Lincoln delivering his Gettysburg Address, and with an epilogue about the young men's postwar lives. The excellent use of quotes and descriptions from Dooley and Galway's journals brings authenticity and immediacy to the narrative. By focusing on these two ordinary soldiers, readers gets a new perspective on this decisive and bloody battle. A first-rate addition to Civil War collections, especially where Murphy's previous book is popular.-- Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN (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