Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys)” as Want to Read:
Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys Series)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,197 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys)
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Crown (first published March 5th 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hallowed Ground, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hallowed Ground

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg, Three Days in July

"More than any other place in the United States, this battlefield is indeed hallowed ground. Perhaps no word in the American language has greater historical resonance than Gettysburg. For some people Lexington and Concord, or Bunker Hill, or Yorktown, or Omaha Beach would be close rivals. But more Americans visit Gettysburg each year than any of these other battlefields--perhaps than all of them combined."

Although I was born in Alabama a
Jake B
Jan 12, 2015 Jake B rated it liked it
Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg is about how the armies didn't want to fight at Gettysburg but went union soldiers saw confederate soldiers coming closer they stared to fire at them. It talked about where all the monuments are in Gettysburg. In the book it said what fights were won and what fights were lost. It said so of the tactics and attack formations.

I thought that the book was good but could be a little better at some parts in the end I would recommend it to my friends.

Nathan Albright
May 28, 2017 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge2017

As a result of reading quite a few books by the author [1], I have come to the understanding that James McPherson writes a great deal of short and topical books on various Civil War matters, and many of them are filled with a certain sense of wit as well as a highly critical attitude towards what he views as particularly poor historiography. Those tendencies are all in full evidence here, and this is a book that has a particularly narrow scope but one that handles that scope particularly well an
James McPherson has done it again, just when I think that there is nothing more to be said about the battle of Gettysburg, he goes ahead and proves me wrong. "Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg", is not intended to provide a thorough examination of this penultimate Civil War battle, instead it serves as historical guidebook.

While taking readers on a tour of the Gettysburg National Park (as well as areas of the town itself), McPherson provides the history of those sites, detailing the events
Kristin Strong
Jan 20, 2017 Kristin Strong rated it it was amazing
Author, Civil War scholar, and Princeton history professor James M. McPherson is your guide for a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield. The book and the tour are arranged chronologically, as you read about and visit sites important to each of the three days of the July, 1863 battle. I read the illustrated edition, which is enhanced with beautiful (and sometimes harrowing) pictures of places and people involved in the conflict. The story of the fighting is interspersed with first-person accounts an ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it
McPherson has a very natural, comfortable writing style and can evoke small anecdotal moments that can be clearly seen in the mind's eye as well as he can explain strategies and tactics of battle. The book has just the proper length, depth and tone and offers simple illustrative maps to help us picture the layout each day of the battle.
I was surprised and amused by his sense of humor with the exception at the very end regarding the appearance of rain after battles that seemed to misfire as a fi
Sep 09, 2012 Mickey rated it it was amazing
This is a short book about the site of the battle that is considered the turning point in the Civil War. I think it would be a good book for someone with an intermediate knowledge of Gettysburg. It would also be good for a person who has just visited Gettysburg or who is preparing to visit. This book focuses on the land of Gettysburg, which is a novel approach. It has interesting factoids that are arranged well, but I don't think it was meant to be an overview or an introduction to Gettysburg. M ...more
John Gurney
Apr 12, 2014 John Gurney rated it really liked it
This short book is written in McPherson's clear style. The historian shares brief anecdotal stories and tackles the many myths that arose from this cataclysmic and decisive Civil War battle. “Hallowed Ground” is perfect for anyone planning to visit Gettysburg, as McPherson weaves history into precise geographic spots on a battleground walk. He carefully provides perspective on the action in the context of the war and the nation's history. The walk ends at the site of President Lincoln's Gettys ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
Read "Hallowed Ground", watched Ken Burns "Civil War: Episode 5", about Gettysburg. Now I feel ready for our trip to Gettysburg.
Robin Friedman
Mar 18, 2017 Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing
A Walk Through Gettysburg

James McPherson, America's leading Civil War historian, is an ideal guide to the Gettysburg Battlefield. In his short, eloquent book, "Hallowed Ground," it is almost as if Professor McPherson is at the reader's side accompanying the reader as a guide to the great battle that took place from July 1 -- July 3, 1863.

McPherson is an ideal guide for many reasons. Most importantly, he is reflective. His focus is on the meaning and significance of the Battle rather than on bare
Joe Mitchell
Jan 22, 2017 Joe Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Take a walk over the hallowed ground of Gettysburg and "hear" anecdotes and local history or the battlefield where the turning point of the Civil War took place.
Mar 04, 2017 George rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Excellent work by a noted professor of American History. This short, 2 hour listen is descriptive of the Civil War battle field at Gettysburg. Not only does McPherson provide the basics of the battle but also some unknown factoids and vignettes not previously known. For example, Daniel Sickles lost a leg and it's still in Philadelphia; he was also largely responsible for the battle field as we see it today. The book should be accompanied by a visit to Gettysburg because it references information ...more
Donna Davis
Hallowed Ground packs a great deal of information regarding Gettysburg, past and present, into a tight package. I own an earlier edition, and I used the photographs in it as part of my lectures when I was teaching a unit on the Civil War. Thank you to Edelweiss-Above the Treeline and the publisher for the DRC.

McPherson is a renowned author, winner of the Pulitzer for Battle Cry of Freedom. That volume should be the go-to book for anyone looking for a first highly literate glimpse of the American
Jul 02, 2014 J rated it really liked it
This relatively-recently-written (2003) book is a very good, and very clear, brief, walking tour of the Gettysburg battlefield. McPherson has toured the battlefield many times and, of course, is a fine scholar of the war. His familiarity with both the battlefield landscape and the facts of the strategy and tactics is clear, and he has an eye for the interesting backstory, as well as the ways that the topography of the battlefield affected the outcome. He also identifies still-ongoing historical ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Earl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (The Illustrated Edition) by James McPherson is a nice work about both the battle and the park as it now is. The addition of photographs, drawings and maps makes this a far more valuable work than it was previously.

For those of us who have visited multiple times we will be reminded of many things we may have forgotten. For those who haven't yet visited this can serve as a guide (though I would caution that it is not an exhaustive guide) or simply as a substi
Nov 11, 2011 Aleks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice and concise summary of Gettysburg. Not by any means McPherson's most insightful work on the Civil War (See the illustrated edition of Battle Cry of Freedom or, I'm told, For Cause and Comrades) but informative and readable. The maps are very minimalist and don't show up terribly well on my Kindle Touch. Fortunately I have The Atlas of the Civil War, edited by McPherson.

I do like the efforts McPherson goes through in this slim volume to debunk myths of which the Civil War bred hosts. He al
Jun 03, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
This book, for what it is, is great. For me, it was interesting, but it was very light reading.

The book is very worthwhile as a refresher to the Battle of Gettysburg. McPherson writes this like he's giving a very laid-back tour of the battle. Certainly, with such a small book, there is a lot of detail left out of his story. Even so, there are a lot of interesting things as well. Note that the upcoming landscape changes he mentions have taken place and are still taking place to more closely refle
Feb 09, 2011 TBML rated it it was amazing
Fans of Civil War History will not want to miss this one. McPherson's This is a written version of the Princeton professor's walking tours with his students. Exciting and approachable treatment of the topic. The text is brief but manages to be comprehensive in its overview of the three-day battle-the bloodiest in our history-while including fascinating stories. McPherson writes in a conversational tone as he describes the atmosphere of the site. Specific street directions are provided, and the a ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Angelica rated it really liked it
I actually read this book on our way home, after visiting Gettysburg, so I didn't get to enjoy it on location as a guide book. Still, everything was fresh in my mind. Unlike the audio tour we purchased at the gift shop, this author did a great job sharing interesting tidbits and anecdotes while still offering a great overview of the battle and following a coherent timeline. James McPherson is clearly quite knowledgeable and he has a great sense of humor. The book is very readable and enjoyable.
Apr 25, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A very nice, quite short, outline of the battle of Gettysburg. It's written as a walking tour; I don't think it would be useful as one, but it would be a good introduction if you are going to visit the battle site. There are no pictures, but there are some simple maps. Although short, the author seems to have a special interest in debunking myths and false stories (he's a professor at Princeton and the author of the "Battle Cry of Freedom"), and you can read and enjoy the whole thing in a day or ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Sam rated it it was amazing
Excellent walk through of the Battle of Gettysburg. Planning to use the book and follow McPherson's directions to view the various battle spots. Brief, yet thorough, he gives perspective and vision to each site discussed. I've been to the battlefield many times, but gained a new glimpse through McPherson's many years of Gettysburg tour guiding. I especially enjoyed the human interest stories and the be-bunking of various Gettysburg Battle myths. I highly recommend this book for those interested ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
Probably best when you're actually touring Gettysburg, this book nonetheless captures the story and dispels some of the myths surrounding those three important July days in 1863. I enjoyed McPherson's tone: conversational, yet knowledgeable - just like I imagine he is in front of students. He takes readers throughout the battlefield, and you feel as if you're getting the inside story. I'll bet his rivals the best of the official guidebooks. The only thing missing are photos, but I suppose if you ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it
I appreciated the insight this book gave on the battle of Gettysburg without being overwrought with details. It reads like a guided tour, and makes me hunger for the chance to visit this remarkable place and see for myself the details of the battlefield. This book is not a comprehensive description of the Battle of Gettysburg, but is just enough to get your feet wet on understanding the battle. Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone looking to visit the Gettysburg area.
This was a very short book that was fun but not very deep. I enjoyed the read and learned a few new anecdotal pieces of information, but this basically feels like a quick way for McPherson to make some money. That sounds very critical, but I do not mean it to be. I enjoyed the light read and if nothing else, it really makes me want to visit Gettysburg and spend some real time there. This was a perfect one day read during what has become a Civil War kick for me.
Marc Axelrod
Aug 21, 2016 Marc Axelrod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gettysburg Revisited

A highly respected professor of history at Princeton gives us a moving tour of the battlefields of Gettysburg and reveals the true history of what happened and exposes the myths and what can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

It's a good book to read even if you haven't been to Gettysburg yet, but Civil War history newbies should definitely begin with McPherson's book Battle Cry of Freedom.
Jul 02, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Concise, but detailed, walk through of the Battle of Gettysburg. I would not, however, recommend it to anyone largely unfamiliar with the general action of the battle or the battleground, as the high level detail could be a bit confusing, particularly without any photos as reference, since the book only includes 3 maps-one for each day of fighting.

Read as one of several books in preparation for a trip to Gettysburg. Very informative.
Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
What did you think about this book? It acts as a handbook, fieldguide for the area around Gettysburg. What I liked about it was McPherson filled the pages with anecdotes and glimpses into the turning points into the making of the battle and the war. He re-vitalizes the facts and figures, but more importantly, he makes the effort to write about why--the Cause and the Comradeship--that made the soldiers give their last full measure of devotion.
May 24, 2014 Adrian rated it really liked it
Read this before taking a trip through the National Endowment for the Humanities to Gettysburg with other teacher around the country. A nice short read about the battle, where and when things took place, and brief explanations why. I enjoyed the information about different myths about Gettysburg and where they may have come from. Very excited to now visit the site to put a picture with his descriptions. Would recommend this to any history buff as a great read!
Feb 25, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
Rather than an in-depth account of the battle at Gettysburg, this books provides a tour of the grounds with battle stories and anecdotes along the way. Not having been to Gettysburg, the detailed directions from one historic site to another were a little excessive for me, but I appreciated the readability of the fairly short book. It gave me an overview of the battle with interesting tidbits and left me feeling like I understood the essential facts without being bogged down by details.
Jun 28, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I knew a pretty good amount of stuff about Gettysburg (And I do!) but this book made me realize I don't know as much as I thought. I loved the pictures and the maps, it made so much more sense to me with those there, and the author wrote in a way that kept me engaged. I would recommend this book. 5 out of 5 stars.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage
  • Chancellorsville
  • Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863
  • Gettysburg--The Second Day
  • The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command
  • Glory Road
  • General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier
  • Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War
  • All for the Union: The Civil War Diary & Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes
  • Shiloh, 1862
  • Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command
  • Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave
  • Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War
  • The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy
James M. McPherson (born October 11, 1936) is an American Civil War historian, and is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom, his most famous book. He was the president of the American Historical Association in 2003, and is a member of the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica.

More about James M. McPherson...

Other Books in the Series

Crown Journeys Series (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon
  • Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown
  • After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti
  • City of the Soul: A Walk in Rome
  • Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital
  • Blues City: A Walk in Oakland
  • Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park (Crown Journeys)
  • Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket (Crown Journeys)
  • Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago
  • Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague (Crown Journeys)

Share This Book