On Enemy Soil
Book information
Author Jim Murphy
Series My Name Is America
Publishers Scholastic
Publication date September 1, 1998[1]
Pages 180
ISBN 9780590438148 (1st)
9780439555371 (2nd)
Book in series 2
Preceded by The Journal of William
Thomas Emerson
Followed by The Journal of Joshua Loper
Relaunch order
Publication date September 1, 2012[2]
ISBN 9780545238342
Book in series 3
Preceded by Into No Man's Land
Followed by A True Patriot
"I saw a shadow move up ahead and thought about stopping to fire, when I remembered those shadows coming at us at Gettysburg and thought better of it. I did not want to cause the Lt. any more trouble. So I ran at it, musket lowered now and my bayonet aimed at its center—its stomach—and let out a howling scream that startled even me."
James Pease[3]

The Journal of James Edmond Pease, a Civil War Union Soldier is a historical fiction book in the My Name Is America series. It was published in September 1998 and was written by Jim Murphy. In September 2012, the book was republished as On Enemy Soil with new cover art.

The book chronicles the life of James Pease, a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War.


"To Diane Hess — with appreciation and love"

Book descriptionEdit


James Pease, a Private in G Company of the 122nd Regiment in the Union Army, is assigned to write the company journal by Lt. Toms. Hesitant at first, James soon records the harsh daily life and the history of his company. During a skirmish, James charges at the enemy, though they were already retreating. This single action soon earns him a promotion to Corporal.

The army spends the winter in Brandy Station, Virginia. That Christmas, Johnny Henderson's sister, Sarah, begins sending letters to James. In January 1864, James is promoted to Sergeant, which comes with new authority and responsibilities. As winter draws to a close, G Company partners with Major Pettit and prepare for battle against the Confederate Army.

The troops march to Spotsylvania County to a part known as the "Old Wilderness". Suddenly on May 5, James finds himself in full-out battle with the "Rebs" (Rebels). The following day, James is knocked unconscious and finds himself behind enemy lines. Disoriented, James remembers bits and pieces of the Battle of the Wilderness as he makes his way from hiding spot to hiding spot.

James stumbles through the woods and is spotted by a Southern woman, who quickly alerts her neighbors. He continues walking and meets a slave named Sally, who hides him in her shack. Later the next night, James escapes the plantation with Sally, her nephew Davie, and his family. James is able to reach a Union camp with their help. He learns where his company's whereabouts and abandons camp against orders to find them.


Main article: List of On Enemy Soil characters


Main article: Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy (born September 25, 1947 in Kearny, New Jersey) is an award-winning author of nonfiction and fiction books. He has authored over thirty-five books for children, young adults, and adults. The majority of his books are about American history, including West to a Land of Plenty and My Face to the Wind in Dear America and The Journal of Brian Doyle in My Name Is America.

Murphy admits "that he never found the Civil War very interesting when he was in school." His interest was piqued after reading a journal by soldier Elisha Stockwell, Jr. Murphy also read journals by Thomas Galway and Benjamin C. Rawlings to prepare for this book.


  • Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High (2001)[4]


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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