January 17, 2024 – Janet E. Croon – “The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865”
This program will be on-line only (Zoom and Facebook)
For Zoom link: Coming soon
Summary – A remarkable account of the collapse of the Old South, and the final years of a privileged but afflicted life.
Le Roy Wiley Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent slave-holding family in Macon, Georgia. A horrific leg injury left him an invalid. The educated, inquisitive, perceptive, and exceptionally witty 12-year-old began keeping a diary in 1860 just as secession and the Civil War began tearing the country—and his world—apart. He continued writing until both the war and his life ended in 1865. The Library of Congress hailed his seven-volume diary as one of its premier manuscripts.
LeRoy read books, devoured newspapers and magazines, and debated important social and military issues with his parents and others. He wrote almost daily for five years, putting pen to paper with a vim and tongue-in-cheek vigor that impresses even today. His practical, philosophical, and occasionally Twain-like jovial observations cover politics and the succession movement, slavery, the long and increasingly destructive war, and what daily life was like at the center of a socially prominent wealthy family in the important Confederate manufacturing center of Macon.
The award-winning “The World Outside My Window,” edited and annotated by Janet Croon, captures the spirit and the character of a young white non-combatant teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body slowly failed him. Just as Anne Frank has come down to us as the adolescent voice of World War II, LeRoy will now be remembered as the young voice of the Civil War South.
About the Author – Janet E. Croon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Modern European History, Russian Language and Area Studies and a Master’s in International Studies. She taught International Baccalaureate History for two decades in the Fairfax County Public School system. Originally from the Chicago area, she has lived in several places, including Dayton, OH, Albuquerque, NM, and Wiesbaden, Germany before eventually ending up in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
Jan is also the author of “The World Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865: A Comprehensive Curriculum Guide for Teachers “(with Kimberly Conrad).
The York Civil War Round Table is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote, interpret, preserve, and protect the Civil War heritage of York County, Pennsylvania, through the education and exchange of information with its members and the general public. Membership is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about the American Civil War.
Founded as the White Rose Civil War Round Table, the York CWRT holds monthly meetings the third Wednesday of every month except December at 7:00 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of the York County History Center’s Historical Society Museum at 250 East Market Street in York, Pennsylvania. Each meeting features a guest speaker talking about a Civil War topic of local or national interest. Meetings are FREE and open to the public. For upcoming programs, please visit the Cannonball webpage http://www.yorkblog.com/cannonball/york-cwrt/.
Historical Society Museum
250 East Market Street
York, PA 17403
York Civil War Roundtable
Online only – Zoom and Facebook