Georgia Boy's Civil War Diary Event At Chickamauga Chattanooga NMP June 16

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Editor Jan Croon will be touring the State of Georgia to discuss and sign copies of The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865.
 
The Fort Oglethorpe event is from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, 3370 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/chch/index.htm.
 
Review of the book:

LeRoy Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent and prominent slaveholding family in Macon, Ga.

As a young child he suffered a horrific leg and back injury that left him an invalid. Educated, inquisitive, perceptive and exceptionally witty, the 12-year-old began keeping a journal in 1860-just before secession and Civil War tore the country and his world apart. He continued to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. His unique view of a waning age is published here for the first time in A Son of Georgia: The Civil War Journals of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865.
 
The precocious youngster, who read Shakespeare and Dickens, loved math and played chess, took in the world from his bed and inside a small wagon pulled around town by a slave his own age. Thirsting for news, LeRoy immersed himself in newspapers, letters, books and adult conversation, following the course of the war closely as he recorded its impact on his family, his community and the new Southern Confederacy. LeRoy's older brother, Thomas, served with Lee's army in Virginia, as did many uncles and neighbors. The wealthy slaveholding family had a deep stake in its outcome.
 
Little escaped LeRoy's pen. His journals brim with both practical and philosophical observations on everything from the course of the war, politics and family matters, to Macon's social activities, food, weather and his beloved pets. The young scribe often voiced concern about "Houston," the family's plantation outside town. He recorded his interactions and relationships with "servants" and "valets" Howard, Eaveline, "Mammy Dinah" and others, as he pondered the fate of human bondage and his family's fortunes.
 
LeRoy's declining health is a consistent thread coursing through his fascinating journals. "I feel more discouraged [and] less hopeful about getting well than I ever did before," he wrote on March 17, 1863. "I am weaker and more helpless than I ever was." Morphine and other "remedies" eased his suffering. Bedsores developed; nagging coughs often consumed him. Alternating between bouts of euphoria and despondency, he would often write, "Saw off my leg."
 
Edited and annotated with meticulous care by Janet Croon, A Son of Georgia: The Civil War Journals of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865, captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body is slowly failing him. Just as Anne Frank has come down to us as the adolescent voice of World War II, LeRoy Gresham will now be remembered as a young voice of the Civil War South.



Pollinator Festival Held On Lookout Mountain

The Pollinator Festival was held on Sunday in the Lookout Mountain School gym. It wa sponsored by the Bee City U.S.A., which both the Tennessee and Georgia. towns have joined. The aim is to promote best practices and to encourage people to help pollinators. The event was also sponsored by the Lookout Mountain Beautiful Garden Club.  (click for more)

8th Annual EMS Week Bass Tournament Set For Monday

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City Stormwater Board Approves Water Quality And Development Fee Increases

The city Stormwater Regulations Board on Monday recommended that the city approve water quality and land development increases sought by the Berke administration, though board members said there had not been enough time for the board and the public to study the fee hikes. Bill Payne, city engineer, said the water quality fee increase would amount to an average $11 per year per ... (click for more)

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Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Words For The Ages

I was probably one of few people in the entire world who didn’t get caught up in the Royal Marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry this weekend. I got over having any semblance of ‘pomp and circumstance’ a long time ago and, as a rule, studiously avoid those apt to ‘put on airs and graces.’ By ignoring the magnificent occasion, I made a big mistake and today it is with delight ... (click for more)