Now online: a diary you don’t want to miss

July 31

The Library of Congress this week posted online the entire Civil War diary of LeRoy Gresham, an invalid teenager from Macon, Ga., who chronicled the story of the war, his well-to-do slave-owning family and his affliction.

The seven volumes were kept by Gresham from June 1860, when he was 13, to a few days before he died on June 18, 1865, when he was 17.

The handwriting is neat and legible, and the young author is observant, funny, and intelligent, even as he struggles with a host of ailments that appear to be stem from an improperly healed broken leg.

The library has also posted family correspondence, which a includes a heart-breaking letter from his mother, Mary, recounting “my departed treasure’s last days.”

 

Michael.Ruane@washpost.com

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