A House Divided

Lincoln, Civil War, and U.S. Presidents

Janet Elizabeth Croon
The War Outside My Window

Airdate: Oct 25, 2018 @ 12:00 PM CST

Show Info

Janet Elizabeth Croon
The War Outside My Window
Airdate: Oct 25, 2018 @ 12:00 PM CST

Janet Elizabeth Croon joined us on A House Divided to talk about her book, The War Outside My Window. 

LeRoy Wiley Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent slave-holding family in Macon, Georgia. After 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 to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. His unique manuscript of the demise of the Old South—lauded by the Library of Congress as one of its premier holdings—is published here for the first time in The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865.

The War Outside My Window, edited and annotated by Janet Croon with helpful footnotes and a detailed family biographical chart, captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white 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 Gresham will now be remembered as the young voice of the Civil War South.

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Bjorn Skaptason holds a M.A. in history from Loyola University Chicago.

He has published essays on Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh for the Ambrose Bierce Project Journal, on the United States Colored Troops in the campaign and battle of Brice’s Crossroads for the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, and in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society on The Chicago Light Artillery. A dealer in antiquarian books, Bjorn produces and guest hosts A House Divided for Author’s Voice®, a live book discussion program streamed from Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc. in Chicago.

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