Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012 Page: 19
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Of special note are the entries of November-December 1864, when Union
Gen. William T. Sherman made his historic march through Georgia to the
sea. Macon was thought to be in the line of advance, and LeRoy Gresham's
diary reflects the uncertainties faced by those in the path of Sherman's army.
Nov. 17, 1864
Clear and warmer. Rode down to Dr Emerson's and found the town in an
uproar about the approach ofthe enemy, who are this side of Grign and
'marching on,' 10 & some declare 15,000 strong. The trains have been running
in all day with the stores &c. The College will be broken up tis thought. We
have about 10 or 11,000 to oppose them & I can't see why Macon should give
up. 8PM. We have received the following from Mr. Bowdre which I copy for
"Mrs. Gresham: The news is bad enough: our forces have been compelled to
retreat, & were at Barnesville last night (40 miles from Macon) & Gen.
Toombs tells me they will be some 15 miles from Macon tonight-I mean
ours- Sherman's army is coming on as rapidly as they can; his cavalry camped
last night, it is said, only 10 miles from Forsythe in Butts co. He is coming
in two columns-it is thought by those who ought to know that Sherman's
forces will be here on Sunday or Monday, possibly sooner, unless opposed &
we have too small a number to do anything much I fear. We mayfight him in
this vacinity but I fear not with any chance ofsuccess. Gen. Toombs advises all
ladies & children to get away ifthey can. He is now at our store. I am greatly
disturbed myself about my family. Yours in haste RE. Bowdre."
We do not know what to do or think. We have no place to run to, where we
could be safe, and we feel awfully about it. The town is in a furor of excitement
& I fear little or nothing will be done to save the town. IfFather were only
LeRoy Gresham persevered throughout these times and kept his diary
almost daily until just a few days before his death on June 18, 1865, at the
age of 17 due to causes unknown.
THE CIVIL WAR BLOGGERS
Elizabeth Keckley, Eugenia Phillips and LeRoy Gresham are among the
"authors" of a new Civil War in America blog from the Library of Congress.
The blog will run twice a week for the duration of the exhibition.
Using the Library's collections of diaries and other first-person accounts,
more than 40 people, from those well known to those rescued from obscurity,
will tell their stories in their own words for a contemporary audience and
perhaps show that these people were not so different than us in their hopes,
fears and aspirations.
Susan Mordan is the educational specialist in the Interpretive Programs Office. Michelle
Krowl in the Manuscript Division, Cheryl Regan in the Interpretive Programs Office and
Margaret Wagner in the Publishing Office also contributed to this article.
O MORE INFORMATION:
"Voices of the Civil War" blog
"The Civil War in America" exhibition online
myloc.gov/exh i bitions/civi I-war-i n-america
Civil War Photos from the Liljenquist Collection
myloc.gov/exh i bitions/civi Iwarphotographs
November/December 2012 www.loc.gov/lcm
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Office of Communications, Library of Congress. Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012, periodical, November 2012; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133017/m1/21/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .