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Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 10:26am

Macon Civil War Diary On Display

A new exhibit at the Library of Congress tells the story of the Civil War through the eyes of a Macon teenager.

LeRoy Wiley Gresham was an upper-class son of a former mayor. Physically disabled, he experienced the war largely through reading and obsessively writing in his diary, now on display in Washington.

Curator Michelle Krowl told the Telegraph of Macon she chose to feature tense entries from the days after Sherman’s Union army captured Atlanta, when Maconites feared they may be next.

"We have it open to that page where LeRoy and his family are trying to decide whether they stay, whether they go," Krowl said. "Ultimately his sister Minnie is the one who does accompany some other people and refugee, but he and his mother stay."

Ultimately, Sherman turned east toward Milledgeville, and Macon was spared.

The Gresham family’s mansion still stands as the present-day 1842 Inn, where Oprah Winfrey stayed when her show came to Macon in 2007.

Gresham’s diary is on display in the Civil War in America exhibit at the Library of Congress through June 1.