The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 572
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
This book is a task and a joy to review. The difficulty comes
because the desire to quote is almost irresistible. The pleasure is
derived from several counts: the book's interest and readability,
its value as unsurpassed primary history, its genealogical merit in
giving the military service records for the personnel of Company
F, 2nd Regiment Texas Cavalry. For the last, librarians are doubly
grateful. The introduction by Bell I. Wiley, general editor of
Monographs, Sources and Reprints in Southern History, in which
this book is included, is in itself a superb review.
William Williston Heartsill was a twenty-one year old clerk at
Marshall, Texas, when he registered for military service on the
Texas frontier on April 7, 1861. He was a merchant, aged thirty-
five, when he began printing the record of his service as a W. P.
Lane Ranger on his "Octavo Novelty Press" in 1874. At any age
he showed perseverance and industry, either in the faithful re-
cording of his diary or in the revising, editing, illustrating, and
hand printing of the diary which consumed a year and a half. It
was small wonder that he printed only one hundred copies, illus-
trated with sixty-one photographs of the rangers cut and pasted
in each copy.
The editor lists thirteen known copies of the original hundred.
The publication of this facsimile will doubtless bring to light a
few more copies of the original edition. The first edition copy in
the Library of the University of Texas is bound in black cloth.
The title on the spine is "Camp Life of the W. P. Lane Rangers."
Reproduction by facsimile rather than reprint preserves the "bad
orthography" and the small type which makes reading difficult but
is compensated by what Bell appropriately describes as the pres-
ervation of the "original flavor and charm."
Soldiers from Marshall and the surrounding area were enlisted
in the state service as the W. P. Lane Rangers on April 19, 1861.
In May they were sworn into the Confederate States of America
Provisional Army for the length of their enlistment, anticipating
a short struggle for success in a cause "just before high Heaven."
Their next year was spent in camps and scouts on the Texas
frontier. To divert themselves they published camp newspapers
named the Camp Hudson Times and the Western Pioneer. Some
nineteen pages from these "lost" newspapers are included in the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/665/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.