The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 573
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diary. The Rangers re-enlisted for the duration of the war and
were ordered to Arkansas Post, where Heartsill spent the Christ-
mas of 1862 with the mumps. The company was captured by
Federal troops in January, 1863, and was imprisoned at Camp
Butler, near Springfield, Illinois, until it was sent to Virginia
for exchange on April 13, 1863. En route to join Braxton Bragg's
Army of Tennessee, Heartsill managed to slip off to visit his fam-
ily in Tennessee and then for five months was with his fellow
Texans in a makeshift infantry group under Roger Q. Mills. In
September they were in the battle of Chickamauga, and Heart-
sill's description of that engagement is one of the high points of
the book. The service with Bragg was most distasteful, partly
because the men were dismounted, partly because their officers
were not of their own selection. When Mills, in November, 1863,
ordered a further division of the company, Heartsill and three
of his companions rebelled and slipped away to join their home
units, walking the 730 miles to Marshall between November 6
and December 23, 1863. At the Mississippi they took the flooring
from a negro cabin, calked it with cotton, cut three oars with
their pocket knives-and named their vessel the Lady King. In
February, 1864, the "Johnson Spy Company, Unattached," a
name they had fabricated for themselves as they travelled without
passes, became a part of Morgan's battery of Texas Cavalry and
was assigned to guard Federal prisoners at Camp Ford at Tyler,
Texas, until they returned to Louisiana for more chills and fever.
They were searching for deserters in East Texas up to May 2o,
1865, when Colonel William H. Parsons disbanded the Rangers
as he said: "You are once again citizens of Texas."
Heartsill continued to live in Marshall, where he operated his
business in "Groceries, Saddles and Harness." He served as a city
official and was interested in local business affairs and in the
activities of the Texas Confederate Veterans until his death at
Waco in 1916. The diary reveals his keen sense of humor, vivid
power of description, persistent optimism, unselfishness and devo-
tion to duty, modesty, and popularity with his fellow soldiers. In
his own words: "as a mirror of camp life, and the trials and
pleasures of a private soldier's life in the army, this kind of a
journal is the most correct."
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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/m1/666/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.