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    The Civil War journal of Texan W.W. Heartsill. "The rarest and most coveted book on the American Civil War"

    W[illiam]. W[illiston]. Heartsill: Fourteen Hundred and 91 Days, in the Confederate Army. A Journal, kept by W.W. Heartsill, for four years, one month, and one day. Or Camp Life; Day-by-Day, of the W.P. Lane Rangers from April 19th 1861, to May 20th 1865. ([Marshall, Texas: Privately Printed, 1876]). First edition, one of only 100 copies hand-printed by the author on an "Octavo Novelty Press". Octavo (8.25" x 5.75"). [viii], 264, [1] pages. Illustrated with sixty-one original albumen photographic portraits (including one of the author) mounted on leaves with printed captions identifying the subjects. Original black cloth, with silver rules and lettering stamped on the spine. Binding is slightly dulled, with light rubbing and soiling. A few corner tears due to the brittle nature of the paper, some foxing, else an excellent, near fine copy.

    The front free endpaper boasts two pages of manuscript exposition (recto and verso) by Heartsill's child, and begins: "My Father - William Williston Heartsill was born in the town of Louisville Blount County Tennessee Oct. 17th 1839. Came to Texas 1859- April 19th 1861. Joined Capt. S.J. Richardson's Co...." Most of the forty-five lines describe events of the Civil War, and note that it was written in 1915, the year before W.W. Heartsill passed away.

    Heartsill's journal describes his experiences during the Civil War, including material related to Texas ranching activities, Indian and Mexican affairs, and botany; the Texas Secession Convention; generals Braxton Bragg, Stonewall Jackson, Joseph E. Johnston, and John W. Whitfield; his work with the W.P. Lane Rangers; battles of Chickamauga and Vicksburg; prisoners of war; and Confederate Army Trans-Mississippi Department. Harwell, In Tall Cotton 86: "This book would be of considerable interest because of the homespun way in which it was produced, even if it were devoid of any other virtues. It is, however, a good narrative in its own right-of the early days of the war in Texas, of operations in Arkansas and Louisiana, of Heartsill's capture and imprisonment in the North, of his travels through the north to City Point, Virginia, for exchange. After some time in Richmond he was attached to Bragg's army in time to participate in the Battle of Chickamauga. Then slowly back to Texas through Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. For a while he guarded Federal prisoners in Camp Ford at Tyler, Texas. He and his comrades in the W. P. Lane Rangers were finally disbanded near Navasota May 10, 1865." Howes H380: "Printed by the author, page-by-page, on a hand-press; one of the rarest journals by a Confederate combatant." Basic Texas Books 89: "The rarest and most coveted book on the American Civil War. Only one hundred copies were printed, of which merely a handful have survived.... The journal itself is historically important.... This four-year record is one of the most vivid and intimate accounts of Civil War battle-life that has survived." "A product of homemade printing, this work recounts not only the experiences of a soldier in the Trans-Mississippi, but also his travels through the North as a war prisoner." -Civil War Books.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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