A Guide to the Willis Lang Diary, 1860
Willis L. Lang, planter, Texas Ranger and Confederate Army officer, was born on November 29, 1830, in Wayne County, Mississippi. Willis read law in the office of his brother-in-law, Thomas P. Faulkner, in Alabama, but upon the death of his father in 1849 he returned to Mississippi to administer the plantation. He moved to Texas two years later and finally settled twelve miles from the Falls County community of Marlin by February 20, 1856. In April 1860 he enlisted in Captain J.M. Smith’s company of “Waco Rangers”; he served until the following September on a campaign against marauding Kickapoos and Comanches.
During the Secession War, Lang raised a company of lancers for Confederate service. The unit was assembled into the army at Camp Sibley near San Antonio on September 2, 1861. At the battle of Valverde on February 21, 1862, Lang suffered a severe wound and was left behind at the Socorro Hospital when General Henry H. Sibley’s army moved up the Rio Grande toward Albuquerque. Lang committed suicide on March 2, 1862, conscious of the fact that recovery was impossible.
Thomas W. Cutrer, "LANG, WILLIS L. ," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 15, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
The Willis Lang Diary, 1860, is a typescript of the original diary where Willis L. Lang documents his experience as “high private” within Captain J.M. Smith’s company of the “Waco Rangers” between April and September 1860.
This collection is open for research use.
Willis Lang Diary, 1860, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff.
Detailed Description of the Papers