William Reece Bourland was born 26 Apr 1843 in Texas as the ninth of fourteen children to John
McElroy Bourland and Nance Hood. His parents had come to the Republic of Texas in 1838.
Will enlisted in Company H of the 9th Texas Cavalry on 14 Oct 1861 at Camp Brogdan, TX. He
was taken prisoner at Hatchie Bridge and paroled on 13 Oct 1862. Apparently the parole was a
mistake and he was ordered by his commander to return to the Yankee prison camp. He reported
that the officer told him, "It is my duty to order you back to parole camp. You do as you like."
He and several others so ordered decided to try to make their way back to Texas. His official
service record shows him as absent without leave and eventually as deserted. However, on
arriving back in Texas he reported to his uncle Col. James Bourland who commanded a regiment
of cavalry (Bourland's Regiment Texas Cavalry, CSA) guarding the Texas border. He served the
remainder of the war attached to Company A of this regiment. Due to ill health he eventually was
detailed as a bodyguard to the regimental surgeon, Dr. Stone for the remainder of the war.
On 21 Jan 1875, Will married Mary Sorilda Bush, daughter of William Bush, Jr. and Lydia A.
Clark in Duganville (Bells), Grayson Co., TX. Mary was born on 22 Oct 1854 in Eddyville, Lyon
Co., KY. Her family had moved to Grayson Co., TX in about 1855. She had an older brother
Edwin R. Bush who also served in the 9th Texas Cavalry. In 1880, Will and Mary were living in
Cooke Co., TX and rented a house from M. L. Maxwell. It is possible that they moved to Indian
Territory (Chickasaw Nation area) about 1884 to ranch with his family.
Their couple's children were:
1. William McElroy ("Mack") Bourland born on 15 Dec 1875 in Montague Co., TX.
2. Charles Bertram Bourland born on 22 Dec 1877. He died in infancy on 25 Apr 1878 in Greenville, TX.
3. Frank Lynn Bourland born on 5 May 1881 in Texas.
4. Annie Laurie Bourland born on 19 Mar 1884 in Texas. She was never married and served as the choir director for the First Baptist Church in Clarendon, TX and was the corporate secretary for the Donley County State Bank.
5. Mary Ella Bourland born 17 Mar 1887 in Oklahoma. She was a public school teacher in Clarendon, TX.
6. James Beldon Bourland born about 1890 in Oklahoma.
7. Fenn Howard Bourland born 21 Nov 1892 in Texas.
8. Edith Mina Bourland born 22 Apr 1894 in Oklahoma.
On about 15 May 1900, Will and Mary moved to Clarendon, Donley Co., TX where Will
operated a cattle ranch. He was an active member of the C. C. Cummings Camp No. 1383
(Clarendon, TX) of the United Confederate Veterans. Will died 19 Mar 1922 in Donley Co., TX.
His grave has not been found and is presumed to be unmarked. Mary died 11 May 1941 in
Clarendon, TX and is buried in the Citizen's Cemetery in Clarendon.
For more information on the family of Mary Sorilda (Bush) Bourland, see the genealogy of her
family at http://home1.gte.net/meitzen/bush/bushtoc.htm.
Texas Confederate Widow's Pension Application for Mary S. Bourland (#49356)
Census records for Grayson Co., Texas for 1860 and 1870
1910 Census of Clarendon, Donley Co., Texas (Enumeration District 102, Sheet 9B)
The Bourlands in America by Carl and May Read, Gateway Press, Inc. (Baltimore 1978)
The History of Donley County, Texas, Curtis Media Corporation (Dallas 1990)
©Ron Brothers and Mark A. Eitzen, All Rights Reserved, 1999.
July 27, 1999 Return to 9th Texas Cavalry Biographies
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