Hill College


The Hill College Press Releases Latest Book



HILLSBORO – The Texas Heritage Museum’s Hill College Press is proud to announce its 47th publication, From the Riviera to Zell am See: A Texas Soldier’s Story. The book is the first-hand account of Rufus Lester Leggett’s experiences as part of the Allied assault on German forces in southern France in August 1944.

Leggett was a sergeant in the reconnaissance company of the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion and the 36th Texas Infantry Division in Europe in World War II. The Allied assault resulted in the rapid destruction of part of the German Nineteenth Army and the retreat of other units to the Rhine River and beyond. Leggett’s platoon crossed the Rhine and with other Seventh Army groups that by the end of the war on May 8, 1945, was in control of all of southern Germany. His last significant duty was as part of a 36th Division detail that took into custody the second highest ranking German official, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, an action that he wrote about in the last two chapters of the book.

“The work provides his perspective as an eye-witness, as a soldier and as non-commissioned officer. It is highly historically accurate and immensely interesting in his vivid depiction of battlefield conditions and the effects of the war on towns and citizens in France and Germany. The book was presented with a passion for setting the record straight in light of many circumstances that in his view were never accurately reported,” said Dr. Earl Elam, historian and editor of the Hill College Press.

To promote the book, the Hill College Press hosted a luncheon at Hillsboro Historic City Hall on July 22. The book is Hill College Press’s 47th work in the pursuance of its mission to publish selected works about Texas and Texans in wartime and the effects of war on present society. This work contributes to the ongoing collection of information about the Texas 36th Division which continues to be the central force of the Texas National Guard, with an active 36th Division Association.

The book has a hardcover, dust jacket, more than 545 pages, 89 illustrations, edited by Dr. Elam, foreword by Colonel Pat W. Simpson and much more. The cost is $32 plus $2.64 in taxes and $4 if mailed. Copies of the book may be acquired at the gift shop of the museum or mail orders by calling (254) 659-7750 or email at museum@hillcollege.edu.