The Kemp Sketch
GIDDINGS, GILES ALBERT -- Born in Herrick, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania in 1812, a son of James and Lucy Demming Giddings, who were the parents of thirteen children among them being Giles, Jabez Demming, George Henry, John James, Frank M. and Dewitt Clinton Giddings. In the Headright Certificate issued to his heirs June 7, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Fort Bend County Board, it is certified that Giles A. Giddings arrived in Texas March 1836. He was a surveyor. He was a member of Captain William Wood's Company at San Jacinto and on March 4, 1839 his heirs received Donation Certificate No. 820 for 640 acres of land due him for having participated in the battle. His heirs were issued Bounty Certificate No. 1646 for 1920 acres of land due him for having served in the army from April 11 to June 10, 1836, and for having died while in the service.
The historian, Thrall, stated that he was wounded in the Battle of San Jacinto and died from the effects of the wound. While the compiler does not dispute this, he has been unable to find any official evidence to support the claim.
A letter written by Mr. Giddings to his parents, April 10, 1836 has been published on numerous occasions.
Jabez D., brother of Giles A. Giddings, came to Texas in 1838 to settle his brother's estate and was so pleased with the possibilities offered by the Republic that he made it his permanent home. He was married to Ann M. Tarver. Their children were: Edmunt T., Charles, James, Albert, George and Louise Giddings. Another brother, John James Giddings, Sr. came to Texas in 1844 and afterwards settled in San Antonio near the Alamo. He was married to Margaret Matilda Sloan, daughter of John and Elizabeth Scott Balck Sloan. Their children were George Albert Giddings, who married Mollie Pressler; William Gregory Giddings, who married Emma Pickrell; Annie Helen Giddings, who married John N. Brown; John James Giddings who married Ida Haynes, and James Sloan Giddings, who married Fannie Hunter Ammons, daughter of J. Louis and Fannie A. Ammons. Mr. Giddings resided in Brenham, Texas.
Children of Mr. and Mrs. James S. Giddings are Mrs. Annie Mabel Chesnut who lived in Dallas; Mrs. Matilda Giddings Brusse lived in Brenham; James Louis Giddings lived in Caldwell; Albert Fauntleroy Giddings lived in Chicago; John J. Giddings lived in Brenham; Miss Louise Adelia Giddings lived in Brenham; Dr. Harold DeWitt Giddings lived in New Gulf; and Will Marvin Giddings, lived in Brenham. The children of John N. and Annie Helen Giddings Brown were Ernest, Clinton, Daisy, Annie Louise and Marguerite Brown.
"Texas, Four Miles from Headquarters
April 10, 1836.
"Dear Parents: "Since I last wrote you I have been engaged in arranging an expedition against the Indians, who have committed many depredations against the frontier. On my return to the settlements, I learned that our country was again invaded by a merciless horde of Mexicans, who were waging war or extermination against the inhabitants. A call was made for all friends of humanity to rise in arms and resist the foe. Men were panic striken and fled, leaving their all behind them. I could not reconcile it to my feelings to leave Texas without an effort to save it. Accordingly, I bent my course for the army and arrived last evening at this place. I shall enter Camp this morning as a volunteer. The army, commanded by General Houston, is lying on the west side of the Brazos, 20 miles from San Fellippe. The enemy is in that place awaiting an attack. It is reported Houston will attack them in the morning. What will be the result, or the fate of Texas, is in the bowels of futurity. Yet, I think we are engaged in the cause of justice, and hope the God of battles will protect us. The enemy's course has been the most bloody that has ever been recorded on the page of history. Our garrison at San Antonio was taken and massacred; annother detachment of seven hundred, commanded by Colonel Fannin, and posted at La Behia, after surrendering prisoners of war, were led out and shot down like beasts. Only one escaped to tell their melancholy fate. In their course they show no quarter to age, sex, or condition, all are massacred without mercy. If such conduct is not sufficient to arouse the patriotic feelings of the sons of liberty, I know not what will. I was born in a land of freedom, and taught to lisp the name of liberty with my infant tongue, and rather than be driven out of the country or submit to be a slave, I will leave my bones to bleach on the plains of Texas. If we succeed in subdueing the enemy and establishing a free and independent government, we shall have the finest country the son ever shown upon, and if we fail we shall have the satisfaction of dying fighting for the rights of men. I know not that I shall have the opportunity of writing to you in some time, but shall do so often as convenient. Be not alarmed about my safety. I am no better, and my life no dearer, than those who gained the liberty you enjoy. If I fall you will have the satisfaction that your son died fighting for the rights of men. Our strength in the field is about 1,500. The enemy is reported 4,000 strong; a fearful odds, you will say; but what can mercenary hirelings do against the sons of liberty!
Befor this reaches you the fate of Texas will be known. I will endeavor to aquaint you as soon as possible. I am well and in good spirits, and as unconcerned as if going to a raising. The same Being who has hitherto protected my life can with equal ease ward off the balls of the enemy. My company is waiting, and I must draw to a close, and bid you farewell, perhaps forever. More than a year has elapsed since I saw you, yet the thought of friends and home are fresh in my memory, and their remembrance yet lives in my affections and will (be) a secret joy to my heart till it shall cease to beat. Long has it been since I heard from you. How often do I think of home and wish to be there. The thoughts of that sacred spot haunts my night-watches. How often, when sleep has taken possession of my faculties, am I transported there, and for a short time enjoy all the pleasures of home; but the delusion is soon over and the morning returns and I find my situation the same. Dear friends, if I see you no more remember Giles still loves you. Give my love to my sister, brothers, friends, and neighbors. I would write more if time would permit, but its fleeting steps wait for none. You need not write to me, as I do not know where I shall be. With sentiments of sincere respect I bid you fare-well.
Your affectionate son,
Died in Herrick, Susquehanna County (Pennsylvania) June 13, 1861 Mrs. Lucy Gidings, aged 78 years. The subject of this notice was born in New London County, Conn., June 17, 1786. She emigrated to this County with her husband and four children and settled on the same farm that she died on. She became the mother of 13 children, 8 sons and 5 daughters. All lived to be men and women but one. The youngest died when one year old. At the time of her death she had 4 sons and 2 daughters living as far as we know. The second daughter died at the age of 18 years. The first son that died was Giles A. He went to Texas where he engaged in surveying until the war broke out then he joined the army under Gen. Houston at the battle of San Jacinto was wounded and died of his wound June 7, 1836, aged 24 years. The second one was Andrew who was hurt at a raising and died with the wound December, 1853. Francis M. was shot by an assasin at El Paso in Texas, March 10, 1858, aged 32 years. James J. we heard from accounts in the papers, was attacked by Indians in New Mexico and murdered. Mrs. Giddings at the time of her death had 55 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a concientious Christian. She was a steadfast believer in the Gospel and adorned her profession by a well ordered life. We believe our loss is her gain.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Wounded in Battle: Yes - died from this wound.
- Rank: Private
- Company: Capt. William Wood
- Date of Birth: 1812
- Birthplace: Pennsylvania, Susquehanna County, Herrick
- Came to Texas: 1836 Mar
- Date of Death: 1836 Jun 10
- Comments: Died from wounds received at San Jacinto
- Donation Certificate: 820
- Profession: Surveyor