The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 288
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Earl Van Dorn, Stonewall Jackson, Joseph E. Johnston, Jefferson
Davis, Robert E. Lee, John B. Hood and many of the regimental
officers of Hood's Brigade, as well as the Union leaders, Ulysses
S. Grant, Joseph Hooker, and Andrew Johnson. Perhaps the most
remarkable of these glimpses was the Texan's memory of Jeb
Stuart passing through the Wilderness at the head of his cavalry in
1864, singing "The sun's low down the sky, Lorena," a tune, in
retrospect, seemingly prophetic of his death two days later at
Yellow Tavern. Even more vivid among Giles' reminiscences are
a raid on the rear of a sutler's store for cider covered by a diver-
sionary dice game in front, night picket duty in a flooded swamp
filled with ghostly phosphoric lights, and his remark under fire
at the second battle of Manassas that "as soon as I heard: 'Steady,
boys, steady,' I knew the ball had opened, and I prepared to waltz."
Comedy relief he also provided in the form of tales about Bill
Calhoun, a renowned wag of Hood's Brigade. Giles recalled that
on one occasion Hood found Calhoun straggling in the rear on
a forced march and chastised him with the comment "I don't
know why you are loitering here, so far behind your command."
To which Calhoun replied, "Yes, and what you don't know, Gen-
eral Hood, would make a mighty damned big book." Although
Rags and Hope will not replace the now out of print Hood's Texas
Brigade, by Joseph B. Polley, as a history of that famous unit, it
will definitely find its own niche among the well-written reminis-
cences of the war.
In the realm of criticism it should be noted that the subtitle
statement, "four years with Hood's Brigade, Fourth Texas In-
fantry," is somewhat misleading in that Giles was separated from
his unit for the last year and a half of the conflict. Page 195 con-
tains an editorial oversight placing "Port Royal, ... on the south
bank of the Rappahannock River," in South Carolina instead
of Virginia. It is also rather disappointing that no index was in-
cluded in the volume, and that no exact statement was made as
to the nature, extent, and location of the Giles papers from which
the book was compiled. The overall effect, however, is that of an
extremely readable series of anecdotes covering all of the major
events in the young Texan's military career in generally chrono-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/322/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.