Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 463 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
private in the Twenty-first Texas Cavalry and was
elected Captain and shortly after Lieutenant-Colonel,
though, owing to the absence of his superior
officer, he was virtually Colonel, commanding the
regiment in all its engagements. He served in the
Trans-Mississippi department. While scouting near
Helena, Ark., he was taken prisoner after a fight,
in which he with sixty men had killed, wounded or
captured ninety-eight of the enemy, and was sent
to St. Louis. After being retained six weeks he
was exchanged and rejoined his command and was
with Marmaduke in his raid into Missouri and participated
in most of the fights in the Louisiana campaign.
As a soldier and officer he was much
esteemed by his men and by his superior officers.
The following official order of Gen. Wharton attests
WHARTON'S CAVALRY CORPS. e
" IN THE FIELD, May 24, 1864.
"General Order No. 8.
" The Major Gen'l Com'd'g, takes pleasure in
calling the attention of the troops under his command,
to the gallant conduct of Lt. Col. D. C.
Giddings and four companies of the Twenty-first
Texas Cavalry,under his command on the 21st April,
1864, two miles this side of Cloutierville, La.
"On this occasion Lt. Col. Giddings, with these
four companies, made a most gallant charge
against the enemy, greatly superior to him in
number and strongly posted behind fences and
houses, driving them from their positions and
holding it until re-enforcements was sent him.
Not only on this, but several other occasions has
the chivalry and daring of Lt. Col. Giddings been
personally marked with pleasure by the Maj. Gen'l
"By order of
"(Signed) MAJ. GEN'L JNO. A. WHARTON.
"B. H. DAVIS,
" A. A. A. Gen'l.
COWLEs A. A. A. G."
After the waning star of the Confederacy had
sunk to its nadir in the night of defeat that closed
the long struggle between the States, he returned to
Brenham, resumed the practice of law and devoted
his energies to the upbuilding of his shattered fortunes.
In 1866 he was elected and served as a memberof
the State Constitutional Convention. In 1870,
when the Democratic Convention met in Houston
to select a candidate for Congress, it was regarded
as a foregone conclusion that the nominee was
doomed to defeat. One by one prominent men dedined
the doubtful honor, until at last Col. Giddings'
love of country was appealed to, and he
consented to make the race. At first he had no
hope of winning; but, when he took the stump and
saw the enthusiasm of the people, his courage rose
and he bent all his energies towards success.
He canvassed the district, then comprising about
one-fourth of the State, in a buggy; and a great
part of the time his friends were under grave apprehensions
of his assassination at the hands of the
Davis police. Over a large part of the district he
was preceded by a negro company of these police
who daily threatened to arrest him and put him in
irons. He went on, however, with unfaltering
courage. He delivered sixty speeches in forty
days, and arraigned in scathing terms the Davis
regime, and the people responded to his call and
elected him by a good majority over his carpet-bag
opponent, Gen. Wm. T. Clark. Notwithstanding
the preference expressed by the people at the polls,
Governor E. J. Davis gave the certificate of election
to Gen. Clark.
Col. Giddings contested for the seat before the
National House of Representatives and presented so
strong a case that he was seated by a unanimous vote,
a remarkable incident in view of the temper of that
body. It was the first of the few instances in which a
carpet-bagger was ousted from a seat in Congress.
This determined fight broke the backbone of Republican
rule in Texas, and the carpet-bagger went
down, to rise no more. Col. Giddings was reelected
in 1873, over his Republican opponent,
A. J. Evans, and again in 1876, over Col. G. W.
Jones, who made tile race as an independent
Democrat. In Congress Col. Giddings proved
himself an able advocate of the rights of the
States, a determined champion of the cause of
honest government, and (true to his patriotic
Revolutionary lineage) a vigilant and fearless
tribune of the people. He was inflexible in his
adherence to the principles enunciated by the
Democratic party, not merely from a spirit of
partisan loyalty, but because he recognized that
its representatives were seeking to prevent the
depredations of a passion-swayed and unreasoning
majority, who seemed bent upon trampling the
constitution of the fathers in the dust, reducing
the Southern States to the condition of conquered
provinces, plundering the treasury, heaping up an
enormous debt for posterity to pay, enthroning
venality in high places, and changing the very
spirit and genius of our constitution. No crisis so
appalling had before arisen in this country since
the year 1800, when Mr. Jefferson and his compeers
saved the constitution, as they expressed it,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/463/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .