Letters From The Past
Letter from Giles Albert Giddings to his Parents
Copied by Albert F. Giddings
Texas, Four Miles from Headquarters
April 10, 1836
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 settlement I learned that our country was again invaded by a merciless horde of Mexicans who are waging a war of extermination against the inhabitants. A call was made for all friends of humanity to rise in arms and resist the foe Men were panic-stricken 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 Gen. Houston is lying on the west side of the Brazos 20 miles from San Fillippe. The enemy is in that place waiting an attack. It is reported Houston will attack them in the morning. What will be the result or the fate of Texas is hid 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 has been the most bloody that has ever been recorded on the pages of history. Our garrison at San Antonio was taken and massaced, so another deteachment of seven hundred commanded by Col. Fanning and posted at LaBahia after surrendering prisoners of war were led out and shot down like bears. Only one escaped to tell their melancholy fate. In their cause they show no quarter to age sex or condition - all are massacred without mery. If such conduct is not sufficient to arouse he patriotic feelings of the sons of liberty I know not what will. I was born in a land of freedom an taught to liwp 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 subduing the enemy and establishing a free and independent govenment, we shall have the finest country the sun ever shone upon and if we fail we shall have the satisfaction of dying fighting for the rights of man. I know not that I shall have an opportunity of writing to you in some time but shall do so as often as it is 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 fail you shall have the satisfaction that your son died fighting for the rights of man. Our strength in the field is about 1500. The enemy is reported 4000 strong; a fearful odds you will say but what can mercenary hirelings do against the sons of liberty?
Before this reaches you the fate of Texas will be known. I will endeavor to acquaint 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 thoughts of friends and home are fresh in my memory and their rememberance yet lives in my affection and will light a secret joy to my heart till it shall cease to beat.
Long has it been since I hae heard from you. How often do I think of home and wish to be there. The thought of that sacred spot haunts my night-watches. How often when sleep has taken possession of my faculities 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 sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors. I would write more if the 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 repect, I bid you farewell.
Your affectionate son
Giles Albert Giddings
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