Age: 22, credited to Ira, VTVITALS
Birth: 10/30/1840, VermontADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
Rutland Daily Herald, Feb. 12, 1916:
Castleton - Silas Giddings died at his home south of the village Friday morning at 2 o'clock. Mr. Giddings had not been in good health for several years but the immediate cause of death was a shock which he suffered Sunday. He was born in Clarendon, October 30, 1840. He served in the Civil war three years being one of Berdan's sharpshooters. He belonged to the Grand Army post and was also an active supporter of the Congregational church of this town. He moved to Castleton in 1886 and had been a well known citizen and farmer since. He is survived by his wife and by nine children, Henry M. Giddings of Wichita, Kan., Fred Giddings and George Giddings of Prinity Center, Calif., Carl Giddings of Lindsley, Calif., Nahum Giddings of West Virginia, Wesley Giddings and Mrs. J. Wesley Howells of South Pasadena, Calif., Mrs. Fred Johnson of Salt Lake City, and Mrs. N. Lee Stary of Los Angeles. The funeral arrangements will be announced.
Contributed by Jen Snoots.
Funeral of Silas Giddings
The funeral of Silas Giddings was held at his late home Monday afternoon at 1 o'clock. Rev. G.E. Robbins officiated. Mrs. Carl S. Cole and Mr. Ralph H. Seeley sang "Face to Face" and "Someday the Silver Cord Will Break." The bearers were Prof. Philip R. Leavenworth, Harry M. Brown, Judson N. Hooker, Benjamin F. Crippen, M. F. Downing and Henry C. Rumsey. The honorary bearers were Deacon Fish, S. L. Peck, Dexter Day, Mr. Crampton of Ira, Henry Gates of Poultney and Henry E. Armstrong of Castleton. The burial was in Evergreen cemetery. A special car going from here. Delegations from the Grand Army posts of Rutland, Center Rutland and Castleton attended and many friends from Pittsford, Granville, NY, and surrounding towns were present. Nahum Giddings of Morgantown, W. Va., son of Mr. Giddings, attended the services.
Source: unidentified newspaper clipping; contributed by Jennifer Mizicko, Silas's 3rd-great-granddaughter.
Visit to Gettysburg, 50 Years Later
Our Castleton Letter
Silas Giddings Revisits Gettysburg in July 1913 and Sees the Old Peach Orchard.
At a meeting of the Good Literature club held here two weeks ago, Silas Giddings, who recently spent some time on the field of Gettysburg, read a paper that seemed so full of interest that he has been prevailed upon to permit it to be printed and it is given herewith.
Of all the trips of my life there has never been one that I enjoyed as I did my trip to Gettysburg.
How interesting indeed was it to stand upon that great battlefield of history and look over the scene and think of the past, for I planned my trips so as to be upon those parts of the field, so familiar to me 50 years before.
My tent was No 3., next to Confederate Avenue. This avenue is eight miles long. It was built by the government and is supposed to be on Lee's main line. I stood on the avenue ten minutes one evening and counted 155 autos as they passed, some with from 25 to 30 people in them.
I was not in the first day's battle, that of July 1, 1863. On July 2, I went in the morning to the peach orchard, where we were 50 years ago. The peach trees are all gone and so are the houses and log barns and log ovens. Today four corners are now there and little knolls dotted with beautiful monuments help mark what has become history.
It was here that we got our first order. Gen. Sickles ordered 100 Berdans sharpshooters to go down into Pitser's woods. This we did and at the lower end of the woods we struck Longstreet's column of 30,000 men moving to our left to get on to Round Top. We had breach loading rifles and opened fire on them at very close rang(e). He halted his columns and they charged into the woods. We had a Co. F. U.S.S. monument here with an inscription on it that says: Co. F, Vermont, S. S. went into woods with 49 men and lost 19 in an hour.
In my last trip to Gettysburg, I found that the government had put a beautiful granite monument within less than 100 feet of the State monument with this inscription on it: 100 Berdans U.S.S. held Longstreet's columns 49 minutes otherwise he would have taken Round Top.
Just below the edge of the woods is a monument or marker, that says: the 1st Louisiana brigade lost 200 men killed here. From this point we were driven back with the rest of the 3d corps to Devil's Den and onto Round Top.
Devil's Den is a huge pile of rocks covering some four or five acres, that stands from 80 to 100 feet high. In some places between the rocks, a man would drop down from 20 to 25 feet and would be unable to get out without help. From one of thse holes seven dead Confederates were taken after the battle.
Death's Valley lay betwen Devil's Den and Round Top. The noted wheat field which was taken and retaken seven times, the afternoon of that day is in here and is rightly famous.
July 3, I spent the day in going over the grounds where Pickett made his big cavalry (sic) charge. Standing on Confederate avenue, where Lee's monument now stands and where Pickett's columns started on the journey to death, I couldn't help but shudder, as I looked across the valley, nearly a full mile with only one object to break the monotony of the scene in the whole distance and that a house and barn, facing no less than 150 cannon, all the way and the last thousand yards a terrible musketry fire. But on they came to the very muzzles of our guns. This was called the high water mark of the rebellion and from that hour the Confederates were driven back until Lee's surrender ended the war.
My regiment lay just to the left of the high water mark behind an old wall and choke cherry bush, near the monument erected by the State to Stannards's Vermont brigade.
July 4, I was in the first skirmish line that passed over the ground that Pickett charged over the day before. Fifty years from that morning I went over it again. How different was everything! Where are the dead and wounded men and horses that at that time strewed the field? It seemed liked waking from a dream.
I met one Confederate soldier who was in Pickett's charge. He belonged to the 28th Georgia. He said he got almost to our lines and seeing his comrades were almost all gone he said to one near him, let's run back and they started but he never saw the other one again. He escaped with one ball through his hat, four through his clothes and one in his thigh.
I met four of my company, L. D. Grover, of Cuba, Mo., E. Paine, of Iowa City, Ia., S. Brown of New Haven, Vt., and Frank Holley of Stockton, Cal., who helped me off the battlefield at Petersburg, whom I hadn't seen in 48 years.
The 20th Indiana and Berdans First U.S.S.S. were in the same brigade over two years and July 4th some 20 of us from both regiments went to Round Top and up the tower which is 92 feet high and stands, I should say, on an elevation of 300 feet. Their old army chaplain was there and he talked to us for ten or fifteen minutes. I wish you might have haerd him. It was fitted for the occasion. He said in all the wars the United States had had aside from the Civil war they had never lost but 18,000 men and seven generals on the battlefields. Now comcrades and boys look at this vast battlefield, dotted with monuments where over 43,000 men and twelve general met their death!
A cannon has been placed by the government on every spot where a cannon was supposed to be at the battle of Gettysburg, 350 in all, cast in one solid piece, to remain for all ages.
Words cannot express and no one can realize the horror of it but themen who saw it all.
Source: newspaper clipping (marked in pencil, September 25, 1913); contributed by Jennifer Mizicko, Silas's 3rd-great-granddaughter.