Capt Benjamin Franklin Giddings


Capt Benjamin Franklin Giddings

Cavendish, Windsor County, Vermont, USA
Death 28 Sep 1926 (aged 83)
Hayward, Alameda County, California, USA
Burial San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Plot OS, 7-A/PL9
Memorial ID 3527812 View Source
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Benjamin Franklin Giddings was the son of Hiram and Rebecca (French) Giddings.

A Civil War soldier, he served as Captain of Co. "B", 17th Reg't VT. Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps -- Army of the Potomac.

In his own words:
"On the breaking out of the Civil War in Spring of 1861, I wanted to enlist in the First Vt. Regiment of three months' men raised in our state in answer to President Lincoln's first call for 75,000 men, but could not get permission of my parents-- I being an only son and they well advanced in years. So in October of that year, I being then in attendance at a private school in Proctorsville, Vt., ran away from home and went to Brattleboro, fifty miles away, and enlisted in a company of "Berdan Sharp Shooters" being raised there, and as I was a fine marksman with the rifle, I easily stood the test required and finally obtained the consent of my parents and was accepted being then a little over 18 years old."...

..."After being mustered into service, the Company left the State for Washington January 1, 1862. On our arrival there late on the evening of January 4, and without arms or uniforms, we were marched into the Capitol building and spent our first night in the rotunda, spreading our blankets on the marble tiled floor under the then unfinished dome."...

After having an honorable discharge 24 June, 1862, and remaining on the family farm and going to school, he enlisted again for 3 years.

He says, "I taught a district school the winter of '64 and in March (7 Mar 1864) enlisted again for a three-year term in the 17th Vt., the last regiment raised in Vermont for the Civil War."

Later, Ben was promoted to 1st Lieut. of Co. "B" on 24 Aug 1864, & then to Captain 19 Nov 1864.
Capt. Giddings received his final Honorable Discharge at Burlington, VT on 14 July, 1865, at the closing of the war.

In 1878 he moved to San Francisco and worked for H.S. Crocker & Co. and managed the publication of the "Railroad Gazetteer". He joined the GAR (Geo. H. Thomas Post No.2) in Hayward, CA, and marched with these men in a grand procession on the day of General Grant's funeral.

At the age of 40, an English woman named Rose Mary Tatham caught his fancy, and so, on 2 Jun 1884 in San Francisco they were wed.

Ben and Rose had no children of their own, but were devoted Aunt and Uncle Giddings to his sister Rilla (Giddings) Whelden's children throughout their remaining lives.

Benjamin Giddings died at his home in Hayward, California in 1926 at age 84.
His rather lengthy obituary stated in part:
..."Capt. Giddings was a soldier to the end. When he answered his country's call, it was to accept the service of his country as a life service and not as something he could lay aside with his uniform. He was as true and brave a soldier in the piping times of peace as in the stirring days of strife and bloodshed. Patriotism was in his blood--it was his heritage." "And only the Master shall praise us, And only the Master shall blame, And no one shall work for money; and No one shall work for fame. But each for the joy of working, And each in his separate star, Shall draw the thing as he sees it, For the God of things as they are."
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(Thanks entire to Linda M. Welch (and the Cavendish Historical Society) for the above information and content)

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