Geraldine Giddens

Geraldine Giddens, 1944, G.S.W.C. Sophomore

Geraldine Giddens, 1944, G.S.W.C. Sophomore


Geraldine Giddens was a resident of Ray City, GA in the 1940s while she attended Georgia State Womens College in Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University).

Born Geraldine Hester Fletcher on February 2, 1924, she was a daughter of Eliza Carter and Zachariah Fletcher. She spent her childhood in Dasher, GA just south of Valdosta.

Geraldine Fletcher married Norvell “Joe” Giddens, and the young couple made their home at Ray City, GA.  He was a son of Emma Ward and Albert Sidney Giddens, of Cook County.

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens was a resident of Ray City, GA while attending Georgia State Women's College during the 1940s.

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens, 1943 freshman class photo, Georgia State Womens College. She was a resident of Ray City, GA while attending G.S.W.C. during the 1940s.

In 1944, Geraldine Giddens was a member of the Sociology Club at G.S.W.C.


The Sociology Club, composed of the majors and minors in this field, has carried on a variety of activities during the 1943-44 year.
    One meeting in each quarter was devoted to the rolling of bandages at the Red Cross room.
    A dance was sponsored for the benefit of the War Bond Scholarship Fund, and a War Savings Stamp was brought to each meeting by all members.  A donation to the Chapel Fund was made from the club treasury.
    The club became foster parent s to a refugee child in a colony in England by a $50 contribution which provides a bed for the child for a year.
    An agency membership was taken out in the Georgia COnference on Social Welfare for 1944, and the issues of the  bulletin “Georgia Welfare” received from the Conference were donated to the  library.
    Programs during the year were related to various concerns in the field of social work.  Outside speakers were brought in whenever possible.

“LANCASTER, Calif. — Geraldine Hester Fletcher Giddens, 87, of Lancaster, Calif., formerly of Valdosta, Ga., passed away Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Arrangements are handled by Halley Olsen Murphy Funeral Home, Lancaster, Calif. — Halley Olsen Murphy Funeral Home”

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens

“Granny Giddens was born on February 2, 1924. She went home to be with the Lord on April 19, 2011. She grew up in Valdosta, Georgia with a large happy family of 10 siblings. Moved to California in 1955. Lancaster became her home in 1968. Granny had 3 children. Jerry and Joey Giddens that she missed very much and her daughter Shirley Griffiths of Lancaster. She had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her happiest memories were taking care of them. Work of any kind made Grannys day, she needed to be busy. Over the years she had worked at Howard Johnsons, Mayflower Gardens and Whole Wheatery. Later in life she kept busy having garage sales and making sure Panache Salon was clean and orderly. Her daily visits to the senior center for lunch and their bus trips were a blessing. Her down home strength and life lessons will take us through, this sad time and will help us to continue to grow. Granny was loved and will be missed by all that knew her.


Hardeman Giddens and the Big Fishing Frolic

Another note about Hardeman Giddens, Civil War veteran and extraordinary citizen of Berrien County.  Giddens, a son of Jacob Giddens and Sarah Ann “Annie” Sirmans, had a farm near Rays Mill.  He was born in March of 1844 in Lowndes (nka Berrien) County, Georgia, and lived to see the town incorporated as the city of Ray City, GA.

In the winter of 1891 the talk of the town was all about Giddens’ great fishing expedition:

Atlanta Constitution
December 17, 1891

A Big Fishing Frolic

TIFTON, Ga., December 16. -(Special.)- There was a big fishing frolic in Berrien county a few days ago, and thousands of the finest bream and trout were caught and carried away by all who attended. Mr. Hard Giddens and others were compelled to send home after an extra team to carry away the fish, the amount caught by them being estimated at not less than 800 pounds.  Many others loaded their carts and filled their buggies in like manner.  Those who were in a position to know say that there was not less than 3,000 pounds of fish caught there on that day, and as many more perhaps left in the water.

A Big Fishing Frolic. Dec 17, 1891.

A Big Fishing Frolic. Dec 17, 1891.


Georgia Gossip about Hardeman Giddens

Hardeman Giddens (1843- 1910) led an active life that often caught the attention of citizens in Berrien County and beyond. In March of 1884, the Georgia Gossip was about the horse racing at Alapaha, GA, and whether Hardeman’s black stallion was as fast as he believed.  The Challengers were W.N. Fiveash, Dr. Fogle, and Mr. Henley.  William Newton Fiveash, a young man of Magnolia, GA and later of Ocilla, GA entered his bay pony.  Dr. James A. Fogle, a surgeon trained during the Civil War, put his sorrel horse into the race. (Fogle was the original proprietor of the Alapaha hotel later known as the Schockley Hotel)  The winner for the evening was Mr. Henley’s sorrel mare.

The Atlanta Constitution 25 Mar 1884, pg 2 Alapaha is now engaged in the pleasures of the turf. In a recent race — half mile heat – between Mr. W. N. Fiveash’s bay pony and Mr. Hart Gidden’s black horse, the bay came under the string two lengths ahead. The next race was between Dr. Fogles’s sorrel horse and Mr. Henley’s sorrel mare. The horse was beaten by a neck. Then, Mr. Giddens still believing in his black, a race was arranged between the black and Dr. Fogle’s sorrel. The sorrel was again the winner. The last race of the evening was between Fogle’s sorrel horse and Henley’s sorrel mare. Henley’s mare came under the string ahead, but it was claimed that if a good start had been obtained the horse would have won. The races were quite exciting and proved that Alapaha contains some good horseflesh.

Hardeman Giddens, born MAR 1844 in Lowndes (nka Berrien) County, Georgia , was a son of Jacob Giddens and Sarah Ann “Annie” Sirmans.  The 1860 Census shows he was a resident of Berrien County at the time, Berrien having been cut out of Lowndes in 1856. During the Civil War, Hardeman Giddens joined the 29th Georgia Regiment, Company D,  the Berrien Minutemen, enlisting for  12 months. He mustered in at Sapelo Island, GA on 4 November 1861 as a private in Captain John C. Lamb’s Company D (later Company K) .  Records show in 1862 he was on duty at Camp Young, near Savannah, GA.   In October he was  on extra duty there as a mail carrier. He was documented on payroll record rolls for  April 1862, December 1862, and January – March 1863 at a rate of 25 cents.  In September 1863, Hardeman Giddens was at the Battle of Chickamauga. His war experience and amazing good fortune in battle were the subject of a previous post:  Civil War Bullet Dodger Hardeman Giddens Finally Catches One in 1887

Georgia 29th Infantry, monument at Chicamauga battle field.

Georgia 29th Infantry, monument at Chickamauga battle field.

After the war, Hardeman Giddens returned to Berrien County, GA.  On the day before Valentines Day, February 13,  1870 he married Martha J. Gaskins.  She was a daughter of Harmon Gaskins & Malissa Rowland Rouse,  born on February 16,  1838 in Lowdnes Co, GA.   Martha had been widowed twice.  Her first husband was Thomas N. Connell, who died in the Civil War; her second was William Parrish. After marriage, the Giddens made their home in the 1148th Georgia Militia District, where Hardeman was farming land valued at $225 dollars. His father Jacob Giddens, age 68, lived in Hardy’s household and assisted with farm labor. In the census of 1880, Hardeman Giddens was enumerated in Georgia Militia District 1148 with his wife Martha, and sons James and Lyman. In 1900, Hardeman Giddens and  Martha, now his wife of 30 years, were living on the family farm near Ray City, GA. The Giddens owned the farm free and clear, and their two sons, Lyman and William, lived with them and helped their father work the farm.  It seems Martha Giddens must have had a hard life. She birthed 9 children, only four of whom were living in 1900. Martha J. Gaskins died in Berrien Co, GA on 26 February 1910 at age 72. The 1910 Census shows in that year Hardeman Giddens was living with his eldest son, Lyman F. Giddens, who was a prominent citizen, barber, and (later) mayor of Ray City, GA.    Hardeman Giddens died later that year on October 2, 1910 and was buried in the Harmon Gaskins Family Cemetery, Berrien County, Georgia. Related Posts:

Marrying Cousins: Letitia Giddens and John Mathis Giddens

Letitia Giddens and John Mathis Giddens were cousins who lived in the Ray City, GA vicinity prior to the Civil War.

Letitia “Lettie” Giddens was the daughter of Sarah Smith and John Giddens, born July 14, 1832 in Randolph County, GA.  Her mother died in 1845, when Lettie was about seven years old.  Her father was remarried about two years later on April 11, 1847 to Nancy Smith in Randolph County.  Lettie was enumerated there at age 18 in 1850 in the household of her father and stepmother.

About 1851 Letitia Giddens married her cousin John Mathis Giddens.  He was born 1832 in Lowndes County, GA the eldest son of Civility Mathis and Duncan Giddens, and grew up on the family farm near the Cat Creek community, about ten miles southeast of Ray City, GA.  His father, Duncan Giddens,  served with Levi J. Knight in the Indian Wars of 1838. His grandfather, Thomas Giddens, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  His brother, Jasper Giddens, was a subject of earlier posts (see Jasper Giddens ‘Settles’ Knife Fight).

According to Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia Vol 1, John M. Giddens’ father, Duncan Giddens, and uncle Thomas Giddens, came south around 1827-28 to settle in that part of Lowndes county later cut into Berrien county.  Around 1855, Duncan Giddens moved to Clinch County where he served as Justice of the Inferior Court.

In the Census of 1860, John M and Letitia Giddens were enumerated in  Berrien County, where John was a farmer with $850 in real estate and $900 in his personal estate. Census records place them in the neighborhood of James M. Baskin, William Washington Knight, John Knight,Sr. and other early settlers of the Ray City, GA area. According to Huxford, after marriage, Lettie and John M. Giddens made their home in Berrien County near her parents.

Around the start of the Civil War John and Lettie moved to Clinch County and settled in Lot 240, 7th Land District on land  given to them by John’s father, Duncan Giddens. After the outbreak of hostilities John M. Giddens went to Waresboro, GA  to Battery Walker where he enlisted as a private  “for 3 years or war.”  He was mustered into the 50th Georgia Infantry, Company B under Captain Bedford.

John M. Giddens soon learned that soldiers in the confederate camps were under risk of more than battle. His Civil War service records show that from April 30, 1862  he was “absent, sick in hospital.”  By June 1862 he was “sent to hospital in Savannah.”  In July, letters home from the Berrien county soldiers were telling of rampant disease spreading throughout the confederate camps: chills and fever, mumps, diarrhea and typhoid fever. That month, John was “sent 17th of July to Convalescent Camp located near Whitesville, Ga,” about twenty miles south of Savannah.

The confederate facility at Whitesville, GA was Guyton Hospital, subject of earlier posts.  Guyton Hospital had been established just two months earlier. In Surgical Memoirs of the War of the Rebellion, Volume 2, issued 1871, Guyton Hospital was described as one of the better  hospitals in Confederate Georgia.

On the same day that John M. Giddens arrived at Guyton Hospital, July 17, 1862 his cousin Isbin T. Giddens died there of “brain fever.”  Until his illness, Isbin had been serving as 2nd Sergeant in the Berrien Minute Men,  Company G, 29th Georgia Regiment.

Later company records of the 50th Georgia Regiment show John M. Giddens was “absent sick not known where.”  The Company muster roll, for November and December 1864 observed that he was “absent – sent to Hospital in November 1862 – not heard from since – supposed to be dead.”

John M. Giddens, Company B, 50th Georgia Regiment.  Company Muster Rolls show he was presumed dead since 1862, after he never returned from the hospital at Whitesville, GA.

John M. Giddens, Company B, 50th Georgia Regiment. Company Muster Rolls show he was presumed dead since 1862, after he never returned from the hospital at Whitesville, GA.

According to Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, John M. Giddens died at a military hospital in late November or December 1864, but it seems unlikely that he would have survived that long given the other known facts of his service.  It seems more probable that he died in 1862, shortly after becoming ill.  The location of his burial is not known at the time of this writing.

At home in Clinch County, Lettie Giddens waited for the husband who would never return.  After the war, she moved back to Berrien County with her two children, Virgil A. and Lavinia, and remained there for the rest of her days.  Her father, John Giddens, died in Berrien County in 1866.  Lettie lived on a farm valued at $330 near the home of her step-mother, Nancy Smith Giddens.

Louelle Giddens’ Student Activities at G.S.W.C.

A previous post noted that Luelle Giddens, of Ray City, attended Georgia State Womans College (now known as Valdosta State University) from 1933 to 1935 where she was a member of the Euclidean Club.  Among her other activities while at G.S.W.C. she was also a member of the Valdosta Club and served as Treasurer of the International Relations Club.

As a graduate of Valdosta High School, she was also a member of the Valdosta Club:

The Valdosta Club is an organization composed of  the alumnae of the Valdosta High School.  It holds monthly meetings of a social nature, including luncheons, tea dances, and specialty features.  The purpose of the club is to promote a friendly feeling between the boarding and day students, to emphasize the social life of the college, and to be a means of interpreting the activities of the day students and the town.

Isbin T. Giddens Dies of Brain Fever at Guyton Hospital, Georgia

Isbin T. Giddens and Matthew O. Giddens were the two youngest sons of Isbin Giddens, a pioneer settler of the Ray City, GA area.  The Giddens brothers served together in the Civil War.  They joined Levi J. Knight’s company of Berrien Minute Men, Company G, 29th Georgia Infantry at Milltown (nka Lakeland), GA.  Neither men would survive the war.

Gravemarker of Matthew O. Giddens, Camp Chase, Ohio

Mathew O. Giddens, a subject of previous posts (Matthew O. Giddens ~ Confederate POW), fought with the Berrien Minute Men for more than three years before he was taken prisoner on December 16, 1864 near Nashville, TN. He was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio where he died three months later. Federal records of deaths of Confederate prisoners of war show that M. O. Giddens, 29th GA Infantry, died of pneumonia on February 7, 1865 at Camp Chase. He was buried in  one of 2,260 confederate graves at Camp Chase Cemetery.

Isbin T. Giddens became a corporal in Company G, 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment, the Berrien Minute Men.  He was enlisted at Savannah, GA on August 1, 1861. From August 1, 1861 to Feb, 1862 confederate military records show he was present with his unit.

Whether in the P.O.W. camps or in regimental camps, Confederate soldiers like Mathew and Isbin Giddens were under constant risk for disease.  In early December of 1861, soldiers of the Berrien Minute Men wrote home that there was an outbreak of measles in the camp of the 29th Regiment. In late December,  the measles outbreak was even worse. By July of 1862 letters home from the Berrien Minute Men told of diseases spreading throughout the confederate camps: chills and fever, mumps, diarrhea and typhoid fever.

That summer, Berrien Minute Men Company G (formerly Co. C) was at Battery Lawton on the Savannah River. Isbin T. Giddens had made the rank 2nd Sergeant,  but by July he was gravely ill.  He was sent to the Confederate general hospital at Guyton, GA about thirty miles northwest of Savannah. (Note: This community was also known as Whitesville, Georgia. See Guyton History.)

Soldiers of Berrien County  helped in the construction of the hospital at Guyton.  In a letter dated May 18, 1862, Sergeant Ezekiel Parrish wrote to his father James Parrish (1816-1867) that a construction recruiter had visited him in Savannah, GA:

“Father I think now that I shall go up to Whiteville at No three on the C R R to help build a government hospital.   There was a man here this morning that has the management of that work after hands and for the improvement of my health which is growing bad I think I shall go and work there a few weeks.  The water here is very bad and brackish and a continual use of it is enough to make anybody sick.  [If] I  do not go up to No 3 I shall write to you soon…”

Ezekiel Parrish  made it to Guyton hospital at Whiteville. His Confederate service records show he was among the Berrien County men he was detached in May 1862 for carpentry work at the hospital. Another was Matthew A. Parrish,  of Company I, 50th GA Regiment.

But within three weeks time Ezekiel Parrish’s health took a turn for the worse.  He was himself admitted to the hospital and died of measles pneumonia, June 5, 1862 at Whitesville, GA.  Matthew A. Parrish would not long survive him; he died October 21, 1862 in Berrien County, GA.

The Savannah Republican, August 14, 1862, wrote,

Guyton Hospital, located at Whitesville, No. 3, Central Railroad, is now a very important point, being (together with Springfield, where a convalescent camp is located) the headquarters of the sick from every point.—Here preparations are being made on a large scale for the accommodation of patients from the other Hospitals and camps, and daily accessions are being made to the large number already there… Springfield, six miles from Whitesville, is a beautiful location, where several hundred convalescents, still unfit for duty, are rapidly improving. Thanks to the wise forethought of those who originated and executed this admirable plan in connection with Guyton Hospital. There is a hospital attached to this camp also; there is a want of proper nurses and nourishment there. We trust that want will soon be supplied by the people of the surrounding country”

The assignment to Guyton hospital perhaps gave the men  a better than average chance of surviving his illness.  In Surgical Memoirs of the War of the Rebellion, Volume 2, issued 1871, Guyton Hospital was described as one of the most effective of the general hospitals in Confederate Georgia.  Patients at Guyton were far more likely to survive gunshot wounds or disease than soldiers sent to other Georgia hospitals.

The excess of mortality in the general hospitals of Savannah and Macon, Georgia, over that of Guyton, was clearly referable in great measure to the hygienic conditions and relative locations of the various hospitals…In the crowded hospitals, the simplest diseases assumed malignant characters; the typhoid poison altered the course of mumps and measles, and pneumonia, and was the cause of thousands of deaths; and the foul exhalations of the sick poisoned the wounds of healthy men, and induced erysipelas, pyaemia, and gangrene.  Who can estimate the suffering inflicted, as in the celebrated case of the Augusta hospitals, by the development and spread of hospital gangrene in overcrowded hospitals situated in the heart of towns and cities?
     As a rule in military practice, the wounded should never be placed in wards with patients suffering from any one of the contagious or infectious diseases, as small-pox, measles, scarlet fever, typhus fever, typhoid fever, erysipelas, pyaemia, or hospital gangrene; and these various diseases should not be indiscriminately mingled together. The voice of the profession is unanimous as to the exclusion and isolation of small-pox, but we know from extended experience that sufficient care was not exercised in the isolation of other diseases.

Despite the hospital’s better record with disease, Isbin T. Giddens died of “Brain Fever”  on July 17, 1862 at Guyton Hospital. The term Brain fever, no longer in use, described a medical condition where a part of the brain becomes inflamed and causes symptoms that present as fever.   In modern terminology, conditions that may have been described as brain fever include Encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection, or Meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.  Giddens died with no money in his possession.  His effects, “sundries”, where left in the charge of W.S. Lawton, Surgeon and later,Surgeon-in-Chief. His place of burial was not documented.

Isbin T. Giddens, register of deaths by disease, Confederate Archives

Isbin T. Giddens, register of deaths by disease, Confederate Archives


The historical marker at Guyton bears the inscription:

In May 1862 the Confederate Government established a General Hospital in Guyton, Georgia. This hospital was located on a nine acre tract of land between Central Railroad, a determining factor in locating hospitals, and current Georgia Highway 119, Lynn Bonds Avenue and Pine Street. The end of May saw five people on the medical staff at this hospital. Five months later the number had reached 46 people including surgeons, assistant surgeons, contract physicians, hospital stewards, ward masters, matrons, ward matrons, assistant matrons, nurses, cooks, and laundry workers.

The Savannah Republican, September 6,, 1862, wrote,

Covering for the Sick Soldiers.
We are in receipt of a letter from the Surgeon of the Guyton Hospital, to which all our
convalescing soldiers are sent, stating the fact that the patients are wholly unprovided with
blankets, comforts and other covering to protect them against the approaching cool weather. The
government cannot purchase blankets on any terms, and it rests with private citizens to prevent
the suffering that must surely ensue without such aid. Will not our citizens take a review of their
bed clothing, and send us what they can possibly spare? Anything that will keep out the cold
will answer, and we hope to receive a prompt response to the appeal, both from city and country.
The inmates of the hospital have relatives and friends all over the State, who should do what they
can for their comfort. All packages sent to this office will be promptly forwarded.

♦ ♦ ♦

By May 1863, this hospital had a medical staff of 67 people. Confederate documents reveal that this hospital had 270 beds and 46 fireplaces. When the hospital was filled to capacity the Guyton Methodist Church was used to take in patients who could not be placed in the hospital. Surgeon William H. Whitehead was the Surgeon-in-Charge from May 1862 until February 1863, when Surgeon William S. Lawton took charge and served in this capacity until the hospital was abandoned in December 1864, when the 17th Army Corps of General Sherman`s Federal Army approached. From May 1862 to December 1864, this hospital provided medical care, food, clothing, and lodging for thousands of sick and wounded Confederate soldiers. – Historical Marker

Related Posts:


Luelle Giddens and the Euclidian Club at G.S.W.C.

Louelle Giddens, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Mary Luelle Giddens was born at Ray City,  GA on November 22, 1915, one of thirteen children born to Eugene Madison Giddens and Georgia Ida Rigell.  The Giddens home was located near Ray City on the Milltown & Ray City road and was cut into Lanier County when it was created in 1920.

Her father, E.M. Giddens, was a farmer in the Rays Mill district for many years. He was also active in the politics of Lanier county, serving as Ordinary in 1923, and as a Lanier County Commissioner in 1927.  Her uncle, David Jackson Rigell, was a well known merchant who operated one of the earliest stores at Rays Mill (nka Ray City) and later operated a mercantile  in Lakeland, GA.

From 1933 to 1935 Luelle Giddens attended Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (now known as Valdosta State University.)

She apparently excelled in the study of mathematics at G.S.W.C., for she joined the Euclidean Club, an honors society for math students.


For the Greek mathematician Euclid the club was named when it was organized in the spring of 1930.  At that time the club consisted of only a small number of students most of whom were underclassmen, there being only two majors in the math department.

The requirements have been raised from a grade of B honors in two courses and Juniors and Seniors constitute a majority of the membership.

The idea of the club is to create more interest in mathematics and encourage scholarship by having  qualifications for membership.

The monthly program consists of modern trends in mathematics and current topics.

Louelle Giddens, 1934, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1934, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1935, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1935, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

After college, Luelle Giddens married Robert Harold Ogburn (1910-1987), of Atlanta.

Harold Ogburn died February 16, 1987.  Luelle Giddens Ogburn died January 17, 1999.   Both were buried at buried at Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Georgia.

Gravemarker, Luelle Giddens Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Luelle Giddens Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Robert Harold Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Robert Harold Ogburn.

Jasper Giddens ‘Settles’ Knife Fight

An earlier post gave a transcription of the December 17 December 1879,  Columbus Daily Enquirer  report of a knife fight and shooting at Cat Creek (see Cat Creek Knife and Gun Club).  A more detailed story appeared in the Valdosta Times, and was picked up by the Daily Constitution in Atlanta.

Atlanta Daily Constitution
December 16, 1879

Valdosta Times: The fatal affray which occurred nearly two weeks ago in the northern portion of this county did not come to our ears in time for our last issue. Better late than never, however, we are enabled to furnish the following particulars: Mr. Jasper Giddens, who is a son of Duncan Giddens, of Clinch county, has been farming on a plantation near the Berrien county line, owned by Mr. William Roberts.  During the year he had employed on his farm as a farm hand a Mr. Calvin Hightower.  A dispute arose between them, and Mr. H. was dismissed.  Mr. Giddens had a claim upon which he entered suit, and upon the occasion of the fatal encounter Mr. Hightower and two of his brothers went over, it seems, to Mr. Gidden’s place to “settle” the difficulty.  They were said to have been well armed. After some words blows were resorted to, and knives drawn and freely used.  Both Hightower and Giddens were severely cut, and it is said that the Hightower brothers were about to take a hand in the fight when Giddens jerked loose from his antagonist, and drawing a pistol, shot him in the abdomen. The wound being a fatal one ended the fight.  Mr. Hightower lived about a week, having died last Tuesday, and Mr. Giddens has fled the country.  We have heard various shades of rumors about the unfortunate affair, but we regard the above as having come from as correct a source as could be obtained. It is hard, of course, to get at the literal details.

Jasper Giddens was born at Cat Creek, GA.  As a young man, he lived in Ware and Clinch counties,  eventually coming back to south Berrien county and the general region of present day Ray City, GA where the shooting occurred.  Cat Creek community is located in Lowndes county near the line with Berrien County.  Just across the county line, in Berrien County, was the Knight community, the homestead of General Levi J. Knight. Many of the Giddens family connection still reside in the nearby area.

Related Posts:

Matthew O. Giddens ~ Confederate POW

Matthew O. Giddens, youngest son of Isbin Giddens, was born 1844 in that part of Lowndes County, GA later cut into Berrien County.

When Matthew was about nine years old his father died, on October 21, 1853.  Isbin Giddens was buried at  Union Church Cemetery, in present day Lanier County, GA.  Matthew’s older brothers, William, Moses, and Aaron served as executors of his father’s estate.  Two years later in 1855  Matthew’s mother, Kizziah Knight Giddens married the widower Allen Cone Jones.  Matthew and his minor siblings were taken into their step-father’s household. Matthew, his brother Isbin T., and sister Mary all appear in the Jones household in the census of 1860.  Matthew’s mother died in November 1861 and  she was buried at Union Church, Lanier County GA.

Matthew and his brother Isbin T. Giddens  served in the Civil War.  On August 1, 1861 they went to Milltown (nka Lakeland), GA where they joined the Berrien Minute Men, Company G, 29th Georgia Infantry, a unit formed by their uncle General Levi J. Knight.  Neither brother would survive the war.  Matthew O. Giddens was taken prisoner on December 16, 1864 near Nashville, TN.  He was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio where three months later, on Feb 8, 1865, he died of pneumonia.  Isbin T. Giddens, died of brain fever at Guyton Hospital in Georgia.

Federal records of deaths of Confederate prisoners of war show that M. O. Giddens, 29th GA Infantry, died of pneumonia on February 7, 1865 at Camp Chase, OH. Reel 0012 – SELECTED RECORDS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT RELATING TO CONFEDERATE PRISONERS OF WAR 1861-65 – 21-South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, 1862-65

Camp Chase, OH ca. 1861-1865, federal prison camp for confederate soldiers. Photographer, Manfred M. Griswold. The conditions at Camp Chase were deplorable, some say nearly as bad as the prison operated by the Confederates at Andersonville, GA.

Camp Chase, OH ca. 1861-1865, federal prison camp for confederate soldiers. Photographer, Manfred M. Griswold. The conditions at Camp Chase were deplorable, some say nearly as bad as the prison operated by the Confederates at Andersonville, GA.

Gravemarker of M.O. Giddens, 29th GA Regiment, one of 2260 confederate graves at Camp Chase Cemetery.

Related Posts:

John A. Giddens, D.D.S.

Yet another college educated son of William Giddens, of Berrien County, was John A. Giddens.  Like his brothers, Henry, Isbin and Marcus,  John A. Giddens moved from Berrien County to live in Tampa, FL.  His biography appeared in Memoirs of Florida in 1902.

Rerick, Rowland H. (1902) Memoirs of Florida: Embracing a general history of the province, territory, and state; and special chapters devoted to finances and banking, the bench and bar, medical profession, railways and navigation, and industrial interests.The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA. Vol II, Pgs 525-526.

John A. Giddens, D.D.S., a well known dentist of Tampa, is a native of Berrien county, Ga., born July 24, 1860.  He was the son of William Giddens, a Georgia planter and Confederate soldier who died in 1900, and Elizabeth (Edmundson) Giddens, of Georgia, who died in 1882.  Dr. Giddens was reared on his father’s plantation, received his early education in the public schools of the vicinity and the Thomasville high school. At seventeen years of age he became a teacher in the public schools but after one year resigned in order to take up the study of dentistry.  He entered the dental office of Dr. Alfred Smith of Valdosta, Ga., and remained there until 1881 when he matriculated at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery.  He was graduated from this famous institution in 1883 and at once entered upon the practice of his chosen profession in Berrien county, Ga., but remained there only one year and in the fall of 1883 removed to Florida, selecting as his location, the thriving city of Tampa.  Two years later he went to Key West, practicing in the last named place for ten years.  In September, 1897, he returned to Tampa, which has been his home since, and where he has built up a large and lucrative practice.  Dr. Giddens is a member of the Florida State Dental society and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church South, of which he is a steward and local clergyman.  He has been married twice, first in January, 1889 to Mary, daughter of James R. Curry, of Key West. She died in November, 1893.  His second wife was Miss Carrie Hammerly, of Tampa, formerly of Virginia, to who he was married September 15, 1898.  He has two daughters, Pauline C. and Fannie E., aged eleven and nine years respectively. The family is quite popular and enjoys a wide circle of acquaintances and friends.

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