FIRST NEWS OF THE GREAT CALAMITY. 23
ful nature come from that part of Texas, some of them even
intimating that Galveston had been entirely wrecked and that the
bay was covered with the dead bodies of its residents. Nothing
definite, however, could be learned, as the Gulf city was entirely
isolated, not even railroad trains being able to reach it. All the
telegraph wires to Galveston were gone south of Houston, and to
accentuate the serious condition of affairs the cable lines between
Galveston and Tampico and Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, were severed;
at least no communication over them was possible.
The Western Union had a large number of telegraph operators
and linemen waiting at Houston to go to Galveston, but it
was impossible to get them there. San Antonio was being
reached by El Paso, in the extreme southwestern portion of the
State, a procedure made necessary by the prevailing storm.
WATER BLOWN COMPLETELY OVER THE CITY.
Mr. Joyce, another refugee from Galveston, made the following
" The wind was blowing Saturday afternoon and night at
a' ,ut seventy-five miles an hour, blowing the water in the Gulf
,d completely covering the city. The people of Galveston did
-not think it was much at first and kept within their homes, consequently
when the wind began blowing as it did and the water
dashed against the houses, completely demolishing them, many
lives were lost. I have no idea how many were killed, but think
there will be several thousand deaths reported, besides many
people whom we will know nothing about.
' I was in the storm which struck Galveston in I875, but that
one, bad as it was, was nothing in comparison with Saturday's."
The following account of Galveston will be of interest to
readers in connection with the great disaster that has ruined that
once prosperous and thriving city.
Galveston is situated on an island extending east and west
for twenty-seven miles, and is seven miles in its greatest width'
north and south. No city could be in greater danger from such
a horrible visitation as has now come to Galveston. In no part
Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/. Accessed May 22, 2015.