44 INCIDENTS OF THE AWFUL HURRICANE.
track washed out, and the bridges connecting Galveston with the
mainland must be entirely rebuilt.
The following is the description of an eye-witness on September
II: " Galveston is almost wiped off the earth. Fifteen thou.
sand persons are homeless. The loss of life will reach into the
thousands. Bodies are piled everywhere.
" When daylight broke over the expanse of floating bodies,
rubbish heaps and ruins were all that remained of the prosperous
city. A few leading citizens assembled in several feet of water
at a street corner and called a meeting at the Tremont Hall, to
which they adjourned. A committee of Public Safety of fifteen
leading citizens was formed, and Colonel J. H. Hawley, one of
the best known men in Texas, was made chairman. He, with
Mayor Walter C. Jones and Chief of Police Edward Ketchum,
formed a triumvirate, with absolute power, and declared the city
under martial law.
MILITARY FORCES AND SPECIAL POLICE.
"They issued a commission to Major L. R. D. Fayling,
which made him commander-in-chief of all military forces and
special deputies of police, and only subject to the orders of the
Mayor and the Chief of Police. Mayor Fayling was authorized
to requisition any men or property he may require for his force,
and his receipt will be honored by the city of Galveston and any
such property paid for by the city.
" As soon as Major Fayling received his authority he collected
a handful of half-naked, barefooted soldiers, clothed them,
supplied them with food and put them under command of Captain
Edward Rogers. Around this nucleus of a force he has built up
to meet the necessities of the situation his present force of three
full companies of volunteer soldiers and a troop of cavalry.
"A horde of negroes and whites-even white women-were
in the ruins of the city. They were robbing the dead aid dying,
killing those who resisted, cutting off fingers to obtain rings and
ears to obtain earrings. Drunken men reeled about the streets
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 July 4, 2015.