78 CRY OF DISTRESS IN GALVESTON.
ROBBERY AND MUTILATION OF THE DEAD.
A reporter has telegraphed from La Porte the story of the
robbery and mutilation of the dead in Galveston and death of the
Ghouls were holding an orgie over the dead. The majority
of these men were negroes, but there were also whites who took
part in the desecration. Some of them were natives and some had
been allowed to go over from the mainland, under the guise of
"relief" work. Not only did they rob the dead, but they mutilated
bodies in order to secure their ghoulish booty. A party of
ten negroes were returning from a looting expedition. They had
stripped corpses of all valuables, and the pockets of some of the
:ooters were fairly bulging out with fingers of the dead, which had
been cut off because they were so swollen the rings could not be
Incensed at this desecration and mutilation of the dead, the
looters were shot down, and it has been determined that all found
in the act of robbing dead shall be summarily shot.
During the robbing of the dead, not only were fingers cut off,
but ears were stripped from the head in order to secure jewels of
value. A few Government troops who survived have been assisting
in patrolling the city. Private citizens have also endeavored to
prevent the robbing of the dead, and on several occasions have
killed the offenders. Singly and in twos and threes the offenders
were thus shot down, until the total of those thus executed exceeds
A REFUGEE'S STATEMENT.
J. W. B. Smith, who went to Galveston from Denver, was in
Saturday night's storm, and reached Houston, after having an experience
which he will remember the remainder of his life.
He started from the city on Monday afternoon, and in walking
from the foot of Broadway to the Santa Fe bridge, counted two
hundred dead bodies hung up on wire fences, to say nothing of
those floating in the water. He constructed a raft out of planks,
r.' * ^.-
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 April 18, 2015.