The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 113
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HARROWING DETAILS OF THE DISASTER. 113
"Heroic measures were adopted by the citizens in charge of the
work of policing and rehabilitating the city. It was determined
to fire the ruins and purify the city by flame. This must be done.
Hundreds of bodies will be cremated in the pyres. Fire is the
best disinfectant that the city has at its command. People from
the vicinity of Galveston report to-night that heavy clouds of smoke
have shrouded the city all the afternoon. It is evident that the
ordeal by fire has begun. This adds a fresh menace to the city's
safety. The fire department is unable to cope with the flames,
should they spread to the undamaged sections of the city.
"It was the weakest members of the community that suffered
the greatest in the dark hours of Saturday night, when the seas
leaped upon the city. Two-thirds of the corpses that are seen
are those of women and children. The number of the negro
dead exceed the white victims.
"A water famine has added its quota to the perils of the situation.
The water works are still disabled. There are few wells
in the city, and the bulk of the available water supply consists of
the stores in the reservoirs. This is not sufficient to last more
than a day or two. Strenuous efforts are being put forth to
repair the pumps and start the water works."
ROBBERS DRIVEN FROM THEIR WORK.
Since Adjutant-General Scurry has assumed police direction
of affairs, looting and plundering have ceased. No one has been
shot, and order prevails throughout the city. The lawless know
that they will be shot down on the spot when caught depredating,
and this has had a very wholesome effect. The large force of
men employed in burying and cremating the exposed dead scattered
throughout the city have completed that portion of their
work and are now engaged in searching for the bodies of unfortunates
lying crushed and bruised beneath the immense mass of
debris and wrecked buildings scattered throughout the city.
Where the debris lies in detached masses it is fired and the bodies
therein are consumed.
When adjacent property is endangered by fire the mass of
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Lester, Paul. The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/136/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .