The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 138
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138 HURRIED TO A WATERY GRAVE.
be entertained, as there are too many interests in Galveston that
cannot be transplanted, and that have not been so badly affected by
the storm as to render them useless.
Railroads are already reconstructing bridges across the bay,
and trade will be moving through the port within a fortnight.
To protect the city of Galveston from the ravages of future
cyclones would be almost as costly as to re-establish the city on a
This is the opinion of eminent engineers in Washington. To
insure the maintenance of the channel it has been necessary to
erect jetties which have cost more than $6,ooo,ooo. These jetties,
however, do not furnish an obstacle of any importance to the invasion
of the sea when behind it is a force such as a West India
Because of the effect of storms upon the Gulf coast, it has
been customary for engineer officers stationed at Galveston to report
yearly upon the appearance of atmospheric disturbances of more
than usual intensity, and Captain Rich, the engineer officer who is
believed to have lost his life, said in his report for I899 that storms
which occurred during April, May and June, 1899, "carried away
nearly all that remained of construction trestle and track and
caused more or less settlement of the jetties."
GREAT NEED OF A SAFE HARBOR.
The need of a safe deep-water harbor on the Gulf of Mexico
has long been appreciated, and in I899 Congress passed an act directing
the Secretary of War to appoint a Board of three engineer
officers of the army to make a careful and critical examination of
the American coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of 93 degrees and
30 minutes west longitude, and to " report as to the most eligible
points for a deep harbor, to be of ample depth, width and capacity
to accommodate the largest ocean-going vessels and the commercial
and naval necessities of the country."
The Board consisted of Lieutenant-Colonels H. M. Robert,
G. L. Gillespie and Jared A. Smith. It is reported that Galveston
was the most eligible point for a deep harbor, but also called atten,
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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, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/169/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .