The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 146
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Fears of Pestilence-Searching Parties Clearing Away the
Ruins and Cremating the Dead-Distracted Crowds
Waiting to Leave the City-Wonderful Escapes.
"The large force of men used in burying and cremating the
exposed dead scattered throughout the city are trying to complete
that portion of their work and are searching for the bodies of unfortunates
lying crushed beneath the mass of debris and wrecked
buildings. Where the.debris lies in detached masses, it is fired,
and the bodies therein consumed.
" When adjacent property will be endangered by fire, the
mass of ruins is removed, the bodies are taken out and conveyed
to a safe distance. Around them is piled the debris and the whole
is saturated with oil and fired. It is quite impossible to identify
the bodies as they are in all stages of putrefaction.
" It is a gruesome and sad task. Some of the men engaged
in this work are, perhaps, unknowingly helping to destroy all that
is mortal of some loved one, who, a few days before, was the light
of his home. The ghastly pile may contain the body of his wife,
mother, brother, or some petted child; but in nearly every instance
he knows it not.
" One pathetic incident occurred. A squad of men discovered
in a wrecked building five bodies, among whom one of the party
recognized a brother. All were in an advanced state of decomposition.
They were all removed and a funeral pyre was made.
The living brother, with a wrench in his heart, assisted, and with
Spartan-like firmness stood by and saw his brother's body reduced
"The appalling loss of life by the hurricane has benumbed
the people and virtually dried up the fountains of grief. Neighbor
meets neighbor and, with a hearty grasp of the hand, says "I
hope all is well with you." The usual reply is, " I am sorry to
say I am the only one left."
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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/m1/177/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .