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: 188
188 VAST ARMY OF HELPLESS VICTIMS.
from Passed Assistant Surgeon Wertenbaker, who was directed to
go from his station in New Orleans to Galveston, practically confirming
the press reports as to the effect of the storm and conditions
existing. He says:
"'City is wrecked. Press reports not exaggerated. Deaths
estimated at 5000. Bodies being cremated as fast as found. Many
bodies under debris not yet removed. Water supply limited.
Very scarce now, but supplies coming in rapidly. The only means
of communication is by railroad to Texas City, thence by boat, or
by boat from Houston.'
"Dr. Wertenbaker is at Houston and Surgeon Peckham and
Acting Assistant Surgeon Lea Hume are giving all the aid possible
in Galveston. I do not apprehend an outbreak of any epidemic
of disease as a result of the storm. The law and regulations
are ample to meet the emergency.
" There is danger of sickness caused by unusual exposure and
deprivation of food and water, but the people of Galveston and the
Governor and other officials of the State and city appear to be
thoroughly alive to the necessities of the situation. Their disposal
of bodies by cremation is certainly a wise measure, and I am
convinced that the native energy of the people, supplemented by
the tents and rations furnished by the War Department, and the
contributions which have been and are flowing in from all parts
of the country, will obviate the outbreak of widespread disease.
" Supervising Surgeon General Marine Hospital Service."
WHOLE FAMILIES LOST.
'Austin, Texas, Saturday.-Imagine, if you can, fifty thousand
persons, many of them without clothing, all of them in immediate
need of food and drink; motherless and fatherless children,
men who have lost their families,-men, women and children all
dazed from one of the greatest calamities of the time, and you can
have some slight idea of the conditiot s existing at Galveston and
all over the country along the Gulf contiguous to the storm centre
of last Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/231/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .