The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 361
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AN ISLAND OF DESOLATION. 361
With Gen. McKibben, Gen. Scurry, Gen. Stoddard and several
who had relatives here about whom they were anxious, I spent
five hours on the bay in a row boat, kindly loaned by the captain
of the "Kendel Castle," a British steamship hopelessly stranded at
Texas City, but finally we landed on the island just as the stars
were coming out.
The very atmosphere smelt of death, and we walked through
the quiet streets to the Tremont Hotel. Long before we landed
we had seen the naked forms of men, women and children floating
in the bay and were depressed until the entire party was
Men were grouped about the streets talking in quiet tones.
Sad and hopeless women could be seen in dismantled houses,
destitute children were about the streets, and all about them was
nothing but wreck and ruin. Night had drawn a gray pall over
the city and for awhile the autunln moon covered her face with
dark clouds to hide the place with shadows. The town was under
martial law, every saloon was closed, and passers-by were required
to give an account of themselves before being allowed to proceed.
The fact, however, that the streets were almost impassable on
account of the debris kept us reminded that we were in the midst
of unprecedented desolation.
REVEALED A SCENE.
Wednesday the sun drew aside the curtains of darkness and
revealed a scene that is impossible of description. I spent hours
driving or riding about the city, and witnessed the saddest spectacles
ever seen by human eyes. What were once Galveston's
splendid business thoroughfares were wrecked and crumbled.
The Strand, known to every business man of the State, was lined
on both sides with crumbling walls and wrenched buildings, and
the street was a mass of debris, such as metal roofs rolled up like
a scroll, splintered timbers, iron pillars, broken stone and bricks;
the same was true of Mechaiic, and Market, and Tremont, and
Twenty-first and Twenty-second, and every other street of the
great business heart of Galveston.
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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/m1/419/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .