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: 364
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364 AN ISLAND OF DESOLATION.
the real dimensions of the disaster which crushed Galveston and
left her broken and disconsolate like a wounded bird fluttering on
the white sands of the ocean ?
And the beach ? That once beautiful beach, with its long
stretches of white sand-what has become of that? Misshapen,
distorted, blotched and drabbled and criinsoned, it spread away to
the horizons of the east and west, its ugly scars rendered more
hideous by the glinting rays of the sun. Part of it had disappeared
under the purling waters. Far out here and there could
be seen the piling, where once rested the places of amusement.
The waves were lashing the lawns which once stretched
before palatial homes. And the pools along the shore were stinking
with the remains of ill-fated dogs, cats, chickens, birds,
horses, cows and fish. Shoreward, as far as the eye could reach,
were massive piles of houses and timbers, all shattered and torn.
A cloud of smoke was noticed, and driving to the scene, we
found a large number of men feeding the flames with the timbers
of the wrecked homes which once gave such a charm to Galveston
BURNING iooo HUMAN BODIES.
And why the fire? The men were burning Iooo human
bodies cast up by the sea, and the fuel was the timber of the
homes which the poor victims once occupied! And yet this
awful spectacle was but a fragment of the murderous work of the
greatest storm which has swept the ocean's shore for a century!
There were dozens of piles of sand in every direction along
that mutilated shore. And men were noticed in the distance
shoveling these uncanny mounds.
We saw what they were doing. The bodies brought in by
the tide were being buried deep in the sand. Driving beyond the
grave diggers we saw prostrate on the sand the stark and swollen
forms of women and children and floating farther out in the tide
were other bodies soon to be brought in to be buried. The waves
were only the hearses bringing in the dead to be buried in the sand
along the shore. It is the contemplation of such scenes as these
that staggers consciousness and stings the human soul.
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/m1/422/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .