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: 396
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i96 THE STORM'S MURDEROUS FURY.
But how get the bodies to the sea? Then it was that the law was
Martial law was declared in fact, whether according to law or
not. Men armed themselves and went on the streets in posses.
They captured negro men and forced them to take hold of the
bodies. Whisky was poured into them---argument was made-to
them. They were nauseated with the work, but more whisky was
poured into them. They piled the bodies on floats and drays and
every kind of vehicle and thus took them to the wharf.
A GHASTLY SPECTACLE.
Here they were placed on barges. The poor living creatures,
wild with liquor, beastialized by it, because they could not have
done it, embarked with the putrifying cargo. The white men
retched and vomited. The negroes did the same. Yet more work
had to be done and now they pleaded for whisky to dull them
more for their horrible work. It was given them. No man in all
the world can tell of the horrors of this trip. Those who were not
wild shrunk in agony from it. Those who were mad stumbled
over the corpses and laid with them in drunken stupor-but beyond
the jetties the cargo was tossed into the sea.
It is claimed that they were sunk with weights. This may be
partly true. This disposition of the corpses was found impracticable.
The work was too slow. The sea would give up its dead.
As time passed the difficulty of transporting the bodies became
greater. Then the burning began. The corpses wherever found
were burned on the spot. If the fire might be dangerous they
were pulled to an open space.
Where several were found in close proximity they were placed
together for the final act. Kerosene was poured over them. Planks,
lumber, anything combustible were placed upon them and the torch
applied. The incineration was never complete enough to completely
destroy the bones. But the flesh, breeding a pestilence,
was gone.' Many were buried. But the graves were only deep
enough to receive the bloated bodies. The sand was full of water.
Graves could be dug no deeper than as mentioned.
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/m1/454/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .