The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 428
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428 WONDERFUL COURAGE OF SURVIVORS.
" This department has accomplished a great deal, and to the
several hundred men who have devoted their time and attention
to the city's welfare too much credit cannot be given," said he.
"It is astonishing to note the spirit of the people of Galveston
and the manner in'which they go about the work of restoring the
city. We have had no serious trouble either in having to impress
men into service or in keeping the lawless element under control.
Considering the condition of affairs, the city has been unusually
orderly and very few arrests have been made of a serious nature.
I have tried but five cases since the establishment of martial law,
and that tells the story of how the law is being respected."
A MARVEL OF BRIDGE BUILDING.
The construction of the bridge across Galveston bay has been
a marvel of hustling, and the dispatch with which it has been
done reflects the indomitable energy, good judgment and skill of
the men who had it in charge. The work was not started on the
bridge until Thursday of last week, because the material could
not be gotten to the place, but when it was started Vice President
Barr and General Superintendent Nixon said: "We will run
trains into Galveston next Thursday." Not many people expected
that they could make good the promise, and almost everybody
said they would be satisfied if the trains came within a fortnight.
But the men who directed the work said that trains would cross
on Thursday, and they stuck to it.
No work was ever beset by such difficulties as the work of
restoring the tracks on the island and the mainland and the building
of the bridge. The men on the track had to bury dead
humans and animals, strewn by the hundreds over the prairies.
They toiled in mud and water under a blazing sun. They had to
remove hundreds of wrecked cars and twisted and tangled steel
rails. They worked in the stench of dead flesh and the horrible
odor of rotting grain and other wreckage. They built the track
over a wreck-strewn prairie torn by the angry sea. It was difficult
to get supplies to them and difficult also to get material.
The men who rebuilt the bridge worked the first day without
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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/m1/486/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .