CHARACTER OF FOOD.
While the quantities of relief food were enormous in the aggregate yet, as they were largely volunteer gifts, they did not constitute a well-balanced ration. Of course this lack of proportion did not occur in the 900,000 rations purchased by the Commissary-General of the Army and shipped to San Francisco. Inasmuch as the food received must have exceeded 9,000,000 rations, fully 90 per cent of the entire amount was heterogeneous in character. Data on these points exist only as to San Francisco supplies received from April 29, and those of Oakland from May 6. Considering the food supplies on the basis of the standard relief ration, and omitting the well-balanced supply of 1,200,000 relief rations received from the Army, the voluntary gifts to San Francisco, excluding supplies used by the Citizens' Committee up to April 29, passed through Major Krauthoff's office as follows: Flour, 21,365,325 rations; meat, 1,981,492 rations; coffee and tea, 2,510,804 rations; sugar, 1,914,953 rations; vegetables and fruit, 3,018,813 rations; thus showing that there were received as volunteer gifts about 2,000,000 complete rations. There was no great excess except in vegetables and particularly of flour; the latter article amounted to more than ten times the average of the other components of the complete ration. It is, therefore, evident to the most casual observer that the relief ration could not be issued directly in the prescribed form, but that it must be composed largely of substitutes. Moreover, it was a question as to whether substitutes should be furnished in the shape of raw rations (that is uncooked component parts) and should be issued indiscriminately to adults, children, nursing women, the aged, and to those in hospitals, or whether the articles received should be transformed into money and utilized in purchasing rations, cooked or uncooked, suited to the persons, the time, and the locality.
As will be noted, there was a superabundance of flour and potatoes. As 95 per cent of the chimneys were damaged, the Mayor, by proclamation, forbade fires within the houses, which obliged every one of the 350,000 or more people remaining in San Francisco to cook their food on the public streets. Moreover, 200,000 people were absolutely deprived of all cooking utensils. As regards flour and potatoes, issues were made to every person willing to take them. Almost without exception, flour was refused, owing to the impossibility of cooking it, and in many cases the potatoes, which sprouted and spoiled by thousands and thousands of pounds. The situation was greatly relieved by the wise action of the Citizens' Relief Committee, which sold its flour to bakeries, which indeed could not obtain it elsewhere, and purchased from them at an equitable price the output of bread. This practice, being the most economical method, was followed by the army when it assumed charge of the relief work.
With regard to the sale of flour made by the army at the request of the finance committee of the Red Cross, this practice necessarily began, as shown above, at the earliest date and proceeded without comment, both in San Francisco and Oakland, until it became necessary to sell large quantities. Twelve hundred and sixty barrels were sold in Oakland without exciting any remark. It is a matter of record that the relief committee of one of the cities of the country, which contributed about one-half of 1 per cent of the relief funds
― 119 ―
and stores for San Francisco and about 10 per cent of the flour (the output of said city), repeatedly urged that its supplies should be given in kind to the citizens of San Francisco, irrespective of the opinions held by every relief official on the ground. As such action would have wrought great harm here, I recommended that the flour in question be returned to the city that gave it, if it so desired, as such a course would be more economical than to establish a precedent which involved the disposition of 90 per cent of supplies furnished by others.
The opening of restaurants relieved many from the necessity of street cooking. One workman stated that it took him two hours per day to prepare his food. To these restaurants relief supplies were sold at a fixed and reasonable price, and from them were purchased meal tickets, which were distributed to the destitute. For infants and the feeble articles were purchased, such as fresh milk, eggs, butter, cheese, fruit, and fresh meat, as prescribed by physicians. The sick in hospitals were similarly provided with articles of special diet suited to their needs, as certified by the hospital authorities. Fresh meat for all was purchased by contract under army inspection and supervision.
To facilitate the work of relief then most pressing, the entire city was divided, on April 29, into seven sections, and the following selected army officers were placed in charge, under the designation of military chairmen:
First section (stations 101 to 122), Capt. William Mitchell, Signal Corps.
Second section (stations 201 to 209), Capt. G. W. Martin, 18th Infantry.
Third section (stations 301 to 317), Capt. R. O. Van Horn, 17th Infantry.
Fourth section (stations 401 to 439), Capt. W. W. Harts, Corps of Engineers.
Fifth section (stations 501 to 514), Capt. L. W. Oliver, U. S. A.
Sixth section (stations 601 to 620), Capt. C. G. French, 7th Infantry.
Seventh section (stations 701 to 716), Capt. E. P. Orton, 2d Cavalry.
The section chiefs (military chairmen) were intrusted with the entire relief work in the large territories under their control. They were responsible for timely and suitable requisitions, for systematic issue of food, the elimination of the unworthy, the proper care of the sick, and the immediate relief of extreme cases of destitution. They were charged with the most rigid economy consistent with efficient work, and especially directed to reduce stations as to number and personnel as rapidly as possible without causing distress. Those officers took over all stations in their sections except those under special religious or other organizations, which preferred to act independently. There were 177 of such relief stations at the beginning, but only 131 were permanently maintained and officially numbered. There was attached to each section a physician paid by the Army, who familiarized himself with the sanitary conditions in the section,
― 120 ―
gave prescriptions for special diet, and made suitable recommendations for improvements. As soon as practicable, there was added a representative of the Red Cross, known as the civilian chairman, who was charged with the distribution of clothing and other relief articles and food and was considered an understudy to the military chairman, so that he might succeed to the command when the army was withdrawn, which eventually obtained. One of the division inspectors was assigned to each section. It is most gratifying to report that without exception the military and civilian chairmen, the inspectors, and surgeons worked together with the utmost harmony and efficiency.
It was recognized that apart from the impossibility of providing food for 325,000 persons for many weeks, it was in the public interests to adopt measures which would rapidly reduce the number to be subsisted. In carrying out this sound policy such methods were adopted as would stimulate individual resourcefulness, foster self-helpfulness, discourage dependence, and discountenance pauperism. Fortunately, the community was constituted almost entirely of self-supporting people, who as a body responded promptly and satisfactorily to the demands made upon them. Otherwise it would have been impossible to reduce the bread line of 325,000 persons on April 30 to a comparative handful of 15,353 on June 30, an elimination of over 95 per cent.
On assuming control a most lavish system of issues prevailed without systematic means of distribution, so that some were oversupplied and others received a mere pittance. This was unavoidable under previous conditions of distress and confusion, when food was necessarily issued without check or without question to every applicant. The organization by the army of an equitable and efficient system necessarily proceeded without cessation of relief issues, but within forty-eight hours the plan of restrictive measures began and continued unceasingly to the very end. No sooner was one restriction enforced without serious complaint than it was followed by another, so that what would have seemed rigorous if enforced as a whole was accepted as satisfactory in detail.
The modifications were made in the following order:
1. A standard relief ration (see General Orders, No. 18, Pacific Division, p. 60) was formulated whose nutritive value should equal two-thirds of the army ration, that amount being thought sufficient for nonworkers.
2. Applicants were required by the issuing official to state whether or not they were destitute.
3. A cossack guard, placed at each issuing station, courteously asked each adult male whether he was destitute, whether he was willing to work, and was informed that shortly rations would cease.
4. Issues were refused to small children, as they were frequently used for "repeating," and all adults, unless sick, were required to obtain their rations in person.
5. The unearthing of frauds was attempted by systematic appeals made for information regarding repeaters and impostors.
6. Rations were discontinued on Sunday, except to those in camp.
7. Refugees in the largest camps were gradually brought under military control as to rations and sanitation.
― 121 ―
8. The daily ration for healthy persons outside of camps was reduced to bread, vegetables, and meat; the components coffee, tea, and sugar were withheld, except in camps under military supervision. The withdrawal of coffee and sugar caused great reductions.
9. Next, restaurants were established and coincidently rations were issued to those outside of military camps only three times a week, and limited to bread, meat, and potatoes. The restaurants (free meal tickets were given to all destitute) provided the applicants with good hot meals for 15 cents. While few paid for meals, yet this plan rapidly reduced applicants for food. Many who came regularly for raw rations declined to go to the restaurants, where neighbors and surroundings might be uncongenial. In camps many of them found means of securing food for their private camp mess.
10. Later there were given healthy adults only 10-cent meals, which consisted of bread, meat, one vegetable, and coffee or tea with sugar.
11. Certain relief stations were closed on the assumption that only the needy would go a distance for a ration of bread, meat, and vegetables.
12. Systematic attempts were made to induce people to accept raw rations for one month and waive demands on the relief.
13. "Pink cards," requiring parties to state when they could subsist themselves, were filled out in the case of all persons receiving subsistence. This developed classes of permanently incapacitated professional paupers, and the self-respecting class were thus stimulated to self-support by suitable issues of raw rations.
In formulating and enforcing restrictions on food issued, appeals were made, as it will be seen, to the pride and self-respect of the great body of destitute, and also efforts to make it unprofitable and inconvenient for the minority of idlers and impostors. It should be clearly understood that the restrictive measures were applied only to well persons and that the very young children, the aged, and the invalids were always provided for by special diet.
RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION.
A work complex in its ramifications, of importance in its bearings, and difficult of satisfactory accomplishment was the control of relief stations, which was intrusted to Lieut. Col. Lea Febiger, Inspector-General's Department. It was duty of vital importance, as for several weeks it involved the daily food supply of hundreds of thousands. The difficulties and annoyances which necessarily marked the work of Colonel Febiger and his section chiefs were such as to test to the utmost the patience, tact, and judgment of all concerned. However, Colonel Febiger, by his energy, supervision, and especially through his personality and aggressiveness, handled this enormous work with great skill and success. The work assumed by Colonel Febiger, whether as to distances, number of stations, or number of destitutes, was of an astonishing magnitude. Originally there were 177 issuing relief stations, which were so remote that a visit to them all entailed a journey of not less than 46 miles. The issues from April 18 to April 30, calculated on the number of relief rations issued the first day, was 3,900,000 rations.
― 122 ―
For the twelve ensuing days after the count began the daily issues averaged 254,957, being in detail as follows:
April 30 (estimated), 325,000; May 1, 313,117; May 2 (estimated), 313,117; May 3, 279,631; May 4, 230,207; May 5, 264,570; May 6, 262,027; May 7, 233,989; May 8, 223,915; May 9, 222,313; May 10, 204,637; May 11, 186,960.
The bureau was organized in accordance with General Orders, No. 18, section 1, paragraph II, April 29. As has been elsewhere stated, under the heading of "Relief sections," this work was divided among seven section chiefs or military chairmen, who all took their orders from Colonel Febiger. Colonel Febiger's first duties were those of information to discover the existing conditions. He particularly strove to coordinate the work of the citizens at large with that under army supervision, and when practicable consolidate them—a work which entailed from 12 to 19 hours daily labor, with automobile travel averaging 100 miles per day.
From this examination Colonel Febiger says:
Relief stations were being indiscriminately supplied from various sources, with necessarily great waste and much exaggerated estimates of the numbers of the needy. Some stations would disappear in a night. There was no general organization and no attempted coordination, but the best men in the community came to the front and by energy and hard work prevented any actual suffering from hunger.
Colonel Febiger, by means of his chief secretary, general inspector, executive officer, and assistant secretary, exercised general control, assuring himself by personal inspections that the work was being properly performed. Necessary statistics were collected from day to day to show the trend of supply and for future reference.
Of the volunteer civilian force found in operation, Colonel Febiger says:
In the majority of cases station superintendents were found to be satisfactory, faithful, and efficient. However, during the two months in which the major operations of the bureau went forward many had to be relieved on account of incompetency, inefficiency, and, in some cases, impropriety of conduct, not involving moral turpitude, but showing an unsuitability for the work in hand which demanded removal.
As might be expected, many individual cases of repeating and fraud were discovered, though the percentage thereof was unusually small, probably not exceeding at the utmost 2 per cent.
With regard to the general results and conditions of the relief bureau, Colonel Febiger reports:
The most thorough investigation conducted by this bureau, in accordance with instructions of the division commander, led to the discovery of no cases of actual extreme destitution, meaning that which would involve either starvation or actual suffering from exposure; the several cases of poverty brought to light by this investigation being those of a character always existent in a large community and which are usually relieved by the admission of the individual to the poorhouse or home for aged persons.
As to the cases of repeating, he adds:
Many cases of repeating, heretofore referred to, were discovered, and this office was flooded with reports of persons who were taking advantage of present conditions to obtain large stores of food for future use, and were otherwise acting in an unworthy manner in their attitude toward relief work. It is but fair to state here that many of these reports (a large part of which were anonymous) upon investigation were found to be inspired by malice and to be unfounded in fact.
― 123 ―
The methods of restriction set forth elsewhere were enforced under Colonel Febiger's supervision.
With regard to the restaurants, Colonel Febiger states:
It was taken under advisement to establish a subordinate bureau to handle hot food, to employ cooks, stewards, waiters, etc., and to conduct cheap restaurants throughout the city, where persons of little means might obtain a nourishing meal and where those without means might be supplied with subsistence, to be paid for from the relief funds, but the more the details of this system were gone into the more it was developed that the proposition to be handled was so large that the machinery necessary to conduct it would become so ponderous as to be inoperative, and for that reason it was decided to resort to the contract system to accomplish the end sought.
The first restaurant, or hot food camp, was opened at Lobos Square on May 12, and the system was rapidly extended, there being eventually 27 restaurants established. Of the effect produced by these restaurants, it is added:
The influence of this contract method of supply of hot food in a gradual way was almost immediately perceptible by the reduction of the number of persons applying for relief—an average of 80 per cent, it was estimated—many declining with indignation to accept assistance in the form offered, and by outcries, more or less pronounced, demonstrating beyond the possibility of a doubt the intense unpopularity of this scheme. Several mass meetings of refugees were held, in which allegations more or less general in character were made concerning the food and personnel of the various camps under control of contractors. In some cases these complaints, on investigation, were found to be based on facts, and where corrective measures were possible they were promptly applied; but, in general, the protest was against the system rather than against the articles of food supplied and inspired by pride and sentiment, which were expected to act as the main factors in elimination. The method employed was purely temporary, inaugurated for the purpose of discovering those really in need and eliminating those who might thus be driven to support themselves, and in that manner saving the work of relief the stigma of having by their liberal treatment pauperized a self-supporting community. It is thought that no other system could have been employed which would have worked so practical a result. It has been conclusively demonstrated by the operation of these hot food camps, and thereby thousands of dollars saved for future relief, that probably 95 per cent of the 15,000 persons now being supported by food relief are absolutely in need of it.
There was issued under Colonel Febiger's supervision during May and June an estimated total of 4,036,973 relief rations. Assuming that the issues from April 18 to April 30 were the same as those on the last-named date, there were 3,900,000 rations previously issued, which makes a total of 7,936,973.
The duties performed under Colonel Febiger's supervision were of the utmost importance and, as it will be seen, of very great magnitude. The whole course of this work was marked by very few complaints, but such as were made were invariably investigated, and wherever any minor neglects occurred they were immediately corrected. The work was novel, of great difficulty, and under conditions which would naturally excite the hostile criticism of the tens of thousands of destitute people, whose tempers could not but be somewhat embittered by their disasters. The successful accomplishment of these difficult tasks merits the highest commendation and praise. The officers concerned showed infinite tact, patience, and self-control; they spared neither themselves nor their military commands, which in the way of cossack guards and sentinels assisted in this great duty of alleviating human misery and want. Colonel Febiger properly
― 124 ―
and generously attributes the success of his work to his subordinate officers and says:
I wish again to draw to the attention of the division commander the satisfactory, creditable work performed by the officers subordinate to me in their various capacities, who have been on duty in this bureau. To be sure, this was to be expected of them from their training and esprit de corps, but in proportion it was even exceeded by the enlisted men, of whom naturally so much was not expected, and who yet responded in the most praiseworthy manner to every call.
The duties devolving on both officers and men were those not usually encountered in the routine of army life, and required real ability, integrity, and energy, coupled with much judgment and tact in accomplishing them in a highly creditable way.
It is further a matter of satisfaction that during the entire administration of this bureau by the army, there has not been known one well-founded complaint regarding insufficiency or failure of food supply. The magnitude of the work and the results accomplished by this bureau speak for themselves without further elaboration, and I shall always feel that I have been peculiarly fortunate in having the opportunity of demonstrating in a particular way the usefulness of trained and disciplined officials, as officers of the Army are, not only in time of war, but in emergencies in times of peace in this country.
COOPERATION WITH THE RED CROSS.
The disasters to San Francisco brought large numbers of volunteer doctors and nurses whose presence, however well intended, was a detriment to the city, there being practically no sick and but a few injured, for whom complete and entire medical facilities were present. One hospital with accommodations for nearly 100 extra patients did not have a single applicant due to earthquake and fire.
Fortunately for the National Red Cross, its special representative was Dr. Edward T. Devine. Unknown to the army or to civil authorities and a stranger to the community of San Francisco, his work has commanded universal respect. A man of less tact or acceptable personality would certainly have found himself embroiled in quarrels and discussions. Doctor Devine's sound judgment, clearly expressed views, and fortunate qualities of mind and person have enabled him to manage Red Cross affairs with unexpected satisfaction. The first and indeed absolutely indispensable action for success was the transformation of the finance committee of the Relief Association into a finance committee of the Red Cross funds, thus insuring that unity and cooperation of action regarding expenditures which would have otherwise been impossible.
Doctor Devine, if not necessarily, wisely came to San Francisco without any personnel, relying upon this city to furnish it. It is evident that a personnel capable of caring for the food, clothing, shelter, and rehabilitation of a quarter of a million people could not be imported, and that its local organization was not possible in a day or in a week. Its formation progressed uninterruptedly and efficient work may be expected therefrom. Doctor Devine recognized on his arrival that the only organization competent to handle conditions of destitution unprecedented in number, extent, and variety was the Regular Army, thus concurring with the formally expressed opinions of the Mayor and of the Citizens' Committee, made prior to his arrival. With these other authorities, he united in urging upon me the absolute necessity of the army assuming the general duties of relief. It was realized that such duties were without the strict letter of the law.
― 125 ―
Recognizing, however, not only the extent of destitution and the magnitude of the work involved, but also the absolute necessity of safeguarding the interests of San Francisco, of relieving distressed humanity, of regulating and systematizing methods, and of promptly restoring the greatly distressed community to former conditions, I could do no less than assume the responsibility. I therefore agreed, subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, to do the work until the Red Cross could relieve the army therefrom. Doctor Devine made special effort, by selected volunteer agents on one hand and paid assistants on the other, to organize a framework, which has taken over the work of subsisting the destitute.
While all the military orders issued upon the subject of relief originated with myself, yet they have been fortunate enough to receive Doctor Devine's approval, as following closely the lines of the Red Cross. Where modifications have seemed advisable, Doctor Devine has been invariably consulted, and we have worked together, not only with harmony but with an accord as to means and methods best suited to the occasion, which is remarkable considering our different training. The questions of special aid and rehabilitation have never been assumed by the army, nor has the military taken any special work of the Red Cross which it could possibly avoid. Only those things which seemed to be necessary in the interests of humanity have been assumed and carried on. The plan of speedy transfer of the relief work to the Red Cross was constantly borne in mind and Doctor Devine was frequently assured that it was my intention to leave the entire system in such condition as to render this transfer possible without embarrassment or detriment. Doctor Devine was further assured that everything possible would be done to aid him, and that for a short time after July 1 the camps on the military reservations of the Presidio and Fort Mason would be cared for by the army, until such near date as the Red Cross was able to assume charge.
It is perhaps needless to say that no shadow of misunderstanding, or even difference of opinion, has arisen to interrupt the cordial relations which have existed between the army and the Red Cross from beginning to end.
The efficiency and utility of the work of the army was officially recognized by the following letter from Mr. J. D. Phelan, chairman of the Red Cross and relief finance committee, who was originally the chairman of the Citizens' Committee:
FINANCE COMMITTEE OF THE RELIEF AND RED CROSS FUNDS,
OFFICE, 2001 GEARY STREET,
San Francisco, Cal., July 2, 1906.
Maj. Gen. A. W. GREELY,
Presidio, San Francisco, Cal.
DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of June 27, informing me that the army will be withdrawn from refugee camps in San Francisco on July 2, and that the services of yourself and your officers are available in an advisory capacity at any time.
Permit me to express the sincere appreciation of the finance committee for the valuable advice and hearty cooperation which you have given us in our work, and which I am sure each and all of the committee regarded as invaluable. We have almost without exception followed your suggestions and relied upon you and your officers, who served important public interests which have been instrusted to our care.
― 126 ―
As citizens we feel that the army in time of peace has demonstrated its efficiency and usefulness under your command as it has in our days of trouble signalized its splendid qualities on the field of battle.
Again expressing our thanks, I am, yours, very truly,
JAS. D. PHELAN, Chairman.
RELIEF FOR THE CHINESE.
It is gratifying to report that neither in San Francisco nor in Oakland has any relief committee shown discrimination against the Chinese, and this line of action of the civilian organization has been consistently followed by the army. Far greater number of the Chinese left San Francisco, and while many are scattered through adjacent towns, they have largely returned to work.
It was the concensus of opinion that the Chinese could be best cared for in separate camps; this policy was followed in San Francisco and in Oakland. An excellently arranged camp was constructed at Fort Winfield Scott on the Presidio grounds, the only objection thereto being its distance from the inhabited parts of the city, but as practically none of the Chinese are day laborers, no special hardship has resulted therefrom. The food is good, the bedding neat, and the sanitary conditions excellent. This camp has dwindled to 50 occupants, and is kept up at army expense, pending final arrangement with the Chinese consul for its transfer elsewhere.
The Chinese minister to the United States visited both this camp and the Oakland camp. He later expressed to me his satisfaction at the comfortable manner in which his destitute countrymen have been treated. The agent of the Six Companies stated that many of them were living better than ever before. Their comfortable condition is known to me both by personal inspection and by daily reports.
The Chinese camp in Oakland was probably the best camp in that city; sanitation, food, and shelter being excellent. The first secretary of the Chinese legation and the Chinese consul expressed their satisfaction and admiration for the comfort of the camp and the prevailing system. Later, as mentioned under Oakland relief operations, the care of the Chinese was assumed by the Chinese minister.
While it was recognized that the work of gathering information regarding the urgency and advisability of relief pertained particularly to the Red Cross, yet records of this character were occasionally made by the army. In the early days the Red Cross did not have the force for this work, which, prosecuted in the discretion of the military chairmen of relief sections, was productive of good results in eliminating impostors.
In June there was devised by the army what was known as "pink cards," a systematic effort to ascertain the date on which the destitute expected to provide for themselves in the way of food and shelter. This card was found productive of such good results that its use was continued by the Red Cross after the army control had ceased. At an early date, however, Dr. E. T. Devine, the able and efficient representative of the Red Cross, instituted a system, coupled with a thorough record of cases and conditions, which were submitted for investigation to the Associated Charities. Modifications of these cards were made with marked benefit as circumstances demanded.
― 127 ―
The conditions of the city were such for several days as to render patrol work of special importance. This duty was efficiently performed under Maj. H. C. Benson, 14th Cavalry. The services of the cavalry in this respect were highly valuable, as they were able to cover a vast extent of territory, which, under the circumstances, especially the condition of the streets, could not have been efficiently guarded by any body of infantry.
CONDUCT OF THE PEOPLE OF SAN FRANCISCO.
This report would be incomplete if it did not recognize the sterling qualities of the people of San Francisco. Almost without exception these people suffered financially, varying from small losses to total ruin. It is safe to say that nearly 200,000 persons were brought to a state of complete destitution, beyond the clothing they wore or carried in their arms. The majority of the community was reduced from conditions of comfort to dependence upon public charity, yet in all my experiences I have never seen a woman in tears, nor heard a man whining over his losses. Besides this spirit of cheerful courage, they exhibited qualities of resourcefulness and self-respect which must command the admiration of the world. Within two months the bread line, which at first exceeded 300,000, was reduced to a comparative handful—less than 5 per cent of the original number.
The conduct of the community during the days of fire and earthquake was conspicuous by its tranquillity and common sense—these qualities existing to a wonderful extent, the frightful conditions being considered. More surprising, however, was the continued good order for the ensuing two and a half months, and the lack of disorder and violence at the reopening of the saloons, when unfortunate conditions were freely predicted. The percentage of professional beggars and impostors among the applicants for relief was unusually small, and I very much doubt whether such a low percentage, estimated as not exceeding 3 per cent, would have been found in any other very large city in the world under similar conditions. While there was a general feeling that everyone had a right to relief supplies without intervention of the appointed officials, which was unsound in principle and vicious in practice, yet the community as a whole accepted with grace and good will the contrary decisions of army officials in charge.
WORK OF MOUNTAIN BATTERIES.
The 17th (Captain Irwin) and 18th (Captain Blake) Mountain Batteries of Field Artillery, ordered to San Francisco from Vancouver Barracks, Wash., were actively employed in transporting relief supplies. Each forming a pack train, with an average of 40 pack animals, they carried loads averaging 15,000 pounds for each train, and the men and animals constantly working not only facilitated the delivery of relief supplies, but also saved much expense on account of transportation, as wagons cost from $10 upward per day.
― 128 ―
COOPERATION OF THE NAVY.
The navy patrol.—From April 22 to May 12 a naval patrol covered the water front of the city from Fort Mason to the Pacific Mail dock, foot of First street. To this district, through the cooperation of Admiral Goodrich, commanding Pacific Squadron, was assigned Commander Charles J. Badger, his force being drawn from the United States naval vessels Chicago, Boston, Marblehead, Princeton, and Pensacola. The force at one time aggregated 50 officers, 79 petty officers, and 912 blue jackets. Patrol service was very efficiently rendered under Commander Badger's orders. The sanitary conditions in the district were good, and excellent order was enforced. There were no stations distributing food within the district. The regulations against the introduction or sale of liquor were strictly enforced, and to this is attributed the slight difficulty experienced in the maintenance of order. The situation was tactfully handled by Commander Badger, so that thoroughly harmonious relations were maintained with the civil authorities. In no case was the use of any weapon necessary.
A letter conveying my appreciation of the services rendered by this command was sent to Admiral Goodrich, commanding squadron.
The fourth military district was occupied by a force of marines under command of Lieut. Col. Lincoln Karmany. No report of operations has been received. The duties were well performed. In one case the services of an officer of this corps elicited most favorable report from an inspector, and a copy thereof was duly sent to the officer through official channels.
COOPERATION OF RAILWAYS.
Under the personal direction of Mr. E. T. Harriman, extremely valuable—in fact, indispensable—services were rendered by the Southern Pacific Railway. Most fortunately its ferry building was not destroyed, so that communication between San Francisco and Oakland was never interrupted. The coast line of the Southern Pacific Company was also soon operative, although its station and warehouse at Fourth and Townsend streets narrowly escaped destruction. Not only were special facilities afforded by the Southern Pacific Railway for promptly handling and forwarding relief supplies to the exclusion of all commercial work, but from April 18 to 26 it carried free to points beyond Oakland 78,560 persons who were destitutes or refugees from San Francisco. Similarly, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway extended every possible facility in the way of relief supplies and free transportation. Had it not been for the very prompt and most liberal policies adopted by these railways the unfortunate conditions in San Francisco would have been seriously aggravated and the amount of suffering largely increased.
RELIEF OPERATIONS OUTSIDE OF SAN FRANCISCO.
While conditions in San Francisco were so difficult as to demand the most unremitting care and attention, yet the division commander was not unmindful of the destitution that had occurred in adjacent
Back to the Top Next Page of Report