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Great Fires: 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire

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Appendix A.
Earthquake in California, April 18, 1906
Special Report of Maj. Gen. Adolphus W. Greely, U. S. A., Commanding the Pacific Division

having some time before been put on this duty and not relieved. Two buildings were taken down, the second one falling unexpectedly and catching Battalion Quartermaster-Sergeant Robbins, who was a volunteer, in the ruins. An eight-story front fell directly upon him while he was in the basement. Falling metal beams and fire escapes protected him, and when dug out he had not a bone broken, was merely bruised, and is to-day up and around. His escape was nothing short of miraculous.

21. On May 7 and 8, 1906, I was myself present with the detail, working in conjunction with Captain Harts; owing to the dangerous character of this work, volunteers were called for, and the previous detail volunteered. All work desired of us was accomplished without loss or injury to either person or property.

22. We are now down to garrison duty again, except that Captain Kelly is putting the finishing touches to his camp, and Lieutenant Barber and five men are on detached service at division headquarters, where they have been since May 3.

23. I can not speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men under me during this trying period. Every one has worked day and night, not a shirker or grumbler in the crowd, and none have spared themselves. A list of men deserving special commendation would be almost a duplicate of our rolls. Special reports by all officers will be submitted in due time, and any special recommendations will be submitted after perusal of them.

24. I have had a photographer out continuously since the quake and fire, and a number of pictures have been obtained which give an excellent idea of the extent and character of damage, one being a panoramic view of the burned district. Owing to lack of water these can not be forwarded now, but will be made the subject of a special report.

Very respectfully,
M. L. WALKER,
Captain, Corps of Engineers, Commanding Companies
C and D, First Battalion of Engineers.
Brig. Gen. A. MACKENZIE,
Chief of Engineers, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.
(Through military channels.)

Report of Capt. Le Vert Coleman, Artillery Corps, United States
Army.

PRESIDIO, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., May 10, 1906.

SIR: Pursuant to accompanying orders from the department commander under date of the 8th instant, I have the honor to submit a report of all the operations of the dynamiting party under my charge in the city of San Francisco during the recent earthquake and fire. This report I have made as complete as possible, citing the authority given for the demolitions, which was in every case derived from the Mayor of San Francisco, through his duly authorized representative, or from the Mayor in person.

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The operations of my party comprised two separate and distinct parts:
First, the checking of the fire in the city of San Francisco by the use of dynamite and other high explosives. This was performed from about 9 a. m., April 18, 1906, to about 3 p. m., April 21, 1906.

Second, the destruction of dangerous standing walls in the principal thoroughfares of the city of San Francisco immediately after the earthquake and fire. This was performed from 7 a. m. Monday, the 23d of April, to 1 p. m. Monday, the 30th of April, 1906.

About 6.30 a. m. the morning of the earthquake, April 18, 1906, the fire department of the city of San Francisco sent a messenger to the Presidio requesting that all available explosives, with a detail to handle them, be sent to check the fire, as the earthquake had broken the water mains and the fire department was practically helpless. I reported with the messenger to the commanding officer, Col. Charles Morris, Artillery Corps, reporting the amount and kind of explosives under my charge as ordnance officer. Colonel Morris directed me to get the suitable explosives in readiness. First Lieut. Raymond W. Briggs was detailed to report to me with four field battery caissons to convey explosives to the city. I then sent about forty-eight barrels of powder in these caissons, under charge of Lieutenant Briggs, to the Mayor. As the caissons, however, were not suited to carrying large amounts of explosives in the form required for demolitions, I procured two large wagons, and loading them with all the remaining powder and with about 300 pounds of dynamite obtained from civilian employees of the Engineer Department—the only dynamite procurable at that time—I reported to Colonel Morris on O'Farrell street. By his orders I immediately reported to the Mayor at the Hall of Justice. Here I found Lieutenant Briggs with the powder I had sent, and also a large supply of dynamite provided by Mr. Birmingham, of the California Powder Works. General Funston and the Mayor, who were both present at the time, placed me in charge of handling all the explosives.

At this time Lieutenant Briggs had begun dynamiting buildings on Montgomery street under orders from the Mayor, and a member of the fire department was also doing some dynamiting on Montgomery street. Some strictly personal matter omitted. * * * Lieutenant Briggs and a few enlisted men I had brought with me, and a few others who had come with the powder caissons and assisted Lieutenant Briggs on Montgomery street, were the only men available to assist me in the work required. From time to time some citizens assisted us, but they soon left.

The authority for demolitions was in every case derived from the Mayor or his representatives. During all of the 18th and until the afternoon of the 19th the city authorities withheld their permission to blow up any buildings, except those in immediate contact with others already ablaze. Consequently, although we were able to check the fire at certain points, it outflanked us time and again, and all our work had to be begun over in front of the fire. It was soon found that dynamite produced the best results, and, except a small amount of gun cotton, no other explosive was used.

At the request of the city authorities, represented by the Chief of Police, the black powder, together with some giant powder (granular

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dynamite with active base, unsuited to use on account of its liability to ignite combustible articles in buildings where it might be used), was temporarily stored in the Fairmount Hotel inclosure for the use of the police and fire departments, who at that time contemplated using it as a last resort. This was about 6 p. m. the 18th. As I was opposed to the use of this kind of explosive on account of its great liability to ignite buildings demolished by it, I desired to remove it from the city, but the police desired it, and I therefore turned it over to them. I took a memorandum receipt from the Mayor for this powder. I showed the police how to protect the powder barrels from sparks by the use of wet paulins, and turned over to them the necessary wire firing machines and electric detonators for using with this powder in case they decided to do so.

Up to this time the following demolitions had been made by my party: Buildings from Clay to California streets, between Sansome and Montgomery streets; east side of Montgomery street at corner of Commercial street; buildings on Commercial street, between Montgomery and Kearney; buildings at and near the southeast corner of Kearney and Clay. These were demolished under the immediate supervision of Lieutenant Briggs and on directions from the Mayor and his representatives. In this connection attention is invited to the report of Lieutenant Briggs, hereto appended and marked F.

Buildings in Chinatown on Commercial, between Dupont and Kearney, two houses at the request of members of the fire department with whom the Mayor had requested us to cooperate.

Here the supply of stick dynamite entirely gave out, and for several hours none could be obtained. By request of the Mayor and authority of the commanding general two boat loads of dynamite were finally obtained from Pinola for the use of my party. The energy and resourcefulness of Lieutenant Briggs were of the greatest value in securing this dynamite, as, in spite of the Mayor's orders to secure it for our party, it was not forthcoming. By this time the Mayor gave permission to take more drastic measures to stop the fire, which was steadily gaining ground and threatening the entire city, including the Western Addition. Having crossed the broad avenue of Van Ness, which had been selected as a last stand by the fire department, the fire began to eat its way on several blocks west of Van Ness. Resuming operations on the east side of Franklin street, we demolished all the buildings on that side of Franklin, between Clay street and Sutter street, except the wooden buildings between Pine and Bush. This regular order was not followed out at the time, but buildings were blown up in the order in which the existing conditions of wind and the encroachments of the fire demanded as most urgent. Colonel Morris, Artillery Corps, commanding that portion of the existing territorial districts of the city, was consulted in all this, and in every instance the general authority for demolitions as given by the Mayor was adhered to. A rapid survey of passing conditions was made before each series of demolitions, those houses whose demolition would check the fire were selected; authority was obtained from Colonel Morris. All this was directly in accordance with the wishes of the city authorities.

The fire department at this place and time was utterly helpless and unable to meet the situation. To illustrate the condition of affairs,

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about 9 p. m., this, the 19th ultimo, the water supply gave almost completely out. I could not at first understand this, as I knew that provision had been made before this for repairing breaks in the mains. We were urgently in need of water to keep down the heat of the fire, and I found that the engines of the fire department near by did not have steam up for lack of fuel. Unloading some of my dynamite wagons I procured the fuel for the engines, and after a considerable delay at a time when water was most urgently needed steam was made and the engines resumed their work. Time and again the fire outflanked my small party and we were importuned by numerous property owners looking after their own interests. But the work as outlined was carried out successfully, and by getting ahead of the fire on Franklin and demolishing houses between Franklin and Van Ness on the north side of Sutter, the fire was finally stopped.

While we were operating on Franklin urgent demands for help came from the city authorities and fire department on Broadway and North Van Ness, where the fire was out of control and threatening to outflank us. I sent some men with Lieutenant Briggs to attend to that, while I continued on Franklin and its cross streets. Working in this way at opposite ends of the fire we demolished the following: Clay street, south side, from Franklin to Claus Spreckles' house; Sacramento, between Franklin and Van Ness, several houses; California street, both sides, from Franklin to Van Ness; Pine street and Van Ness, two corner houses and the north side of Pine from Van Ness to Franklin; Sutter street, north side, Franklin to Van Ness. The wooden buildings at and near the southwest corner of Austin and Franklin caught fire, and the water supply being poor and the fire department tired out, the fire started to get behind us toward Gough street. In order to head off the fire, in accordance with the preconcerted plan authorized by the Mayor, I obtained authority from Colonel Morris to demolish the two wooden houses of flimsy construction and highly inflammable nature fronting on Gough, on the east side of Gough, between Pine and Austin. As the corner of Pine and Gough (southeast corner) was a vacant lot, and as the massive stone structure of Trinity Church on Gough, Bush, and Austin would check the flames, this demolition of the two little wooden structures would absolutely stop the fire coming up from Austin and Franklin. One of these wooden houses, the one next to Pine street, was accordingly demolished, but before the other could be prepared the fire department, which had succeeded in putting out the fire at Austin and Franklin, called for help at Sutter, where the fire was getting out of control, having gotten out of hand while the fire department was working at Austin. This wooden building was the only house whose débris was not actually burned by the fire, and its demolition was imperatively demanded by the conditions existing at the time, though a change in the course of the fire left its débris and the two adjacent houses unburned.

At the other end of the fire the following demolitions were made, acting under the same authority: North side Broadway, between Larkin and Van Ness; on east side of Van Ness, two houses north of Broadway; southeast corner Pacific and Van Ness, two houses.

On the next day the following demolitions were made in the North Beach district, acting under the same general instructions from the

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Mayor (the exact localities of these demolitions are not so definitely known, as I am not familiar with this part of town, and the fire which subsequently swept over it from Russian Hill obliterated all definite trace of our work): Buildings on and near southeast corner of Greenwich street and Montgomery avenue; along Lombard street, between Powell and Stockton; along Lombard, between Powell and Mason; Chestnut street, between Powell and Mason; south side of Francisco street, east of and near Mason. In this work we tried to head off the fire along successive lines and seemed on the point of success when another fire from the direction of Russian Hill swept back of us and I received instructions from the commanding general to cease operations in that section of the city and report to the Mayor for more work on Van Ness.

Having reported personally to Mayor Schmitz, I received instructions to get ready to demolish everything left standing on the east side of Van Ness. This I did, and under orders from the Mayor prepared the charges and laid them in the house at the northeast corner of Van Ness and Union, and in the next house on the east side of Van Ness. These were blown up on the Mayor's orders, but the fire found no further fuel in the vacant lots near by along the east of Van Ness and the cross streets, and further operations were not required. On the 21st instant, under orders from General Funston, I stored the unused dynamite at Fort Mason after carefully collecting it.

This completes the account of all operations during the fire. Those subsequent are treated of in Part II of this report.

PART II.—DYNAMITING OF DANGEROUS STANDING WALLS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE FIRE.

I have the honor to render the following report of the operations of the dynamiting party under my charge in demolishing unsafe walls in the principal thoroughfares of the city of San Francisco from the 23d to the 30th of April, 1906:

On the afternoon of April, 22, 1906, I received orders from General Funston, at that time commanding the Pacific Division, that, upon request of the Mayor of San Francisco, I should report with First Lieut. Raymond W. Briggs, Artillery Corps, at division headquarters at 7 a. m., the 23d of April, to meet the representatives of the Mayor and receive instructions concerning the demolition of dangerous walls left standing by the fire and earthquake in the principal thoroughfares of the city of San Francisco.

Pursuant to this order, I took the enlisted men who had volunteered for the dynamiting party during the fire, viz: Master Electrician John L. Davis, Artillery Corps; Electrician Sergt. Winfield S. Williams, Artillery Corps; Electrician Sergt. Albert E. Jenkins, Artillery Corps, and Corpl. John E. McSweeney, 66th Company Coast Artillery, with some additional helpers from the 38th and 60th Companies Coast Artillery, and proceeded with Lieutenant Briggs, Artillery Corps, to Fort Mason, reporting at division headquarters at 7 a. m. the 23d ultimo.

Here I received instructions from Capt. Frank L. Winn, aide-decamp to the commanding general, to get everything in readiness for the work of demolition, which I was to perform entirely in accordance

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with detailed instructions in each case from a duly authorized representative of the Mayor, who was to accompany me throughout the operations of the party.

The subcommittee of the Committee of Fifty, known as the Restoration of Buildings Committee, were directed by the Mayor to take charge of and supervise the demolitions. This committee comprised the following members: Mr. J. A. Deneen, chairman; Mr. George F. Duffey; Mr. J. Mahoney; Mr. W. H. Leahy, secretary.

Mr. Leahy having arrived at division headquarters, Captain Winn repeated my orders and instructions in his presence and directed me to proceed with Mr. Leahy, who would take the party to the headquarters of the Restoration of Buildings Committee. Here Mr. George F. Duffey joined us and, with Lieutenant Briggs, Mr. Leahy, and myself, made a rapid inspection of the dangerous walls which the city desired demolished. The committee above named had already made a critical inspection of the walls and designated those which were to be demolished. Mr. Duffey had a list of all these in writing and he was designated to accompany the demolition party at all times and to instruct me as to exactly what walls or parts of walls were to be destroyed. Accordingly, after the rapid inspection of the work to be done, we began operations on Market street.

Mr. Duffey was with me throughout and no work was done without a detailed and written order given by him as the authoritative representative of the Mayor. I will add here that at all times the most perfect understanding existed between Mr. Duffey and the other gentlemen of his committee and myself, and while I deferred throughout in every detail to their wishes, they gave me every assistance and courtesy, without which the work could not have proceeded. Mr. Duffey provided transportation, tools, and men for handling the wet sand used in tamping the charges, furnished police patrols for clearing the streets during the blasting, and in every way assisted me in the work.

The following is a list of the dangerous walls demolished. The orders therefor are hereto appended as exhibits marked A, B, C, and D:

Bare Brothers, Market street; Odd Fellows building walls, Market street; Prager's building, Market and Jones, opposite Hibernia Bank; Sterling Furniture Company's building; walls of building south side of Market street and west of Sixth; buildings on Market street immediately opposite Hale Brothers; buildings on Market street opposite Mason; Cook building, Market street; Columbia building, Market street; Academy of Sciences, Market street; Phelan building, Market and O'Farrell; buildings on Market street opposite Grant avenue; Examiner building; Winchester building, Third near Market street; Masonic Temple, Montgomery and Post streets; buildings fronting on Market street, entire block opposite Sansome; Donohoe building, Market street, Taylor and Sixth streets; Buckley building, Market street, and the two walls east of same, corner Market and Spear streets; walls on north side of Market street, between Battery and Sansome; on Market opposite Davis; the Baker-Hamilton corner, and corner of Market and Drum streets; also the Williams building on Market street; walls of the Marie Antoinette, Van Ness avenue; walls of the Concordia Club, Van Ness avenue, and

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O'Brien building on northwest corner of Polk and Golden Gate avenue.

The above is a complete list of the demolitions of dangerous standing walls. Each one is covered by the orders hereto appended, marked A, B, C, and D. It is seen that in each case a written order for the demolition was given by the duly authorized representative of the Mayor. All the above walls were in such a condition as to threaten the lives of passers-by, and in each case the work was done to render the thorough fares safe and to prevent loss of life. Reports of loss of life from falling parts of walls had already been circulated, and the prevailing fresh winds and frequent temblors which followed the earthquake increased daily the danger of loss of life from this cause. To illustrate the actual condition of the walls—while preparing the lead wires for the charge laid in the Phelan building, and having just left the foot of the wall which was to be demolished, two stories of the wall fell about the spot where the party had just laid the charge and before it could be fired; again, while laying the charge for the demolition of the Masonic Temple, a decided temblor caused a number of bricks to fall about the party, striking one of the men on the leg. The demolition of standing walls demanded, of course, much greater care than the demolition of entire buildings made in the path of the fire. There being but fragments of the walls standing, damp sand had to be used to secure as much tamping effect as possible and thus reduce to a minimum the amount of dynamite used in any particular demolition. Bank vaults, badly shaken and sometimes cracked by earthquake and fire, had to be carefully protected from falling walls. During the first day's work, with the object of reducing the effect of concussion and flying débris to a minimum, such small charges of explosive were used that my party narrowly escaped being buried by portions of walls left in a tottering condition by the successive demolition with reduced charges of adjacent sections of walls. The walls had to be attacked where sufficient resistance and tamping effect could be secured to transmit the force of the explosion to all parts of the wall to be demolished, otherwise, of course, only a local hole would be blown in the wall. While the dangerous upper part of the walls was weak, the part which had to be attacked was strong, as all the walls we blew up were the largest and consequently the most dangerous walls left by earthquake and fire, and likewise the work most difficult to blow up. A weak and tottering structure at the summit frequently presented the heaviest granite base with heavy stonework extending to the second story. The results of the first day's work showed that, in order to avoid unnecessary loss of life, sections of wall adjacent to each other must be blown down together, and, as my orders were first of all to avoid loss of life and then injury to property, the charge was so regulated in each case as to be the least charge which would demolish at one time the section of wall ordered destroyed. The obvious necessity of this course was, I am convinced, borne out by the results; no injury whatever was received either by the men of my party or by passers-by or citizens, except two slight injuries, over the cause of which I had no control, viz, one of my men was struck by a brick flung from a wall by the force of a temblor, and one citizen was slightly bruised by a flying fragment after forcibly resisting the

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police and passing through the cordon established around a wall which was being blown up.

Owing to the nervous condition of the people after the earthquake and fire, their ignorance of the nature of high explosives, increased by misleading reports of alarmists, some difficulty and delay was experienced, especially the first day. After the work had progressed favorably, and especially when the bankers saw that their vaults were being saved from heavy masses of falling walls by demolitions so carried out as to make the threatening walls fall away from their vaults, little difficulty was experienced. To illustrate this feeling and at the same time to set right certain incorrect newspaper reports, the following is cited: On Monday, the 23d instant, we blew up the front wall of Bare Brothers, on Market street, and were preparing to demolish Prager's when a citizen representing the Post-Office Department came to me stating that the men employed in the post-office were very much alarmed when they heard the explosion, fearing that they might be injured by falling fragments. The representative of the mint reported the same thing. I stopped operations and referred them to Mr. Duffey. Together we then went to the Mayor, and Mr. Duffey explained to him in my presence that we had been asked to stop work by the post-office representative for fear of a panic among the post-office employees, who were threatening to abandon their work. The Mayor, after consideration of the matter, ordered Mr. Duffey to proceed with the work, and if the post-office people got nervous to allow them plenty of time to remove their employees from the building. We then returned to the Prager building and informed the post-office representative of these orders. It was also explained to him that we were using the smallest practicable charges; that we were sufficiently far from the post-office to avoid any injury to it, except the possible breaking of window glass left closed on the nearest face of the building. He then removed his men from the building, and we waited until we received word that he was ready before proceeding with our work. As in this demolition of Prager's dangerous walls the walls of the Hibernia Bank building, immediately across the narrow width of Jones street, were entirely uninjured, thereby saving the vaults with their enormous savings deposits, and as the same is true in the case of the demolition of the Odd Fellows Hall, which was so conducted as to leave uninjured and protected from falling walls the Grant building with its important bank vaults, it is evident that these explosions could not have damaged the post-office building, which was very much farther away, except by breaking panes of glass in windows left closed by the post-office employees after warning had been given them. These facts are mentioned in detail in view of the entirely erroneous statements made in the newspapers on this subject. Mr. Leahy, fortunately, had been through the post-office after the fire and earthquake and before the blasting and also shortly after the blasting; his attention was called in my presence to the erroneous reports circulated about the post-office, and he denied them most emphatically as a result of his knowledge of the condition of the building both before and after the blasting. Furthermore, the Mayor informed Mr. Duffey, Lientenant Briggs, and myself at the close of our work that the Bankers' Association, who had at first been opposed to the use of any dynamite downtown on

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account of their self-deposit vaults, had, at the completion of our work, passed a resolution of thanks for our work, and especially for the careful way in which the dangerous walls had been blown up so as to avoid touching in any case their safe-deposit vaults. Several earthquake shocks took place while we were actually at work, and alarmed and nervous parties many blocks out of reach of any flying fragments came to me, claiming that bricks had fallen in their neighborhood, when a careful comparison of time and place showed that these fragments had come from an earthquake shock. The first, few days there were one or two complaints from property holders, objecting to have walls demolished. These were in every case courteously referred to Mr. Duffey on the spot. After the arrival of General Greely I was summoned to division headquarters and my orders repeated with especial caution to use every means to protect life and property and to do nothing without a written order from the Mayor's representative on the spot, Mr. Duffey. These orders were in letter and spirit faithfully carried out.

On the morning of April 26, learning that erroneous statements had been made concerning the operations of my party, together with mistaken complaints made without my knowledge or that of Mr. Duffey, the Mayor's representative, I reported the matter to him. He immediately reported the matter to the buildings committee, who in turn reported it to the Mayor and the Committee of Fifty. At the executive session of the Committee of Fifty held that morning, my presence was required, all work of my party being suspended. The subject of demolishing dangerous walls was then brought up, the meeting being presided over by the Mayor. The committee on buildings was heard on the subject and the matter thrown open to discussion, after which the Mayor and Committee of Fifty, by unanimous vote, gave a vote of confidence to the subcommittee on buildings, to which Mr. Duffey belongs, assumed all financial responsibility for the work done by my party under the orders of the subcommittee, and voted the thanks of the city to Lieutenant Briggs and myself for the work done both during and after the fire.

I am compelled to thus record the matter, as the pressure of other work has made it impossible for the secretary of the committee to furnish me with the record of the minutes. This has been promised me by the committee for the purpose of protecting myself and the party under my charge against unjust complaints from parties made for selfish motives.

I hereto append as Exhibit E a letter from the chairman of the buildings committee on this subject; the minutes of the proceedings of the Committee of Fifty I have been unable to obtain up to the present, due to pressure of other business.

To further show the state of affairs, I was present when, toward the close of our operations and after the people had found them satisfactory, a number of property owners came to Mr. Duffey and asked him to blow up their walls. One other unjust complaint appeared in the newspapers; this was with reference to work on Van Ness on the 30th instant. The St. Dunstan's, as is seen in my list, was not touched by my party. The very dangerous walls of the Marie Antoinette were, however, demolished, and with the smallest charge that

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could be used to bring down the wall. In this case, there being a ruined district all around the building, no damage whatever was done, except that some panes of glass in windows, left closed by property owners after warning from my party, were broken.

The front face of the Concordia Club presented a very shaky and dangerous superstructure, with a heavy stone base extending to the second story and braced by a massive arch with granite base and pillars. The houses immediately opposite were of wooden frames, poorly constructed, and already badly shaken and injured by the earthquake and fire. The members of the committee present carefully considered the situation before proceeding. The buildings opposite were examined, the dangerous wall inspected, and Lieutenant Briggs and myself were asked whether the demolition would do any damage to the shaky structures opposite. We both agreed that it was impossible to demolish the heavy, massive base of the wall of the Concordia Club by dynamite, even after taking every precaution and reducing the charge to a minimum, without injuring the fronts of the wooden houses immediately opposite, as these were already in a shaky condition. The committee then decided that the immediate danger to human life from the wall of the Concordia Club was of far greater importance than an additional injury to the cheap wooden houses opposite, already shaken up by the earthquake; consequently Mr. Duffey gave me a written order to demolish the Concordia Club wall. This was done with every precaution, every part of the charge was placed with the greatest care and to the best advantage, and I reduced it to the smallest amount required to bring down the wall. As was to be expected, the weatherboarding, already loosened by earthquake shocks, was ripped from the wooden houses immediately opposite and glass was shattered in their fronts. Where the people opened their windows, as they had been warned, the glass was not broken, except in the houses above referred to immediately across Van Ness from the Concordia Club, but some windows near by, which had, in disregard of our warning, been left closed by the property owners, were consequently broken. This was the only instance in which the demolition of a heavy stone wall had to be effected in the immediate vicinity of frail wooden houses, and the results obtained were obviously directly due to natural conditions and unavoidable.

Furthermore, the plan to save the unburnt part of the city during the fire on the night of Thursday, the 19th ultimo, had been to blow up buildings all along the east side of Franklin street to Golden Gate avenue, after the fire had crossed Van Ness. Due to the work of the same dynamiting party under my charge, we got ahead of the fire on Franklin street and headed it off on Sutter street instead of leaving everything between Franklin, Van Ness, and Golden Gate avenue to burn, as seemed at first inevitable. Therefore the very buildings whose weatherboarding was injured in the above said manner opposite the Concordia Club were saved by the same dynamiting party from complete destruction during the fire, with everything they contained.

In closing I desire to add my appreciation of the invaluable services rendered throughout by Lieutenant Briggs and Master Electrician Davis, and to state that, having made a special study myself of the use of explosives in demolitions, and having supplemented this

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by practical work and experience, I used only stick dynamite with an inert base and gun cotton, the latter only when the former was lacking. To reduce the chance of accident I invariably used the electric current to ignite the charge, and the laying of the conductor and electric fuses and the tracing of the circuit was performed only by men expert in this subject from constant practice. That the work was done with the utmost care is borne out by the results, no accident of any kind having occurred.

Respectfully submitted.
LE VERT COLEMAN,
Captain, Artillery Corps, Commanding Dynamite Party.
The ADJUTANT,
Presidio of San Francisco, Cal.

EXHIBIT A.

HEADQUARTERS RESTORATION OF BUILDINGS COMMITTEE,
San Francisco, April 26, 1906.
Captain COLEMAN,

Officer in charge Dynamiting Squad:
In accordance with orders of Mayor Schmitz and the building committee, you are hereby instructed to demolish the following unsafe and dangerous buildings on Market street and other streets where directed by the building committee: Bare Brothers' building; Odd Fellows building; Prager's building; Sterling Furniture Company's building; buildings south side of Market street and west of Sixth; buildings opposite Hale Brothers; buildings on Market street opposite Mason; Cook building; Columbia building; Academy of Sciences; Phelan building; buildings on Market street opposite Grant avenue; Examiner building; Winchester building, Third near Market; Masonic Temple, and Market street opposite Sansome, all the block.

J. A. DENEEN,
J. MAHONEY,
GEO. F. DUFFEY,
Members of Building Committee.

EXHIBIT B.

APRIL 28, 1906.
Captain COLEMAN:
You will please dynamite the walls of the Donohoe building, Sixth, Taylor, and Market streets; also the Buckley building, and the two walls east of same, corner Market and Spear streets.

J. A. DENEEN,
By GEORGE F. DUFFEY.

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