Memphis, TN Area Steamer GEORGE WOLFE Disaster, Aug 1873
THE GEO. WOLFE DISASTER.
ACCOUNTS GIVEN BY SURVIVORS.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. CARTER -- RESCUE OF A LADY BY A CIRCUS MAN -- EXCELLENT CONDUCT OF THE OFFICERS AND CREW -- LIST OF THE LOST.
Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 24. -- The steamer Julia arrived here about 11 o'clock today, bringing most of the survivors of the ill fated George Wofe, among them Capt. HENRY S. CARTER, her commander, who was considerably bruised about the head, and had his left leg also badly bruised.
Capt. CARTER states that a short time before the explosion he had gone to his room to take a nap, leaving the mate on watch, and the first he knew of the accident was that he felt himself lifted into the air with a severe shock, and fell with the debris on the lower deck. As soon as he could extricate himself he glanced around and saw that the forward part of the cabin and "texas" had been blown away aft to the boilers, and that some of the timbers had taken fire. His first thought was to extinguish the flames, which, with the aid of a few others and a heavy rain which was falling at the time, he soon succeeded in doing. Meantime one of the crew who had been but slightly injured, seeing that the wreck had drifted near shore, jumped out with the head line and made her fast, when it was found that the boat had been but little injured, except as already stated. As soon as the fire was extinguished everything possible was done to relieve the sufferers. The Captain states she had only ten or twelve cabin passengers, only one of whom was lost, MR. NELSON, a piano tuner from New York, aged about sixty years. Owing to the condition of MR. WIDEN, the clerk, who was severely burned about the chest and throat, it was impossible to obtain a list of the passengers from him, and the books were all lost.
A Lady Saved By A Circus Man.
MISS REBECCA COHN, of Jefferson, Texas, who was accompanied by her cousin, W. SOLOMONSLY, of Paris, Texas, states that she was on the forward guard of the boat, and owing to the severity of the storm which was ragig, remarked, "Let us go into the cabin," and just as she rose the explosion occurred and she was blown into the river, where, seeing a man near her, she grasped him by the neck, and he told her to catch his left arm or she would drown both, which she did, and soon after a spar came floating by, which he seized, and they held to it, floating down the river for a long distance, until the barber of the boat came to their assistance with a pole, which her preserver caught, and, still holding on to the spar, they were safely landed on shore. MISS COHN was considerably bruised. She could not learn the name of the man who saved her, but he was one of a party of four belonging to the Transatlantic Circus.
Good Conduct Of The Officers.
The passengers speak in the highest terms of the conduct of the officers, especially Capt. CARTER and the steward. Notwithstanding that the former was severely injured, he was most active in the work of relieving others and extinguishing the fire.
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