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Freedom 515 - Colorado

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Hudson Martin
Hudson Martin

HUNDRED FIRES: The Rising Of Red Star Episode 2...

On the morning of the 9th of October, 1871, the telegraphic wires flashed to every part of this nation, and to nearly every portion of the civilized world, the shocking intelligence that Chicago was in flames, hundreds of lives had been destroyed, and ten thousand families were homeless, shelterless, scantily clad, and suffering intensely with cold, hunger, fatigue and fright. The whole world was appalled. The thrilling horror chilled every heart, and for a moment paralyzed every hand. Men stood aghast at the startling and terrific announcement, that acres of buildings were in embers and men, women and children terror-stricken, were fleeing for life, from what, but yesterday were comfortable and happy homes. It was difficult to realize the awful calamity. It seemed to be an exaggeration, and all hoped, at first, that it would prove such. But later dispatches more than confirmed the previous intelligence; and, ere mid-day, Mayor Mason of the doomed city, had telegraphed to the Mayors of the principal cities in the country, the fact of the utter destitution of the people, and appealing for food, clothing and other necessaries of life.

HUNDRED FIRES: The Rising of Red Star Episode 2...

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About half a mile beyond Schwartz's, on the right, and about two hundred yards from the road, are the remains of a dwelling which was occupied by a family named Hill. The family were all in the house at evening prayers, when they were suddenly startled by a loud noise, much resembling continuous thunder. On going to the door they found themselves entirely surrounded by fire, and as the only means of escape, the whole of them, eight in number, went down into the well. Here they remained in safety, until the wooden house covering the well caught fire, fell in, and burned the entire party to death. Another case exactly similar to the last was that of the Davis family, in Peshtigo, who were all smothered to death in their well, into which they had descended in the vain hope of saving their lives. I have heard of quite a number of such cases, but as the facts were not definitely given, I make no mention of them.

Night was coming on, and since noon we had had nothing to eat. I did not feel hungry, but was tormented with thoughts of what might happen if we should not soon reach some place of safety, for I feared that Louis would give out, and that was one of the reasons which made me carry him. My arms ached, and my limbs were scratched, bruised and bleeding. Still I made good headway, and soon came to a natural clearing, on the thither side of which we sat down to rest. By this time night had come on, and what a night! No moon, no stars, but the cloudy heavens lighted up afar with the horrible fire of the burning woods. The clearing in which we sat was the dried up bed of a stream, which for some unaccountable reason had not thickly wooded shores, and we were at least two hundred feet from the forest in flame. All this time, Louis, manly little fellow, that he was, had not even asked for food, nor had he cried since I myself foolishly frightened him. 041b061a72


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