Extracted from: Annual Reports of the War Department, Vol I, 1906, pp. 91-253.



APRIL 18, 1906


  San Francisco, Cal., July 30, 1906.


SIR: In accordance with the instructions of the Hon. William H. Taft, Secretary of War, under date of June 29, 1906, I have the honor to submit herewith a comprehensive report of the services of the United States Army in connection with recent earthquake and conflagration in the city of San Francisco, Cal., and the relief measures rendered necessary by these disasters.

I had left the Division of the Pacific on April 16 for a short leave, and learned of the occurrence of the earthquake and the beginning of the fire while passing through Omaha. From that city I telegraphed General Funston, expressing my confidence that, under him, the army would afford the necessary aid and assistance. Necessarily I was obliged to proceed to Chicago, where my baggage had preceded me. On my arrival in that city the magnitude of the disaster was so evident that I returned direct to San Francisco on the fastest train-the Overland Limited-and reached here on April 22.

The report of operations of Brigadier-General Funston, who was temporarily in command during my absence, from April 18 to 22, follows in full:

I have the honor to make the following report of the work of the troops in connection with the recent earthquake and conflagration in the city of San Francisco, from the morning of the 18th of April, 1906, until the return of the division commander on the 22d of the same month:

I was living at 1310 Washington street, near Jones, and was awakened by the earthquake shock at 5:16 a.m. of April 18. Realizing from the intensity and duration of the shock that serious damage to the city, with attendant loss of life, must have occurred, I dressed, and, finding that the street cars were not running, hastened on foot to the business part of the city. My route was down Jones street to California and along that street to Sansome. That portion of California street between Jones and Powell being one of the most elevated in the city, I had noticed that columns of smoke were arising in various localities, particularly in the region south of Market street. Reaching Sansome I saw that several fires were already burning fiercely in the banking district and that the firemen who were on the scene were quite helpless owing to lack of water. This, in connection with the number of fires I had seen from the higher part of California street, convinced me that a most serious conflagration was at hand, and that, owing to the great extent of the area in which fires had already appeared, the police force of the city would be totally inadequate to maintain order and prevent looting and establish and hold the proper fire lines in order that the fire department might not be hampered in its work. By this time the streets were full of people, somewhat alarmed but by no means panic stricken. Encountering a patrolman, I inquired of him how I could most quickly communicate with the Mayor or Chief of Police, and was informed that the entire telephone system was paralyzed, but that he felt sure that both of those officials


would immediately repair to the Hall of Justice on Portsmouth Square, which surmise proved correct. I requested this man to hasten to the Hall of Justice and leave word for the Chief of Police that I would at once order out all available troops and place them at his disposal. There being no means of transportation available and quick action being imperative, I then ran from the corner of Sansome and California streets to the quartermaster's stable, on Pine street, between Leavenworth and Hyde, a distance of slightly more than a mile, directed my carriage driver to saddle a horse, and, while he was doing so, hastily wrote on a leaf from a notebook a brief note addressed to the commanding officer, Presidio, directing him to turn out the entire garrison and report for duty to the Chief of Police at the Hall of Justice. The man was directed to stop at Fort Mason on his way to the Presidio and give a verbal message to the same effect to the commanding officer of that post. From here I proceeded on foot to the headquarters of the Department of California, Phelan Building, at the corner of Market street and Grant avenue, a distance of about a mile. Here I found several officers of the staffs of the Pacific Division and the Department of California, as well as a number of clerks and messengers who had already, under the direction of the chief clerk, Mr. A. R. Holzheid, engaged in getting the more important records in shape for removal from the building, if necessary. At about 7:45 a.m. arrived the first troops from Fort Mason, Companies C and D, of the Engineers, Capt. M. L. Walker commanding. These troops had already been reported to the Mayor and the Chief of Police, and had been directed by the former to guard the banking district and send patrols along Market street to prevent looting. The arrival of these troops was greeted with demonstrations of approval by the many people on the streets. At about 8 a.m. the garrison from the Presidio, consisting of the 10th, 29th, 38th, 66th, 67th, 70th, and 105th Companies of Coast Artillery, Troops I and K, 14th Cavalry, and the 1st, 9th, and 24th Field Batteries, Col. Charles Morris, Artillery Corps, commanding, began to arrive. Detachments were sent to guard the mint and post-office, while the remainder assisted the police in keeping the dense crowds of onlookers away from close proximity to the fire and in patrolling the streets to prevent the people from breaking into stores and saloons. Most fortunately the latter had already been ordered closed by the Mayor, so that one source of danger had been removed.

Shortly after arriving at department headquarters, I had sent the chief signal officer of the department, Capt. L. D. Wildman, to get into communication with the commanding officer at Fort Miley, and order the troops from that post into the city. Captain Wildman hastened to the Presidio in an automobile, and finding the telephone line from that post to Fort Miley in working order, delivered my orders to Maj. C. H. Hunter, the commanding officer at Fort Miley. The troops from that post, the 25th and 64th Companies of Coast Artillery, had a march of about 5 miles, but reached the Phelan Building at 11:30 a.m. A detachment of the 25th Company proceeded to the United States mint for guard duty, the balance of the company marching to Ingleside to guard the county jail. The 64th Company assisted in patrolling the streets. Captain Wildman also delivered to the master of the quartermaster steamer McDowell a written order from me to Col. Alfred Reynolds, 22d Infantry, commanding at Fort McDowell, to embark his command on the McDowell, land at the foot of Market street, march to the Phelan Building, and report to me for duty. These troops, consisting of headquarters and 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry, arrived at 10 a.m. For a short time they were held in reserve on O'Farrell street, but later were utilized in patrolling the business district of the city and in assisting the firemen in handling fire hose. Company D was detailed to guard the appraisers' building. I have no doubt, and have heard the same opinion expressed by scores of citizens, that had it not been for the prompt orders to shoot all looters, the saloons would have been broken into and then, the crowd, becoming turbulent, would have begun sacking the banks and jewelry stores. The city police, however brave and efficient, would have been totally unable, from mere lack of numbers, to have dealt with such a situation.

By 9 a.m. the various fires were merging into one great conflagration, and were approaching the Palace Hotel, Grand Hotel, Call Building, Emporium, and other large buildings from the south. Before this time the task of removing from the Phelan Building the records of the Department of California and from the Grand Building the records of the Pacific Division had been begun, and was carried on under great difficulties, owing to the fact that the elevators in these


buildings were not in operation. There was practically no wind in the forenoon, but in the afternoon there was a light westerly breeze, so that the fire had to work its way to windward, causing it to advance very slowly. This, unfortunately, gave people hope that the business portion of the city would not be entirely destroyed. Apparently for this reason no energetic efforts were made by citizens to remove much of the valuable property which might have been saved.

Early in the morning, shortly after it was seen that a serious conflagration was at hand, the acting chief of the fire department had sent a message 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. The commanding officer of the Presidio ordered Capt. Le Vert Coleman, post ordnance officer, to provide the necessary explosives. Under these instructions 48 barrels of powder in field battery caissons were sent to the Mayor under charge of First Lieut. Raymond W. Briggs, Artillery Corps. As the caissons were not suited to carrying large amounts of explosives, two large wagons were procured and in them was loaded the remaining powder, with about 300 pounds of dynamite procured from civilian employees of the Engineer Department. Captain Coleman at once proceeded to the Hall of Justice and reported to the mayor. Shortly afterwards, a large amount of dynamite was obtained from the California Powder Works, and Captain Coleman and Lieutenant Briggs, acting under directions from the Mayor and the acting chief of the fire department, engaged in the destruction of buildings. While many of the older and more fragile buildings could be destroyed by high explosives, it was found that the modern steel-and concrete buildings were practically impervious to anything except enormous charges. In addition to the dynamite used Captain Coleman used a small quantity of gun cotton, which had been brought down from Mare Island.

The troops continued during the day to assist the police and fire department in every possible manner. The work done by them was effective in keeping the most perfect order and in clearing the streets in the vicinity of the fire of the idle onlookers and anxious citizens, who seemed too dazed to act intelligently in their efforts to save their own property. As soon as it was possible I sent to the War Department a telegram, stating that the troops had turned out to assist in fighting the fire, aiding the police, and saving property. In fact, that everything would be done to render assistance, and that I would trust to the War Department to authorize any action I might have to take.

About 10 a.m. the commissary depot was destroyed, and I wired an estimate of the extent of the disaster. I considered it necessary to make an estimate of the number who would be rendered homeless by the fire in case the conflagration could be checked within reasonable bounds. I asked, therefore, for tents and rations for 30,000 people. As the fire progressed, however, it became evident that not 30,000, but probably more than 100,000, people would be homeless before midnight. Telegraphic request was therefore made that all available tents and rations be forwarded as soon as possible. This step was considered necessary, as it seemed then that all supply warehouses, not only for food but for bedding and shelter, would inevitably be destroyed without the hope of saving even a small percentage of their contents. A fact which made the saving of property most difficult was that no wagons of any kind appeared to be in the vicinity of the fire to carry away any goods that it might have been possible to save.

By the morning of the 19th the fire had destroyed the main portion of the wholesale and retail section of the city, and was actively burning on a line from about the corner of Montgomery avenue and Montgomery street southwest on an irregular line to Van Ness avenue at Golden Gate avenue. To the south of this it had crossed Van Ness avenue and had worked its way up Market street to about Valencia street. That part of the fire line from Golden Gate and Van Ness avenues northeast to the bay at about the foot of Broadway was most actively eating its way against a slight wind into the residence section on Russian Hill. The progress of the fire was very slow. It averaged not more than one block in two hours. At that time I could get no definite reports from the fire on the south side of the city, of what is known as the Potrero; but from the fact that the fire had gone up Market street so far, it appeared evident that all the south part of the city would be destroyed.

On the evening of the 18th, by agreement with the Mayor and Chief of Police, the city had been divided into sections, and all that part west of Van Ness ave-


nue was assigned to the regular troops, with Col Charles Morris, Artillery Corps, in command. The remainder of the regular troops were kept in the vicinity of the advancing fire line, and assisted during the night both the police and fire department in keeping order and in fighting the fire. The troops apparently forgot for the while that they had now been on duty from 7 a.m. on the 18th for more than twenty-four hours, without rest or shelter and with but very light cold rations. They seemed as actively energetic and wide awake when they were first called out.

Several attempts had been made to get into telegraphic communication with the commanding officer of the Presidio of Monterey, in order to bring to the city a portion of the command of that post. Owing to the telegraph lines being down it was, however, impossible to communicate with any place south of San Francisco. On the 19th the Pacific Squadron had reached San Francisco Bay, and, at my request, Admiral C. F. Goodrich, commanding, sent a torpedo boat to the Presidio of Monterey, carrying the necessary message to the commanding officer of that post. these orders were delivered with great dispatch and with the result that on the 21st headquarters, 1st and 3d Battalions of the 20th Infantry, Col. Marlon P. Maus, commanding, reached San Francisco and reported for duty, being followed the next day by field and staff and the 2d Squadron, 14th Cavalry. Companies E and G, 22d Infantry, were brought to the city from Alcatraz Island on the 19th, and remained on duty from that date, and on the same day the 32d, 61st, and 68th Companies of Coast Artillery, under the command of Col R. H. Patterson, arrived from Fort Baker, and also on the same day Companies K and M, 22d Infantry, from the depot of recruits and casuals, on Angel Island, reported and were assigned to duty. On this day telegraphic orders were sent to the commanding officer of Vancouver Barracks to proceed to this city with the entire garrison of that post.

On the morning of this day I considered it advisable to establish at some convenient point both division and department headquarters. It was therefore decided to utilize the only Government building in the vicinity of the fire available for the purpose, this being the quarters of the permanent division commander at the post of Fort Mason, where I established my headquarters, using both the division and department staffs, without, for the time being, making any attempt to segregate the duties belonging to each.

Anxious inquiries were made as to the extent of the injuries to the water system. No water appearing in any of the pipes in the vicinity of Fort Mason of, in fact, any part of the city covered by the troops, it appeared for the time that a water famine was inevitable. Steps were at once taken to have an examination made of all the available sources of water supply outside the regular Spring Valley supply, and it was found that there was an independent water supply in Golden Gate Park, where were also lakes of fresh water of considerable size. The Lobos Creek water supply was well understood, as it had been carefully considered previously with a view to utilizing it for the new water system of the Presidio reservation. I learned unofficially on the afternoon of the 18th that the Spring Valley Water Company was most energetically repairing its great water mains and that they hoped in a day or two to bring within the city a small amount of water through their regular mains. I was glad to learn on the 20th that my unofficial report was confirmed by the statement of Mr. Schussler, chief engineer of the Spring Valley Water Company, to the effect that he hoped to be able to deliver in the city the next day 10,000,000 gallons of water and thereafter probably that amount each day until, finally, the system would be completely restored. It was most fortunate indeed that this gentleman was in the city, as he had planned and supervised the construction of all the larger mains and was able to locate them from memory alone, as all the charts had been destroyed in the conflagration. It was from his intimate knowledge, also, that he was able to send mechanics immediately to the various streets from which branch the side lines into the burned district, and thus stop the waste of water, which must inevitably have resulted had these pipes not been closed.

By the night of the 19th about 250,000 people or more must have been encamped or sleeping out in the open in the various military reservations, parks, and open spaces of the city.

The Pacific Squadron having arrived on the 19th, Admiral C. F. Goodrich, commanding, sent ashore an officer and offered to land a force to assist in the work being done by the troops. The offer was most gladly accepted; but, as


the men could not be utilized to advantage at that particular time, it was requested that they be landed at Fort Mason early on the morning of the 20th, which was done, a force of about 100 officers and men being sent ashore, under Commander Charles J. Badger, United States Nave. This force was most useful in many ways, and was utilized for the first few days as guard and patrols and in assisting in the fight against the conflagration. They were especially useful in demolishing outbuildings and fences at Fort Mason when that post seemed in danger. The important work done by the Navy and the United States Revenue Marine Service in fighting the fire along the water front does not properly form a part of this report, as it was not done under my direction and control.

Admiral B. H. McCalla, commanding the Mare Island Navy Yard, had dispatched to the city, on the 18th, a body of marines under Lieutenant-Colonel Karmany, United States Marine Corps. This force had rendered excellent service independently on that day and the succeeding night in patrolling the city, and on the 19th, when I established my headquarters at Fort Mason, reported to me for duty and was utilized in the same manner as the troops and blue jackets.

On the night of the 19th, when the fire reached Van Ness avenue, Col. Charles Morris, Artillery Corps, in command of the troops in that portion of the city, authorized Capt. Le Vert Coleman, Artillery Corps, in direct charge of the detachment engaged in the destruction of buildings, to destroy a number buildings far enough ahead of the fire to make a clearing along Broadway, Franklin, and Gough streets, which space the fire was unable to bridge, and in this manner was stopped after it had crossed Van Ness avenue and the fire department seemed powerless. It is my opinion that if it had not been for the work done at this place the entire Western Addition of the city would have been destroyed.

By morning of the 20th the Western Addition, as that part of the city lying west of Van Ness avenue is called, was considered safe, except from the danger arising from a very threatening conflagration working along the slopes of Russian Hill toward that part of Van Ness avenue lying north of Broadway. All day of the 20th an heroic fight was made by the soldiers, sailors, firemen, and citizens to stop this fire, which had a frontage of about half a mile, and was working its way slowly against the wind. A number of buildings were destroyed here by high explosives, and back firing was resorted to. The fight at this place was greatly aided by water pumped from the bay at Fort Mason. For a time grave fears were felt for the safety of the post itself, and I directed that fences and a number of outbuildings be torn down and that men be stationed on the roofs of buildings. The flames however, did not reach Fort Mason, and by the most tremendous exertions were prevented from crossing Van Ness avenue between that post and the point where it had once crossed and been fought out.

By the morning of the 21st the Western Addition was considered safe, and the advancing flames south from the Mission district had been stayed; but a rising wind caused the fire to turn northeastward from Russian Hill and destroy a portion of the city along the bay shore that had hitherto been spared.

The National Guard had been called into service and had acted independently so far, with the result that regular troops, militia, and police were scattered indiscriminately over the city. In order to avoid further confusion and possible conflict of authority on this score a conference was held between Mayor Schmitz, Brigadier-General Koster, commanding the National Guard of California, Chief of Police Dinan, and myself, on the 21st, at Fort Mason, in which it was agreed that the city, for the time being, would be divided into districts, one each under the control of the Federal troops, including naval contingent, the National Guard, and the municipal police.

Under this arrangement the territory controlled by the troops under my command was as follows: All of Golden Gate Park, all of the territory north and east of Golden Gate Park along H street to Stanyan, along Stanyan to Oak, along Oak to Fillmore, along Fillmore to Bush, along Bush to Powell, down Powell to Market, along Market to First, along First to the bay, to include the Pacific Mail dock. This included probably more than half the population of San Francisco, also all the banking and commercial houses, containing vaults with stores of great value. The post-office, outside of this district, was also under charge of Federal troops.


This territory was in turn divided into six districts by General Orders, No. 12, Pacific Division, from which I quote as follows:

No. 12.
San Francisco, Cal., April 22, 1906

1. The regular troops, including the United States Marine Corps, on duty in the city of San Francisco, will control all of Golden Gate Park, all of the territory north and east of Golden Gate Park along H street to Stanyan, along Stanyan to Oak, along Oak to Fillmore, along Fillmore to Bush, along Bush to Powell, down Powell to Market, along Market to First, along First to the bay, to include the Pacific Mail dock.

2. This territory is divided into six districts and troops assigned with location of district headquarters as follows:


To include all ground north of Golden Gate Park between the beach and Devisadero street, including the Presidio reservation, but not including Fort Miley.

Headquarters at the Presidio, San Francisco, Cal.

Commanding officer, Col. Charles Morris, Artillery Corps.

Personnel of command, all Coast and Field Artillery on duty in the city of San Francisco and at the Presidio, San Francisco, Cal.


To include all ground north of Union street, between Devisadero and Hyde streets, including also all of Fort Mason reservation except the post proper.

Headquarters at Fort Mason, Cal.

Commanding officer, Colonel Reynolds, 22d Infantry.

Personnel of command, all that part of the 22d Infantry now on duty in the city of San Francisco.


To include all ground bounded as follows: Hyde, from the bay south to Bush street, thence on Bush street east to Powell, thence on Powell south to Market, thence on Market northeast to First, thence on First southeast to water front, thence along water front to foot of Hyde street, not including wharves.

Headquarters, at Portsmouth Square.

Commanding officer, Col. Marion P. Maus, 20th Infantry.

Personnel of command, six companies of the 20th Infantry.


To include all ground bounded by streets as follows: Beginning at the corner of Devisadero and Union streets, south on Devisadero to Oak, east on Oak to Fillmore, north on Fillmore to Bush, east on Bush to Hyde, north on Hyde to Union, west on Union to Devisadero.

Headquarters, at No. 2040 Broadway.

Commanding officer, Lieut. Col. Lincoln Karmany, United States Marine Corps.

Personnel of command, all of the United States Marine Corps on duty in San Francisco.


All of Golden Gate Park.

Headquarters, at the Park lodge.

Commanding officer, Maj. G. W. McIver, 4th Infantry.

Personnel of command, two companies of the 20th Infantry and one troop of the 14th Cavalry.


To include the wharves between Fort Mason wharf and the Pacific Mail dock, both inclusive, in charge of the Navy.


Headquarters, at Fort Mason reservation.

Commanding officer, H. C. Benson, major, 14th Cavalry

Personnel of command, two troops of the 14th Cavalry.


On the 22d the headquarters, field, staff, and band, and ten companies of the 14th Infantry arrived from Vancouver Barracks, being followed the next day by the 17th and 18th Batteries of Field Artillery from the same post.

The division commander, Maj. Gen. A. W. Greely, having returned to the city on the evening of the 22d, I relinquished command of the Pacific Division, which command I had exercised simultaneously with that of the Department of California, and from that time exercised command of the department alone.

During the five days following the earthquake no attempt had been made to separate the staffs of the two commands, and the officers and clerical force of both the department and division were used in any way that the interests of the service required.

Of the division staff all were present, as follows: Col. Stephen P. Jocelyn and Capt. W. G. Haan, General Staff; Maj. S. W. Dunning, Military Secretary's Department, military secretary; Lieut. Col. John A. Lundeen, Inspector-General's Department, inspector-general, and Maj. Charles H. McKinstry, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer; also Capt. Frank L. Winn, 12th Infantry, aide-de-camp to the division commander.

Of the department staff, the military secretary, Col. W. A. Simpson; the chief quartermaster, Col. John L. Clem, and the chief commissary, Col. E. E. Dravo, happened to be absent on leave, but immediately hastened to San Francisco. In the interim the duties of chief quartermaster were most energetically and efficiently performed by his assistant, Capt. W. C. Wren, Quartermaster's Department, and those of the chief commissary by Maj. C. R. Krauthoff, acting chief commissary of the department. Until the arrival of the recently assigned chief surgeon of the department, Col. C. L. Heizmann, his duties were performed by the acting chief surgeon, Lieut. Col. George H. Torney. One of my aides-de-camp, Lieut. B. J. Mitchell, 12th Infantry, was returning from detached service at the time of the beginning of the conflagration, but reached the city on the 20th. In addition to the officers named those on duty at department headquarters were the judge-advocate, Lieut. Col. G. M. Dunn; the chief paymaster, John R. Lynch, paymasters; the chief signal officer, Capt. L. D. Wildman; Capt L. B. Simonds, assistant to the chief commissary, and my aide-de-camp, First Lieut. E. C. Long, Artillery Corps.

Col. Sedgwick Pratt, Artillery Corps, and Lieut. Col. John P. Wisser, Artillery Corps, under orders for change of station, and Maj. George W. McIver, 4th Infantry, on leave, reported for duty and were assigned, the two former to division headquarters and the last named in command of the refugee camps in Golden Gate Park. Maj. C. A. Devol, Quartermaster's Department, depot quartermaster, though not under my orders, render every possible assistance.

Without exception the officers of the division and department staffs performed their duties so conscientiously and energetically that it is a difficult, if not impossible, matter to make distinctions in bestowing praise upon them. I do feel, however, that special mention should be made of the proficiency and ability shown by Capt. L. D. Wildman, Signal Corps, chief signal officer, in establishing and maintaining telegraph and telephone communication under the almost impossible conditions during the conflagration and immediately afterwards.

General Funston's story of endeavor and accomplishment affords added testimony to the resourcefulness and the patriotism of American soldiers. With their usual spirit at the call of duty, they applied themselves with desperate and persistent energy to the preservation of buildings and property not only of the United States, but also of the entire community. Without regular food or rest, they labored continuously from twenty-four to forty-eight hours, and some, General Funston included, were without sleep for a longer period. Wherever aid was needed, whether with the hose or ax, with dynamite or powder, to save records or remove personal property, to help the infirm or care for the sick, these men were always striving, no matter how adverse the conditions of danger or how arduous the labor.

As I have already officially stated, the terrible days of earthquake and fire in San Francisco were almost absolutely free from disorder,


drunkenness, and crime. The orderly and law-abiding spirit of the people as a whole rendered the maintenance of public peace a comparatively east task. Having in view the extent of ruin, the devastation of property, and the desperate condition of the vast numbers of hungry and homeless, there might reasonably have been expected many casualties from violence and disorder. It is my firm conviction that the orderly march of events during the three frightful days was the outcome of free popular government, which develops self-respect, self-dependence, and like virile qualities. The great area of territory over which operations were conducted frequently necessitated independent action of the part of junior officers, occasoinally of noncommissioned officers, and even of privates. It is a matter of pride and satisfaction that, almost without exception, the army performed its duties with discretion, efficiency, and loyalty. Every alleged neglect of duty or breach of discipline-less than a dozen in number-was investigated by an inspector from these headquarters, the witnesses examined under oath, and the cases made the subject of discipline. In short, the conduct of the Regular Army in all grades elicited, with justice, the highest praise from all sources.

It should be borne in mind that five separate bodies were maintaining order in San Francisco-the municipal police, the National Guard of California, the United States Navy, citizens' committees, and the Regular Army. These five organizations, all being armed, acted independently under desperate conditions of fire and earthquake where a quarter of a million of people were fleeing for life, seeking shelter, or striving to save their property. Such unprecedented conditions might well have caused casualties by the scores.

It bears testimony to the judgment and forbearance of the personnel enforcing order and to the sensible, law-abiding qualities of the people of San Francisco that during such prolonged and desperate condition of affairs there should have been but 9 deaths by violence. All killed were men, and 4 of the cases have been the subject of investigations under the civil law. Of these 9 victims, 2 were killed by members of the National Guard of California, 1 was shot by members of a so-called citizens' vigilance committee, 1 by a police officer for looting, and 1 through the combined action of a special police officer and a marine. The remaining 4 deaths of unknown parties occurred at places not occupied by the Regular Army. No complaint has reached these headquarters that, among the tens of thousands of persons whom it became the duty of the soldiers of the Regular Establishment to restrict in personal movements during the progress of the fire, any person was violently treated or seriously injured.

The respect of the army for the rights of private property was practically as marked as that regarding the sacredness of human life. There were only three or four occasions reported in which soldiers participated even in the appropriation of liquors, and these cases have been sent before military courts. Impressments of property were made in a few instances, such as transportation, especially automobiles, during the fire and immediately after of food where urgently needed for the hungry and exhausted.

As regards the destruction of liquor, proceedings were taken under the authority of the Mayor of San Francisco. Upon application


from the commanding officer of a district, General Funston sanctioned the promulgation of an order for the destruction of liquor, believing, as he informed me, that the case in point referred to open saloons or to liquor in the hands of persons in the streets. In nearly every instance proceedings under this order were conducted without violence and at places where saloons were selling liquor openly. Unfortunately in a few cases, the unjustifiable action was taken of breaking open saloons and destroying their contents. This excess of zeal in the interests of public order and under such disturbed and dangerous conditions should not be judged with undue severity.

General Funston and I were originally in accord in the belief that the conditions were not such as to offer opportunities for great personal bravery or for especially conspicuous service. It is, however, my opinion that the conduct of General Funston and his command, almost without exception, even to the last private, is deserving of the highest commendation.

In these days of earthquake and fire it was my misfortune to take no active part. There remained on my return, April 22, duties less striking, but nevertheless of import to the city. They did not concern alone the vaults in a burned area exceeding 5 square miles, containing titles, policies, bonds, gold, etc., to the value of hundreds of millions of dollars (in fact, the remaining personal wealth of San Francisco), but also matters of vital importance to the health and safety of the community. These duties involved the public relief of more than 300,000 person for whom food, shelter, and clothing must be provided, not only under difficult physical conditions, but also with means which though large required the utmost care to make them adequately serve their purpose. In addition, matters of sanitation and order, of water supply and sewerage, of lighting, of judicious action. Bank vaults must be guarded, personal liberty respected, private property protected, physical suffering alleviated, public health preserved, and efforts taken to gradually turn the currents of thought and action from the terrible present to the normal conditions of the future. These civic, if nonmilitary, measures were facilitated by the courage, resolution, and energy of the community in general, and of those captains of industry in particular whose past efforts had built up this magnificent and metropolitan city.

As army subordinates, line and staff, I was fortunate enough to have a body of offices and men whose loyalty, zeal, and intelligence may some time be equaled, but certainly not surpassed. To their persistent and intelligent effort is due the successful treatment of novel and difficult problems.

My duties began when I reached Oakland on the evening of April 22, 1906. Unable to reach Fort Mason that evening, at the suggestion of Col S. P. Jocelyn, my chief of staff, and through the courtesy of Captain Garrett, I spent the night on the Fish Commission steamer Albatross. Through the maps and data furnished by Colonel Jocelyn I became informed as to current conditions, arrangement of troops, existing orders, and the military cooperation already afforded. I thus had a few hours in which to fully consider the situation and possible lines of suitable action. At daylight I assumed active command of the Division of the Pacific. General Funston, as he stated


to me, was in a state of nearly physical and mental collapse, due to his extraordinary efforts and personal exposure since April 18. He had worked fifty consecutive hours without sleep, and many of the officers and men were in a hardly less exhausted state.


The existent conditions in San Francisco were of the most appalling character. While incapable of satisfactory description or adequate expression, yet roughly summarized they were as follows: On April 18 this was a city of 500,000 inhabitants, the commercial emporium of the Pacific coast, a great industrial and manufacturing center, adorned with magnificent buildings, equipped with extensive local transportation, provided with the most modern sanitary appliances, and having an abundant water supply. On April 21 these triumphs of human effort, this center of civilization, had become a scene of indescribable desolation, more than 200,000 residents having fled from the burnt district alone, leaving several hundred dead under its smoldering ashes. The entire community of 450,000 deprived of all modern conveniences and necessities, had, in forty-eight hours, not only been relegated to conditions of primitive life, but were also hampered by ruins and débris. Its entire business districts and adjacent territory had been ravaged by fire. The burnt area covered 3,400 acres, as against 2,100 in Chicago and 50 in Boston. Of the 261 miles of electric and cable railways not a mile remained in operation. While probably 1,500 teams were uninjured, yet, as a whole, they had been withdrawn with the refugees to the outlying districts. Practically all travel had to be on foot, the few automobiles having been impressed by the authorities. The intricate masses of iron, brick, and débris were supplemented in the unburned area by fallen buildings and chimneys, which made all travel circuitous and extremely difficult. The city telephone system was interrupted; every telegraph office and station had been destroyed. All the banks, deposit vaults, and trust buildings were in ruins. Not a hotel of note or importance was left standing. The great apartment houses lead vanished. Of the thousands of wholesale and large retail establishments scarce half a dozen were saved, and these in remote districts. Even buildings spared by the fire were, damaged as to chimneys, so that all food of the entire city was cooked over camp fires in the open streets.

Two hundred and twenty-five thousand people were not only homeless, losing all real and personal property, but also were deprived of their means of present sustenance and future livelihood. Food, water, shelter, clothing, medicines, and sewerage were all lacking. Failing even for drinking purposes, water had to be brought long distances. Every large bakery was destroyed or interrupted. While milk and country produce were plentiful in the suburbs, local transportation was entirely interrupted so that even people of great wealth could obtain food only by charity or public relief. In short, all those things which are deemed essential to the support, comfort, and decency of a well-ordered life were destroyed or wanting.

The charter of a million people driven into the streets by the flames escaped as a rule only with the clothing they wore. Thousands upon thousands had fled to the open country, but tens of thousands upon tens of thousands remained in the parks, generally in stupor or exhaustion after days of terror and struggle.


The only undisturbed and thoroughly equipped organization in San Francisco was the military forces of the Regular Army, which was just receiving welcome relief work from the Navy. The National Guard of California, prompt and eager to perform its duties, had come, bringing many members distressed by afflictions or losses, while others had saved only the clothing in which they paraded. The San Francisco firemen, noted for their efficient esprit de corps, were exhausted by continuous toil, overwhelmed by the enormous fire areas; many were destitute as to clothing and harassed by personal or domestic afflictions. The police department had similarly suffered from burned homes, scattered families excessive hours of duty, and unusual physical exertions.

In the interests of harmony the city had been divided into three districts, one guarded by the police, the second controlled by the National Guard of California, while the third and largest area, assigned to the division commander, was under the protection of the United States Army, Navy, and Marines.

There were still in force rigid regulations as to freedom of personal action, which the fearful conditions of earthquake and fire had rendered necessary for the protection of property and the conservation of the public interests. From Oakland no one was permitted to enter San Francisco except on a written pass granted by authority of the Governor of California. Sharp restrictions had been imposed in many respects in San Francisco, where travel, particularly after dark, was dangerous, owing to numerous guards-civil, municipal, State, and national.


Of deaths and injuries from earthquake and fire, which were enormously exaggerated in current dispatches, the roll, including all bodies discovered and those who have since died of injuries, is as follows: Still Francisco, 304 known; 194 unknown (largely bodies recovered from the ruins in the burned district); in addition 415 were seriously injured. In Santa Rosa there were 64 deaths and 51 seriously injured; in San Jose, 21 deaths and 10 seriously injured; and at Agnew's Asylum, near San Jose, 81 deaths.


My judgment considered as of primary importance the fostering of personal action by the restoration of normal conditions as rapidly and as completely as possible. Recognizing that, apart from its protection of Federal buildings, the army was in performance of nonmilitary duties, my instructions and directions all tended to its complete subordination to the civil power and to urgent public needs, from which policy the slightest deviation was never sanctioned.

In treating the army as an adjunct to the civil authorities instructions were issued to immediately remove all military restrictions on the movements of peaceful individuals, and the military pass system was immediately abolished. It was impressed upon officers and men that the force was in the nature of posse comitatus for the maintenance of public order, and that consequently the proclamations and municipal orders of the Mayor should be strictly observed. Impressment of laborers, destruction of property, and the seizing of automobiles, clothing, or food was strictly prohibited.



Unfortunately several telegrams sent by me to his excellency George C. Pardee, Governor of California, and several from him to me were seriously delayed, which caused mutual misapprehension as to our relations and altitude. During a visit, April 27, which his excellency made to my headquarters at Fort Mason the whole situation was thoroughly discussed by us, and this conference cleared up the situation to our mutual satisfaction. His excellency recognized that the military force tinder my control w as to be handled purely as an adjunct to the civil authorities and in the interests of the tens of thousands of destitute and helpless people. The Governor was most generous in his appreciation of the efficient services of the army. He requested me, if it would be agreeable, to transmit to Gen. J. A. Koster, commanding the National Guard of California, copies of orders issued to the army, with a view of promulgating similar orders, which was done.

In all matters later discussed between its, his excellency invariably displayed a most courteous spirit. He was pleased to telegraph to the President that the Federal forces had been of estimable value, and later to commend the services of the army in his message to the extra session of the legislature of California. As a result the legislature, by senate concurrent resolution No. 4, June 12, 1906, expressed its appreciation of the services of the army in connection with the disasters to San Francisco in the following forms:


Whereas the people of San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and other titles, and, indeed. the whole State of California owe much to the military forces of the United States and to the National Guard of California for their efficient services rendered since the disaster of April 18, 1906; and

Whereas it is fit and proper that recognition should be given in the most public manner and due acknowledgment made to the officers and men of both services of the debt of gratitude owed them by the State; and

Whereas commencing at an early hour on the morning of April 18 last and continuing down to this date the troops of the Regular Army, under the command of Maj. Gen. A. W. Greely and Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston, have been tireless to the work of preserving order, suppressing turbulence, administering relief to the sick and needy, and improving sanitary conditions; and

Whereas the troops of the Second Brigade of the National Guard of California were also on duty from an early hour of the first day of the great disaster. and the other brigades as soon as they could be transported to the points where they were most needed, under the command of Adjt. Gen. J. B. Lauck, were also on duty and continued on the faithful performance of duty until such time us their presence was no longer needed, and while a great city was in flames and hundreds of thousands of people had suddenly been rendered homeless the conduct of the officers and men of the National Guard was in the highest degree soldierly, efficient, and creditable: Be it

Resolved, That the people of the State of California through its representatives in senate and assembly assembled, hereby makes public recognition of the grateful appreciation of the services rendered by the officers and men of the Regualar Army and the National Guard in one of the greatest calamities that ever convulsed a brave, a resolute, and a resourceful people.


His excellency Governor George C. Pardee had called upon the National Guard of California for service connected with the earthquake disaster. The entire force aggregated, it is believed, some three thousand men. In addition to a considerable force in Santa Rosa, in


San Jose, and in Oakland, there was a brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. John A. Koster stationed in San Francisco, where, by an agreement with General Funston, they occupied the district bounded by Page, Fillmore, Pine, Van Ness avenue Eleventh, Harrison, Sixteenth, an irregular line over the hill to K street, Eleventh avenue, H, and Stanyan streets.

Governor Pardee, in conference, expressed his willingness to place the Guard under my orders, which however, I declined as being beyond the strict letter of the law. It further seemed advisable to decline to give them any orders even in emergency, but at the Governor's request, copies of all my general orders and circulars were furnished for General Koster. The delicacy of the situation was enhanced by the request on April 23 of Mayor Schmitz and the Citizens' Committee that the National Guard be withdrawn from the city, which was not, however, favorably received try Governor Pardee. The strictest policy of noninterference with the status or duties of the Guard was initiated and invariably followed. When once or twice, for mutual convenience, some rearrangement of the limits of the districts seemed advisable, the questions were adjusted by General Koster and my chief of staff, Capt. W. G. Haan.

The relations of General Foster with the commanders of contiguous military districts occupied by the Regular Army, with General Funston, the department commander, and with myself, were always of the most courteous and harmonious character. Some local feeling was aroused in the city against the Guard through the unfortunate fact that two San Franciscans, Frank Riordan and Joseph Meyers, were shot by members of the Guard on April 19.

The services of the Guard necessarily entailed hardships, through sacrifice of personal and material interestes while on emergency duty. No doubt exists that the young men of the Guard were intelligent, well meaning, subordinate, and zealous. Then were always judged by me from this standpoint, due consideration being given for their youthfulness and inexperience. This inexperience is alleged to have caused them to occasionally ignore municipal authority.


The day after away return, his honor E. E. Schmitz, Mayor of San Francisco, was provided with office accommodations at my headquarters. During the ensuing week important measures connected with various phases of civil government and municipal affairs were discussed by us and put into operation. In order that there might be no misunderstanding as to the status under which the United States Army operated in San Francisco, the conditions of such service were carefully stated to his honor the Mayor. Concisely, the situation was defined as follows: In matters of purely military control, including the guarding of Federal buildings and property, my own orders and actions were supreme, these to be strictly military according to existing orders and Army Regulations.

As regarded what might be called nonmilitaty duties, it was clearly set forth that the army was in San Francisco for the purpose of assisting the municipal authorities to maintain order, protect property, and especially to extend relief to the destitute and homeless.


All operations in any of these directions were to be strictly confined to such methods and treasures as might be either formulated or indorsed by the Mayor as necessary in the public interests. The army was expressly forbidden to seize stores or vehicles, and was ordered to refrain from interfering with private business or restricting personal liberty. Authority was granted to arrest only persons guilty of personal assaults, robbery, looting, or other serious offenses, and the persons so arrested were to be promptly turned over to the nearest police authority. Wherever the police were not in sufficient force to make arrests, or to maintain public order, the army was to assist them. In short, the military force was to be strictly subordinate to the civil authorities.

This declaration of the attitude of the army was most gratifying to Mayor Schmitz, who repeatedly expressed his appreciation therefor. It may be added that this line of policy was invariably adhered to from the day of my return. As a result there has never been any friction or dispute between the municipal and military authorities. Both worked to common ends; that is, the maintenance of public order, the protection of property, the conservation of personal rights, and especially the relief of the destitute and helpless.

From time to time, at. the request of the Mayor, I signed with him joint proclamations on matters of public importance, where it was thought that the moral force of Federal authority would strengthen the decisions of his honor. Among these may be mentioned the following: Counseling wholesale and retail dealers to renew business, and assuring complete protection of property and freedom from impressment; suitable regulations regarding lights, the building of fires, the use of chimneys, the opening of safes, the observance of sanitary methods, the economical use of water, the operating of electric railways, the restoration of the electric-light system, and other similar matters as to which the abnormal condition of affairs demanded regulation or restriction.

Whenever the Mayor requested expert assistance in work of any kind-such as dynamiting, special inspection, etc.-details of officers and then were made with the distinct provisions that such operations should proceed under the specific direction of a suitable city official designated by the Mayor. It was particularly observed in the dynamiting of walls and building left by the fire in a condition believed to be dangerous to the public safety. In this connection, special injunctions to conservative action were given personally to the officers in charge of this work and on occasion a change was made in the personnel of the command thus employed, so as to insure the safest and most cautious action.

In addition to the ordinary relief work, and to furnish the highest professional talent. on matters of importance, other officers were placed on special duty in the interests of engineering work and sanitation. Col. W. W. Heuer. Corps of Engineers, was charged with investigations regarding the water supply, electric lighting, electric railways, etc. Col. G. H. Torney, Medical Department, was authorized to serve on the health commission as an adviser regarding sanitary conditions in San Francisco.

Whenever modification of regulations was suggested or advice on public affairs was tendered by me to the Mayor, either verbally or


in writing, such recommendations invariably received considerate and prompt action on the part of his honor. In turn all his requisitions upon me for aid or counsel were promptly and cheerfully granted.

It is most gratifying to report that not only has the most cordial and harmonious relations existed from the beginning until the present day between his honor the Mayor and myself, but that a similar spirit of harmony and consideration has marked the relations of subordinate officers and men of the army with the officials and employees of the city government. I have no knowledge directly or indirectly that any act of personal violence was committed by the police or by the army, either cut each other or upon any civilian. Indeed, the total absence of quarrels during two months of joint service was surprising, since it would naturally be expected that differences would daily occur among thousands of men serving together, even if they were entirely of the army or of the police department.

It might not be improper to state that in my prolonged and intimate relations with his honor the Mayor I was strongly impressed by his fund of common sense, his appreciation of the situation, his regard for the public interests, and his freedom from acts of political or personal bias. In his strenuous and unremitting labors he seemed to have constantly at heart the interests of the community. Neither word nor act of discrimination emanated from him against or in favor of any race, sect, color, or nationality. His attitude with reference to liquor selling must have demanded unusual moral courage. Regardless of pressure and remonstrance from those financially interested, he adhered manfully to his original decisions to keep saloons closed until normal conditions were restored, to restrict the number of saloons, to insist on high licenses with rigid supervision, and particularly to eliminate the obnoxious grocery saloon.

On withdrawal of the army, the Mayor, under date of June 30, in a letter to the commanding general, Pacific Division, expressed himself regarding the services of the army as follows:

Now that you, with the Federal troops, are to withdraw from official connection with the management of the refugee camps in San Francisco, it gives me great pleasure in behalf of our stricken people to extend to you and through you to General Funston the officers, and men under your control the sincere thanks and gratitude of a grateful community. As you state, the relations of the army with the citizens of San Francisco and also with the municipal officials have been most cordial and friendly. There has seemed to be butone spirit that prompted all engaged in this class of work, and that was the spirit of helping those in distress, irrespective of their former station, religion, or nationality.

The magnificent world which has born done by the United States Army under your control in the matter of taking care of our homeless and destitute should justly receive the commendation of all of our fair-minded citizens. It has been a great pleasure and personal privilege to have had the aid, during the trying times of our national troops and has tended largely to the successful handling of the situation.  I am pleased to note that there has not been one death caused by the regular soldiers, and, in fact, no serious disturbance or conflict of any kind. I am proud as an American to testify to the manly qualities exhibited on this occasion of the regular soldier, and of the high efficiency evidenced by the officers of the Army, and I am also proud to be Mayor not only of this great American city, but of a brave people who have established what is now known as "cheerful courage." This only proves what has been stated upon many occasions that the American people are equal to any and every emergency, and that the higher qualities of the American citizen come to the surface during great trials.



From the first I fully realized the importance of exact and comprehensive information as to the march of events, the trend of opinion and particularly as to the movements and physical condition and needs of the homeless destitutes. A system was organized under Lieut. Col. John A. Lundeen, inspector-general, in which the city was divided into districts. Trained inspectors traversing them daily verbally spread the situation before me each evening. These full and intelligent reports made it possible for me to estimate the extent and importance of the situation, and especially to accurately foreshadow the unprecedented magnitude of future relief operations. Consulting with the commanding general of the Department of California, with my chief of staff and other competent officers, I was unanimously advised by them on April 23 that a force of 5,000 additional men was necessary to preclude possibility of favorable conditions. Had that number of troops been available they could have been utilized to great advantage, as subsequent events clearly indicated. I decided, however, to ask for 2,500 troops, with the intention of making the relief force entirely military, thus insuring at once efficiency, promptness, and ultimate economy by systemization and restriction   Although I was unaware that the transportation of these troops would be charged against the relief appropriation, yet no doubt exists that had they been promptly forwarded double the cost of their transportation would have been saved in food and relief supplies, which in the first emergency were scattered with a lavish generosity that continued in somewhat abated form until militarv control was complete. The exact terms of the joint resolution of Congress for relief purposes were officially known by me on April 28, to which day I necessarily acted on general information from the newspapers as to the conditinos under which relief was sanctioned by law, if indeed at all. The Secretary of War was, however, kept fully informed of the line of operations adopted and followed by me.


On assuming supervision of relief issues on April 29 the necessity of an additional force became more pressing than ever. It had not as yet been practicable for the War Department to start troops asked for by me six days previously. Meanwhile conditions had so changed that any satisfactory adjustment of affairs demanded the speediest possible reinforcements. Realizing that selected officers could be more quickly secured than complete organizations, it was decided to change the form of the requisition for additional troops. On April 29, therefore, I telegraphed to the Secretary of War that the situation could be handled with 1,500 troops additional, provided that 45 selected officers, men of administrative ability, sound judgment, and physical energy, could be sent to San Francisco as the framework of a relief organization. These were to consist of 5 field officers and 40 captains or first lieutenants, and in connection therewith it was insisted that men without force, experience, or tact would be worse than useless. In addition to these detailed officers, there were also sent, on my requisition, additional officers of the Medical, Subsistence, and Quartermaster's departments. Certain other officers of staff


departments and of the line who were present in San Francisco were pressed into service.

The entire force engaged on relief duty consisted of two general officers, the 1st and 14th Regiments of Cavalry; the 10th, 25th, 27th, 29th, 32d, 38th, 60th, 61st, 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, 68th, 70th, and 105th Companies of Coast Artillery; the 1st, 9th, and 24th Batteries of Field Artillery; the 11th Battalion of Field Artillery (17th and 18th Mountain Batteries); the 10th, 11th, 14th, 30th, and 22d Regiments of Infantry; Companies C and D of the Corps of Engineers; Companies A and B of the Hospital Corps; Companies A, E, and H of the Signal Corps, and 168 staff, detailed, and retired officers, among whom were selected representatives from every corps of the Army, including volunteers from the retired list. To these were added a large force from the Navy, consisting of a command of blue jackets, a battalion of marines, and a force of naval apprentices.


This committee of 50, appointed by his honor the Mayor, was a body of extremely efficient men. Among them were ex-Mayor James D. Phelan. Horace Davis, M. H. De Young, J. F. Drum, G. W. McEnerney, W. F. Herrin, I. W. Hellman, H. E. Law, United States Judge W. W. Morrow, A. Pollok, Rudolph Spreckels, Collector of Port F. B. Stratton, and others, whose abilities and energies had been connected with the upbuilding of San Francisco. Now they gave their great powers of organization and administration in the way of counsel and activity on the most important questions connected with the relief work and restoration of normal conditions. They quickly organized, while the fire was still burning, a system of food relief, which was remarkably efficient, considering that it was administered by volunteers under remarkably of confusion and chaos. Immediately on my return, under the chairmanship of Mayor Schinitz they met in my office for several days, in order to insure cooperation between the State, the municipal authorities, the people at large, and the army. At various times this conference was also attended by the Hon. Victor H. Metcalf, Secretary of Commerce and Labor; his excellency George C. Pardee, Governor of California; Mayor Mott, of Oakland; Dr. Edward T. Devine, special representative of the Red Cross; Mr. E. H. Harriman, and Gen. Frederick Funston. Policies and measures were often sharply discussed in executive session, but when a decision was reached the entire committee labored zealously and efficiently along the approved lines. Later the finance committee of the Citizens' Committee reorganized as a finance committee of the Red Cross, so as to insure most thorough cooperation with that relief organization.


The most important duty devolving upon the army apart from the stopping of the fire was the formation and administration of an adequate system of relief for the homeless and destitute people in San Francisco. For the first few days the conditions were such that fully 350,000 persons had to be fed. San Francisco is particularly a city where food supplies are obtained from day to day, and the destruction of all the wholesale and large retail stores in the city left its inhabitants practically without food other than that provided by


the army or brought from neighboring towns, and even these transfers were accomplished with extreme difficulty owing to the entire absence of local transportation. Conditions can not be better emphasized than by the statement to me by a very prominent business man, a millionaire, that he was obliged to obtain his food for several days from the relief supplies, his family waiting their turn in line.

Although the Citizens' Relief Committee had organized an emergent volunteer system, yet it speedily realized that the proper maintenance and operation was beyond its power. I was asked on April 23, the first day, by the Mavor to take over this work, which I declined to do on the grounds that such action would be unwarranted by law. I added, however, that I would personally and officially assume any and all responsibilities if he could convince me that such a course was a civic duty imperatively demanded to prevent public suffering. The next day, April 24, a conference was held in my office and the situation thoroughly discussed. The Mayor, the Citizens' Committee, the national and local representatives of the Red Cross and the commanding general of the Department of California were present. They, one and all, unanimonsly advised me that the conditions were so urgent and desperate as in their opinion made it an imperative public duty for the army to assume charge of the issue of food supplies. They were informed that neither officers nor men were available in sufficient numbers to efficiently administer such service or even to exercise an effective supervision. As they considered effect of Federal control indispensable, I finally consented to take over the system within forty-eight flours, by noon of Thursday, April 26. This decision was made with the expectation that the 2,500 troops asked for on April 23 would be supplied, as I contemplated the entire operation of relief supplies by officers and men of the army independent of volunteers. It was clear that such a system would lessen the drain upon relief funds and supplies, which had assumed such proportions as threatened to exhaust the treasury and deplete the storehouses within a very brief period. This work was begun with two officers, Maj. C. A. Devol, quartermaster, in charge of transportation, and Maj. C. R, Krauthoff, commissary, in charge of food supplies. From these two officers grew up, as personnel became available, a force which, operating at first about 177 stations, finally aggregated 64 officers and over 5100 enlisted men. Within twenty-four hours I was astounded by the report, based on estimates, that about 325,000 persons had been supplied food the first day. This number appeared incredible, but later developments indicate that it was practically correct, as will be shown later. Further details as to transportation, subsistence, and administration appear under later headings.


It was necessary to distribute the military forces in such manner as first to protect the mint and other Federal buildings; secondly, banks serving as national depositaries, etc., and third, so that any calls from the Mayor or the police department for assistance to preserve public order could be promptly met. For this purpose there were continued or established six military districts, whose commanders were as follows:


First district : Col. Charles Morris, Artillery Corps.

Second district: Maj. G. W. McIver, 4th Infantry.

Third district: Col, Marion P. Maus, 20th Infantry (relieved May 10 by Col. Alfred Reynolds, 22d Infantry).

Fourth district: Brig. Gen. John A. Koster, National Guard of California (not under command of the army).

Fifth district: Col. Albert L. Myer, 11th Infantry.

Sixth district: Col. J. A. Irons, 14th Infantry.

These troops were for a brief period under the direct orders of the division commander, and even later, when they were returned to the control of the commanding general, Department of California, it became necessary in emergencies to communicate directly with them. Touch was also kept through the inspectors of the division staff, who daily visited the various headquarters, and also their daily reports to the commanding general, Department of California, which were forwarded to the division commander.

The management, control, and discipline of the troops were excellent, there being but two instances reported in which any enlisted men were charged with grave misconduct, The reports in these cases were transmitted to the commanding general, Department of California, for trial on general charges. Fortunately neither misconduct had serious results.

The most important duties were those devolving upon Colonel Maus, who guarded the business center in the burned district, and Lieutenant-Colonel Irons in the Mission and Potrero districts. The latter, in addition to an enormous number of destitutes, was contiguous to San Mateo County, where flagrant disregard of the proprieties of the occasion was shown by open saloons. This situation naturally forced more or less intoxicated persons upon the districts. However, by tact and vigilance, no serious disorders arose. Major McIver, in the Golden Gate Park district, was brought into direct contact with more than 4,000 destitutes, whose care and sanitation were long under his intelligent and efficient supervision.

The division reserve at the Presidio was in turn commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Irons; Maj. H. C. Benson, 14th Cavalry; Col. Alfred Reynolds, 22d Infantry, and Col. M. B. Hughes, 1st Cavalry.


To satisfactorily administer relief operations of such magnitude, especially with an inadequate personnel and uncertain supplies, it was of primary importance to formulate and publish a systematic plan of operations, which was done on the day that the army assumed charge of this duty. This plan (published in General Orders, No. 18, April 29, hereto attached) divided the city into seven civil sections whose operations are described under " Relief food distribution."

The administrative work was organized in four divisions, as follows

1. System of relief food distribution.

2. Receipt, storage, and distribution in bulk of all stores.

3. Providing food supplies and filling approved requisitions.

4. Providing supplies other than subsistence and filling approved requisitions.


The officers in charge of these four divisions transacted business direct with each other and with outside applicants, so as to insure an efficient and prompt service. The officers in charge of the seven civil sections previously enumerated were charged not only with coordinating the work, but also with instituting methods to prevent dishonestly and wastage, to eliminate impostors, and to reduce the relief stations as to number and personnel. They were also to carefully instruct their subordinates as to requisition methods, to restrain lavish issues of food, and to exercise discretion in giving articles of special diet to children, women. and the sick.

The stations from which food was issued were so located as to facilitate prompt relief and in such numbers as too afford speedy delivery. The supervision of these numerous stations was through daily examination by division inspectors, supplemented by occasional conferences of issuing officers with the chairmen of the relief sections. Rigid economy was not only enjoined, but the irresponsible use of relief funds, which had previously proceeded on individual judgment, was forbidden. All officers were required to make requisitions, with a brief statement of needs, and to present them in person or by authorized representatives to an officer designated by division headquarters so as to expedite business and restrict wastage. Expenditures in advance of allotments were strictly prohibited. Officers in charge of supply departments were required to report the condition of stores under headings of those actually received to date, those reported in transit, and those issued daily, whether to stations under army control in the city or to towns outside of San Francisco.

Meanwhile a permanent relief ration was fixed, which in nutritive value corresponded to about three-quarters of the ration for an enlisted man of the Army. Such ration was enforced from May 1, the issues being of articles named or proper equivalent substitutes. The needs of infants, invalids, and nursing women were recognized by the issue of special diet when prescribed. Prior to the fixing of this ration food to great variety and excessive quantities was issued so long as supplies lasted to every applicant without questioning,


Among the conditions, on resuming command, which made the most effective work impossible, was the extensive decentralization of funds and authority. When, on April 27, the work of relief was undertaken, there was not a dollar, as far as Government funds were in question, under the immediate control of the division commander. The Citizens' Committee assured me, however, that any expenditures incurred would be met from funds at their disposal; a most satisfactory and generous offer of assistance, but which it was clearly foreseen would entail embarrassment and criticism. Official advices were received that the appropriation of two and one-half millions, under joint resolutions of Congress, had already been overdrawn in the form of allotments and in the value of issues made from the stores on hand.

The depot quartermaster, the depot commissary, the medical supply officer, and the chief signal officer were amply supplied with funds which were being spent independent of any local authority,


though these officers were willing to furnish supplies which the division commander might request. In addition, the surgeon in charge of the General Hospital, the surgeon at Fort Mason, and probably others were incurring indebtedness without any supervision by, or any authority from, the division commander, assuming correctly that their accounts would be paid either by the United Slates or out of the Red Cross relief funds. It was evident that the continuance of such methods would necessarily impair the efficiency of the service by incurring irresponsibility and division.

The confused condition of affairs was such on May 4 that the status of the disbursements and indebtedness of relief funds was impossible of determination. On representation to the Secretary of War, he authorized, on May 5, a centralization of funds and, a supervisory control of expenditures. This largely corrected useless and extravagant expenses, although they continued to some extent. An appeal was made over the division commander's head for expenditures not absolutely necessary for relief purposes. Such action was later coupled by a declination of one officer to pay accounts unless each one was specifically ordered by the division commander. This resulted in the centralization of all the funds under one officer, a course whose wisdom has been fully emphasized by present experiences. Under similar future emergencies, a like centralization should be made at the beginning and not near the end of the work. There was then available for expenditure by the division commander in San Francisco such sums as could be obtained by turning back to the United States unused supplies, which could be credited at their money value. Through the medium of Major Devol there were collected and transferred to the general quartermaster's depot, supplies to the value of $266,812.07. Restrictions were made on expenditures of other bureaus, and there were added to this amount unexpended sums from the Medical Department of $97,200.89, from the Subsistence Department of $14,354.68 and from the Signal Corps of $1,036.88, aggregating in all $112,592.45. From this amount there was expended up to July 18 by Major Devol, in whose hands these funds were centralized, the sum of $224,634.08, thus leaving an apparent balance of $114,770.44 [$154,770.44?], against which there are outstanding authorizations of $79,832.60, which may be slightly increased by later orders.


In addition to verbal instructions to such disbursing officers as were under the control of the division commander, a regular inspection of all money accounts relating to relief funds appropriated by Congress was made by Lieut. Col. John P. Wisser, Artillery Corps, acting inspector-general. Colonel Wisser reports on July 12, 1906, that the accuracy of the vouchers was verified and the legality of the expenditures determined in each and every case. He stated that suitable methods for protecting the interests of the Government were followed in making purchases, particularly since May 1, 1906. While extreme difficulties attending the making of purchases and the obtaining of services in San Francisco since April 18 caused all actions to be necessarily of an " emergency " character, yet proper inspections of materials were made when possible, and well-known


and reliable firms were dealt with when practicable. Disbursements were made to date of inspection as follows:

Signal Corps.-Services, not clerical, $1,227.20; material, $3 ,735.92; total, $4,963.12.

Chief quartermaster, Department of California.-Services, not clerical, $50.

Medical supply depot.-Services, clerical, $5,187.91; not clerical, $11,426.96; material, $36,184.24.

Purchasing commissary.-Services, clerical, $1,480; not clerical. $11,901.55; material, $43,621.89; total, $57,003.41.

Depot quartermaster.-Services, clerical, Pacific Division, $2,013.84; Department of California, $466.50; depot quartermaster, $1,521.84; total, $4,002.18, Not clerical, depot quartermaster, $41,608.09; permanent camps, $18,989.16; chauffeurs, $3,182; total, $63,779.25.

Transportation: Land, $48,195.58; water, $2,027.50; autos, $16,544.25; total, $66,767.33. Material: General, $19,805.52; autos, $13,558.45; auto supplies $778.36; total, $34,137.33.


The general quartermaster's depot of the Army, in San Francisco, passed in a day from a well-ordered, effective system to chaotic conditions. All warehouses and offices in the city were destroyed by  noon of April 18, with supplies amounting to over $2,200,000. Recourse was at once had to the surplus quartermaster's stock at the Presidio, where fortunately, 3,000 tents were available, making it possible to relieve immediate distress and shelter many of the homeless. This shelter was later supplemented, especially during the torrential rains of April 23, by large issues (13,862) of ponchos and about 20,000 blankets, to protect the shelterless thousands, an action which relieved much distress and probably saved lives. Many refugees were without shoes, while the footgear of others was in a terrible condition from work among the débris of the fire. To relieve these, the army promptly issued 40,173 pairs of service shoes.

The promptness of the War Department and the generosity of the American people started enormous quantities of relief stores to San Francisco. With a less able quartermaster than Maj. C. A, Devol congestion and confusion would have seriously interfered with the processes of relief, but he immediately made systematic arrangements to receive and distribute these supplies with the least possible delay. With unerring judgment he selected the best available points of operation, as was evidenced by the fact that no changes therein were found necessary. In all his work Major Devol justified his previous reputation as an officer of great administrative ability through his masterly arrangement of the receiving, storing, and transportation of relief supplies. The army supplies alone issued by Major Devol aggregated in value to date $717,141.42. Through efficient subordinates at Oakland pier, Point Richmond, Folsom street dock, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe freight depot, the Presidio dock, and the Southern Pacific Railroad yards at Fourth and Townsend streets enormous quantities of supplies were handled without delay or unusual confusion. At first the urgent necessities of the situation required delivery from car to boat, from boat to wagon, and from wagon direct to the people, time not permitting a proper segregation


of the components of the ration or of the relief clothing. At the earliest possible moment three more commissary depots were established, and later two clothing depots, where room and opportunity for segregation and regular issues were possible.

The most difficult problem, however, was that of local transportation, the entire system of street railways being entirely interrupted, teams scarce, and most streets impassable, so that floats, boats, pack trains, etc., had to be utilized.

The demands of the army work alone necessitated two extensive corrals, where the quartermaster's teams during the greatest emergency numbered 228, When the civilian system of relief transportation was taken over by the army it necessitated an enormous increase of teaming under very difficult conditions, between the central depots and the distributing supply stations. This most important duty was intrusted by Major Devol to Capt. Peter Murray, who found, on assuming charge May 2, no less than 557 hired teams engaged in transportation. By skillful planning and personal attention Captain Murray within forty-eight hours reduced the number of teams engaged in this work to 109 hired teams, at a cost of $918 per day, assisted by 30 Government teams, making 139 in all. This rearrangement, assuming rates of pay by the quartermaster and the city to be the same, made a saving of $3,519 per day for the 418 teams laid off.

Nor was the safe transfer of these stores through San Francisco and their delivery in bulk at the storehouse a question readily solved. Under the previous supply system robbery and diversion were rife. Stores were issued by the wagonload, and drivers bringing only three or four packages demanded and obtained receipt for an entire load. It is needless to dwell upon this unpleasant phase of relief work. There was but one remedy, which could not be applied until additional officers and men reached San Francisco. Then every wagonload was guarded by an armed soldier, who was responsible for the safe delivery of the stores as they left the depot. The most extensive looting of relief cars occurred in the yards of the Southern Pacific Railway. In their vicinity were large numbers of destitutes who acted on the principle that these being stores for the public needs, every man had a right to take what he could. It was not until the arrival of the 1st Cavalry that it was possible to safeguard all carload lots. Each and every case of looting reported to these headquarters in writing was made the subject of an investigation. It is to be said that in connection with the looting of supplies the officials of both the Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railways invariably cooperated with the military authorities in determining the fact and in the use of deterrent measures. It may be added that the opinion toward the relief stores on the part of the large number of destitutes, though not of the whole, was to the effect that the supplies were given to the citizens of San Francisco. In consequence thousands acted upon the assumption that each man had a right to get his own without intervention of any relief organization. The fact that there were 60,000 refugees in Oakfand and 10,000 more suffering from the earthquake disaster, from San Jose on the south to Santa Rosa on the north, did not appeal to the general mass of destitutes in this city. Naturally this view was not held by the officials responsible to the country for the proper management of affairs.


The quantities of stores handled by Major Devol in the four weeks beginning April 18 was enormous. They covered the receiving, unloading, transportation, and storage of the contents of 1,331 cars, aggregating approximately 26,620 tons, and of 20 steamers with approximately 5,700 tons, making an average of 1,154 tons a day. Considering the conditions under which this work was done, it was a wonderful feat in transportation. To July 20 the freight aggregated 1,702 carloads.

Among other economies of the relief fund carried out by Major Devol is the storage of supplies on the transports Crock, Warren, and Buford. At a critical period when railway congestion threatened I assumed the responsibility of ordering their use for such purposes with the resultant saving to the relief fund of $3,000, which the storage charges would have amounted to.

Mayor Devol contributed very materially to the efficiency of the Red Cross work through the purchase under short time proposals for clothing and other urgently needed supplies. Through his well­trained corps of inspectors much work was done which resulted in insuring the delivery of goods to the Red Cross conforming in material to the special occasions.

The special mention here of any officer among the seventeen subordinates of Major Devol would be invidious, each having rendered most zealous and efficient services.


Large quantities of new army clothing were issued to the destitute in the early days of the disaster, but the unwisdom and extravagance of general issues were immediately recognized and their discontinuance ordered. It was apparent that the issue of focal and the providing of shelter were all-important problems at first, as the mildness of the climate did not demand much additional apparel to that ordinarily worn. As has been before stated, the most pressing need of clothing was met by the army by issuing while the fire was in progress large numbers of shoes, shirts, ponchos, etc., which was lone at the Presidio with utmost promptness. The first great distress over, attention was turned to the regular means of provision and issue. Believing that such work pertained to the Red Cross organization rather than to the army, I so advised Dr. E. T. Devine. At his urgent request, however, I consented to organize a special depot for clothing and household supplies, which was to be administered at the expense of the army and under the control of an officer. It was clearly understood, however, that the functions of the army should not include the designation of the persons to whom clothing was to be issued, nor the actual issues to applicants. The army was to receive and verify the shipments, segregate and arrange them, and be responsible for their transmission in bulk both from the railway to the depot and from the depot to the issuing stations, and also fill all requisitions filed by authorized agents of the Red Cross. Save in a very few instances in the great distress of the early days, no issues were made on the approval of an officer of the army. In short, the army did all the work except that of actually designating the person and passing the clothing to him.


The work of distributing clothes to 200,000 homeless people was one of such magnitude that with a small force of volunteers and an enormous number of destitute applicants speedy and satisfactory action was impossible. After a conference between us, Doctor Devine decided to stop all issues until the enormous quantities of clothing on hand could be unpacked and arranged. This great work was undertaken by Capt. J. J. Bradley, 14th Infantry, the warehouse selected being the Crocker School, on Page street. This building was soon filled to overflowing, and it became necessary to establish a second warehouse where second-hand clothing, which had been received in large quantities, could be similarly arranged for distribution. The depot containing the second-hand clothing was organized in the Everett School under charge of Capt. Robert Field.   Doctor Devine's agents took in hand the duty of clothing distribution, there being placed at each camp a suitable Red Cross agent who determined the meritorious cases, eliminated the impostors, and made the issues. These depots were so admirably managed by the army as to elicit the special commendation of Doctor Devine, who agreed with me that they facilitated, to the greatest possible extent, the prompt and economical distribution of clothing to the thousands of distressed applicants.

The utmost vigilance was necessary on the part of Captain Bradley to prevent thefts, and the same method was followed here as with subsistence supplies-that is, every load of clothing was guarded to its destination by an armed soldier, who was responsible for the safe delivery of the article listed. While all Red Cross requisitions filled by Capt. J. J. Bradley seem to amount to enormous numbers, yet in reality they are astonishing by the small amount of stores issued. For instance, the total amount of underwear for men, women, and children aggregated only 74,278 shirts, 82,923 drawers, and 128,972 socks, and there were issued 70,127 pairs of shoes and 85,580 blankets. It thus appears that the 200,000 homeless people must have been largely clothed elsewhere than from these supplies. As elsewhere stated, however, 40,173 pairs of shoes were issued by the army at the Presidio. Of course, large numbers of destitutes were clothed in Oakland, Berkeley, and elsewhere.

In general it may be said that the small demands for clothing emphasize the resourcefulness of San Franciscans. However, it is to be understood that very large quantities of clothing were issued through private charities. Mr. Raphael Weill, for instance, gave away to destitute women 5,000 complete suits, but as this subject pertains especially to Red Cross work it is not further considered.


Under the supervision of Lieut. Col. John A. Lundeen, inspector­general, a most efficient system of inspection was organized on April 22, which kept me fully informed as to the progress of events in San Francisco, furnished data for improvements of methods, and enabled the correction of abuses and neglects of various kinds. To this important service were assigned officers of rank, experience, and discretion. The officers serving on this duty were Col. Sedgwick Pratt, Artillery Corps; Lieut. Col. A. C. Sharpe, 30th Infantry; Lieut. Col. W. L. Pitcher, 28th Infantry; Lieut. Col. G. K. McGunnegle, 17th


Infantry; Lieut. Col. J. P. Wisser, Inspector-General's Department; Lieut. Col. Lea Febiger, Inspector-General's Department; Maj. E. W. Howe, 27th Infantry; Maj. H. B. Moon, 10th Infantry, and Maj. O. M. Lissak, Ordnance Department. Each officer was assigned a special district over which he rode daily, keeping under his observation all matters which could effect the public order, the health of the city, the correction of abuses, and especially the relief of the destitute. They used my authority whenever cases of extreme destitution were brought to their attention, and immediately remedied such situation by orders for food, clothing , medicine, or shelter. These officers at 5 p.m. daily reported their observations, there being present at the conference General Funston, Major Devol, Major Krauthoff, Doctor Devereux, Colonel Jocelyn, Captain Haan, Major Dunning, and, when occasion required, Colonel Heuer. The entire situation was daily known by every officer charged with important duties.

To this systen of inspection and the daily reports and conferences I attribute the satisfactory control of the many problems of local and current importance. The acuteness of observation, soundness of judgment, and pertinency of suggestions on the part of these officers were frequently noted by me. They played a most important part in the accomplishment of the great relief work undertaken by the army.

It may be added that the very harmonious work of these officers was most gratifying, especially in view of the fact that Colonels Pitcher, Sharpe, Pratt, and McGunnegle were all senior to Lieutenant-Colonel Lundeen, the inspector of the division. This is another indication of the willingness in emergencies of typical officers of high rank to take up duties of great public importance without advancing technicalities.


For prompt and efficient relief work means of communication by telegraph and telephone were necessary. The earthquake practically destroyed all lines of information within the limits of San Francisco, every office of the Western Union, Postal Telegraph, and Commercial Pacific Cable companies being interrupted. The Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company was rendered practically useless, few lines remaining and those in operation for a few hours only. Neither the Presidio nor Fort Mason, both within the limits of the city, could reached by telephone or telegraph after the earthquake. In short, the city of San Francisco had reverted to the ante-telegraphic period. Until noon of the 18th a Postal Telegraph wire worked intermittently. From about 2.30 p. m., April 18, until 8.30 a. m. of the 19th there was no wire working out of the city. From 8.30 a. m. Thursday, the 19th, until Friday noon, one wire, that of the Southern Pacific Company at the ferry, handled by Mr. Le Coats, afforded the only telegraphic communication with the outside world.

Fortunately the Signal Corps of the Army was amply provided with field material. Under the personal supervision and direction of Capt. Leonard D. Wildman, Signal Corps, whose most efficient services are especially mentioned by General Funston, such speedy action was taken as established a military telegraph line between the Presidio of San Francisco and the outskirts of the fire, where an office was established by 10 a. m. of April 18 at Haight and Market streets.


From that time, General Funston remained in telegraphic communication with the Presidio, Fort Mason, Fort Baker, and Fort Miley, and next morning with the Southern Pacific Company's office at the ferry. Interruptions by fire and otherwise occurred to the Signal Corps lines, but by unremitting efforts they were of short duration. By the aid of the operators, instruments, and material of the Signal Corps the Western Union Company was enabled to open a city office on April 20 and the Postal Company on the 21st. The Commercial Pacific cable system was restored on April 23.

The entire system of local communication in the burned district was dependent on the military telegraphic lines until May 10, Captain Wildman established a military system of 42 telegraph offices and 79 telephone offices, which connected with all the military districts, the Federal buildings, the railroad freight offices and depots, the offices of the Mayor and Governor, and other important points. While no service can be called indispensable by itself, yet it may be said that the efficient transaction of most urgent public business, the relief of extreme destitution, and other remedial measures in San Francisco were made promptly possible through the system of military telegraph and telephone lines thus installed and maintained. The volume of business may be judged from the fact that a thousand messages a day were handled, many of great length, It was not alone the number of messages, but the saving of time which facilitated enormously the extended work in hand.

From personal observations, the division commander confirms the statement that Captain Wildman's services were of special if not extreme value.


These duties were first intrusted to Lieut. Col. George H. Torney, deputy surgeon-general. U. S. A., who, in addition to his special work in command of the Army General Hospital at the Presidio, was serving as chief surgeon, Department of California.

The magnificent and well-equipped General Hospital was left by the earthquake with disabled power plant, deprived of its water supply, without telegraphic or telephonic connections, and its buildings more or less injured. These adverse home conditions did mot prevent prompt medical relief. On the first day 127 city patients were admitted to the hospital, followed the next day by 145 others from hospitals burned or threatened. When the capacity of the wards was exhausted, the Hospital Corps barracks were vacated and fitted up for relief work temporarily. In addition, large numbers of refugee patients were received at the hospitals of the Presidio and Fort Mason, and other facilities were extended through tent emergency hospitals. On the arrival of Company A, Hospital Corps, a field hospital was established in Golden Gate Park to care for the sick among the thousands of refugees there having temporary shelter.

On April 20 Colonel Torney's cooperation with the civil authorities commenced at the request of Dr. J. W. Ward, president of the health commission of San Francisco. It was fortunate that an officer of Colonel Torney's ability and professional attainments was available for this work, which has been performed in an able manner. He acted as head of a committee appointed to insure between the army and civil authorities coordinate action relative to sanitation of


the city. In this capacity the inhabited parts of the city were divided into districts, with a medical officer in charge of each. He also assumed control of the camps of refugees on the Presidio reservation and Fort Mason and in Golden Grate Park and exercised sanitary supervision over other small city parks. A hospital for contagious diseases was established April 21, at Harbor View Park, large enough to accommodate 200 patients. It was admirably situated four this work, through its water supply and laundry pavilion.

In the beginning needful medical supplies were freely issued from the General Hospital to hospitals and camps. On April 21 a medical supply depot was improvised in tentage within the grounds of the General Hospital, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brechemin deputy surgeon-general, U.S.A., who assumed charge of the work, his entire depot of medical supplies having been destroyed in lire city. Medical supplies have been promptly issued by Colonel Brechemin to all authorized applicants. Vaccine virus was also freely distributed on requisition. Twenty-six dispensaries were speedily opened where free medicines and free medical attendance were available to every applicant. The wonderful health of the city and the not unreasonable complaints of destitute doctors and druggists that such action was most injurious to them caused me to soon reduce the number to six, which were very speedily still further reduced to one, with the consent of the city authorities and of the health commission.

Except for the first week, when many slight and minor injuries were treated and delicate persons placed on the invalid list, the hospitals of San Francisco were fully able and entirely willing to treat all cases. Indeed, it may be noted, as showing that there was no absolute need of outside medical help, that, as officially reported to me, one large hospital had some sixty vacant beds and was not called upon to attend to a single patient on account of the earthquake and fire. Nevertheless, the extensive precautionary arrangements by the Medical Department, though happily not absolutely necessary, were none the less wise in view of the many instances in the past where epidemics have followed great disasters,

As soon as settled conditions obtained, it seemed best to return to army methods and control. Cooperation with the Board of Health had not proved entirely satisfactory, as it devolved responsibilities and expenses upon the army far exceeding the advantages derived from a system wherein the army could only express its opinions without means of enforcing them.


On May 13 there were 50,000 people living in more than 100 separate camps, of which 21 were under military control. The health commission was unable to care for these great and extensive problems thrust upon them, and the sanitary conditions were gradually becoming worse and worse. In many cases there was neither power, personnel, nor money to remedy even the worst conditions which were daily reported by the inspector-generals of the military division.

On May 13 official cooperation between the health commission and the army ceased by the relief of Colonel Torney. Dr. J. W. Ward., president of the health commission, was informed, with the assent of


Mayor Schmitz, that thereafter the army would neither assume responsibilty nor incur expense connected with the sanitation of the city of San Francisco, but that medical advice would be given on any particular problem, should such counsel be desired. It was further stated that the army assumed the entire control and expenses of medical and sanitary measures connected with the 21 military camps.

In reorganizing this service Army Regulations were followed, the relations of the camp surgeons and commanding officers to be identical with those obtaining at military posts, Colonel Torney remained as chief sanitary officer until May 33, on which date, with the consent of General Funston, the duties devolved upon Col. C. L. Heizmann, who succeeded Colonel Torney as chief surgeon, Department of California. Colonel Heizmann's extended experience and professional knowledge were freely placed at my disposal. To as great an extent as was practicable, his recommendations were followed, though, owing to the scarcity of officers in the Medical Department, I reduced the requisition for additional surgeons of the Army from 25 to 10, depending on the local profession in case of an emergency,

The most rigid supervision was exercised over military camps in which there were at different times 20,000 refugees, and a close eye was had on 25,000 scattered campers not under our supervision, and the 5,000 in temporary shacks. In addition to rigid daily inspections by the surgeons and commanders the camps were often visited by the officer in general charge of camps and his chief surgeon. The division inspectors kept close watch on the outside private camps. Careful attention was given to limiting fly infection by screening the kitchens and insisting on the use of gauze over all cooked food. Reed troughs were added in every camp, and in the larger camps odorless excavating machines were utilized. Facilities for washing, for bathing, and for laundry work were furnished as far as practicable.  The tents were floored and daily ventilation and the exposure of the interior of the tents to sunlight were insisted upon. Provisions were made for the prompt transfer of all serious cases of sickness to selected hospitals so that the attention of the camp surgeons could be given almost exclusively to sanitary and precautionary measures. The daily report showed an average sickness of less than 3 per cent.

Whenever a case of typhoid fever occurred in or near any one of the military camps the utmost care was used to thoroughly disinfect everything connected with it. As typhoid cases were almost entirely contracted outside of military camps, instant and suitable action was urged on the municipal authorities. Later, samples of water in common use were collected weekly and cultures made there-from to determine its potable safeness. Every resident of a camp who would consent was vaccinated. As to those refusing, it seemed best under the condition of the public mind to defer compulsory vaccination until smallpox should break out in some camp, which it did not. The cooperation of the health department and of every hospital in the city was secured relative to typhoid fever cases, and a daily report thereon was made. Every case was traced to the point of its original infection, and these were charted on a map of the city. While the cases were sporadic, yet when two or three developed in the same general neighborhood the sanitary conditions of the district


were carefully examined by division inspectors. Steps were then taken to enforce suitable sanitary regulations and to removing the campers through the medium of the Mayor, the health department, and the police.

Asst. Surg. J. R. Devereux, in charge of the medical data at these headquarters, reported, in part, on the conditions from April 18 to June 23, as follows:

We have an account of 99 cases of typhoid fever-of these, 4 cases occurred prior to April 18; of the 93 remaining cases, 30 originated in April, 55 in May, and 10 in June. Of these 95 cases there are remaining 49, either in hospitals or in private houses, 17 have died, and 33 have been discharged as cured. Of the 49 cases remaining, there are 4 in the United States General Hospital that are, to all intents and purposes, cured cases, so that we have practically but 45 cases of typhoid fever remaining in the city. Of the total number of cases reported only 5 were derived from permanent military camps whose residence was sufficiently long to have made their infection possible at these camps.

Of the smallpox cases, there were admitted in the Smallpox Hospital in the month of April, 74 cases , with 9 deaths; in the month of May, 41 cases, with 2 deaths, and in the month of June, 8 new cases and no deaths, and there are 25 cases remaining in hospital. The total number of cases, therefore, is 123, with 11 deaths. There have been, approximately, in the permanent camps, 13,000 people (as an average) and only one case has originated in a camp under our control.

It is too much to assume that this wonderful record of freedom from infectious disease among a population of 50,000 persons living in camps has been due to methods followed or precautions taken. It is, however, reasonable to assume that the above precautions, along the lines recommended by medical officers of the Army, served as preventives against the development of sporadic cases into an epidemic.


The question of providing temporary shelter for the 200,000 homeless people who remained in San Francisco was facilitated by the mildness of the climate, the abundance of canvas, and the considerable numbers of convenient squares and public grounds. Three thousand tents were promptly available at the Presidio, and large numbers were later received. In every convenient spot outside of the burned district there speedily sprang up tent cities and temporary barracks, into which the destitute crowded as fast as they could be erected. Although the unburned houses were thrown open with the greatest freedom and generosity to stranger and friend alike, yet a week passed before the entire community was sheltered. In several places barracks of considerable extent were speedily erected. Those in Golden Gate Park and the Speedway were provided with excellent sanitary arrangements for sewage and refuse.

As early as May 1 I urged the extreme importance of constructing on public grounds additional temporary buildings for at least 10,000 people, but such action was not favorably considered by the relief authorities. The conditions under which lived many, outside of the army camps, were often insanitary, and it was speedily evident that concentration into large camps under military supervision would best insure the public health. Although recommending this scheme to the


Mayor, it was with the distinct announcement that the army would use neither moral stress nor physical force, relying upon the attractiveness of properly constructed, well-policed, and orderly camps against others of heterogeneous character,

The system of permanent military camps was reorganized and defined by General Orders, No. 29, of May 13, under which 21 (18 in San Francisco) of the so-called permanent camps were eventually established under army control. In charge of this work was originally placed Lieut. Col. R. K. Evans, who was known as the commander of permanent camps. There were also detailed as assistants eight of the especially detached officers, besides the 1st Squadron of the 1st Cavalry, under Major Gaston, and Companies B, D, E, and F, of the 10th Infantry. This camp system was made an independent command, and the commanding officer of each camp was entirely responsible for discipline, the sanitation, and for the execution of all orders and regulations.   In short, each camp was considered an independent military post. In addition to a chief surgeon for all the camps, a medical officer of the Army was assigned to each camp with suitable medical assistants in the way of enlisted men of the Hospital Corps, and with civilian physicians on the ratio of one doctor to each 700 persons.  Upon the relief of Colonel Evans, on May 31, the command of these camps passed to Maj. Joseph A. Gaston, 1st Cavalry, under whose supervision they were brought to a high degree of perfection.

Entire responsibility for the sanitation was assumed by the division commander, the chief sanitary officer being responsible for the assignment of suitable medical officers for the efficient control of sanitary matters. They were particularly charged to devote their entire energies to the work of thorough sanitation, and proper arrangements were made for the removal of garbage and all other refuse. In addition to the inspection of the camp restaurants by the camp surgeon, there was eventually detailed a medical officer of the army whose business it was to see especially that these restaurants were maintained in the best condition, sanitary and otherwise, consistent with the surroundings. As to the inmates of these camps, there were no restrictions on personal conduct or liberty save for three purposes­those of decency, order, and cleanliness. Unless occupants were willing to conform to those three simple rules they were obliged to forego the benefits of Government canvas, Government bedding, and relief stores. The camps are made attractive by first assuring order, cleanliness, and also by giving the occupants for a time coffee and sugar in addition to the three components to the ration issued elsewhere, namely, bread, potatoes, and meat. Gradually methods of general messing were introduced which had a tendency to cause those with money or credit to purchase their food and rely upon the Government only for shelter and bedding. At each camp was stationed a small guard to insure order and enforce the simple regulations formulated for the conduct of the occupants.

The Red Cross was asked to station at each came a competent agent to look after the registration of the occupants, investigate cases of fraud or imposture, issue clothing, and determine the special needs of the applicants, particularly of those who could be placed on a self-supporting basis, This agent was to be an understudy to the officer


in charge, with a view of the transfer of the camp to this agent as soon as conditions were such as to justify the Red Cross in assuming this duty. Necessarily the camp population was a shifting one, and while the maximum number was 22,617, it is estimated that not less than 25,000 persons availed themselves of these camps while under military control.

It is gratifying to note that the interest of the regular officers in these camps and their occupants was not merely professional and perfunctory, but they exhibited a special desire to look after the moral and mental welfare of the occupants, as well as to provide for their physical wants. In more than one camp arrangements were made to open school for children, with a view of guarding them against the lowering tendencies of camp life. It was astonishing to note how much was accomplished by the intelligent application of army methods by the intelligent and zealous commanders, who labored unceasingly to bring their camps to the high standard of the Regular Army. Sanitary regulations were rigidly observed, good order enforced, the few turbulent and intemperate being promptly ejected. The scavenger service was good and infectious diseases almost absolutely absent, the cases requiring slight medical care rarely exceeded 2 per cent. The latrines were of the most modern character and the kitchens fly-screened. Water was furnished in abundance, and, wherever practicable, not only for drinking, but for washing, bathing, and laundry service. The potable condition of the water supply and of each camp was determined weekly by means of cultures, developed in the General Hospital. Complaints as to food were few, but they were promptly investigated, and the restaurant system was made as satisfactory as could be expected. The furnishing of clothing and the service of rehabilitation was carried out by the Red Cross and not by the army. Some have considered that a not unimportant factor in the preservation of public health was the clean, orderly, and systematic life which was necessarily lead by the occupants of these camps. In any event they admirably contributed to the comfort of the homeless people of San Francisco.


Work relative thereto was assigned to Maj. C. R. Krauthoff, depot commissary, whose duties were so satisfactorily and promptly performed that every demand upon the Subsistence Department has been immediately met, despite most adverse conditions. Major Krauthoff's untiring energy, personal supervision, and professional knowledge contributed largely to the great success of this work, in which he was aided by 14 efficient assistants.

On April 18 the general commissary depot, all its stores, and its records were destroyed by fire. Major Krauthoff, by the morning of April 19, had established a temporary depot at the Presidio, where action was immediately taken to issue such food as could be spared from the Presidio of San Francisco, Fort Mason, and Fort Miley. To meet the universal destitution the bakery at the Presidia was pushed to its utmost extent, and the hungry, exhausted refugees were fed with bread and coffee. All available food supplies in possession of the Subsistence Department in San Francisco were promptly hauled


to the reservations where refugees had assembled and distributed to every hungry applicant. The work of gathering such food was continued until the men were driven from the subsistence warehouses by the fire.

The first volunteer relief food reached the city on the morning of April 20. Nine hundred thousand army rations, purchased by the War Department at Vancouver Barracks, Seattle, and Los Angeles, proved to be well-balanced and satisfactory. The officers and men worked night and day, especially in efforts to secure sufficient bread and fresh meat. These important components of the ration were furnished with great difficulty, considering that not a bakery in San Francisco remained with machine power, and that special arrangements had to be made for the slaughtering of cattle.

In the operations of the Citizens' Relief Committee no attempt was made to issue rations, but large wagonloads of assorted supplies were sent out to distributing stations. When the army assumed control issues were made on the basis of a fixed relief ration of suitable nutritive value, the components in many cases being necessarily substitutes from the great variety of supplies. These supplies were housed at suitable points, while issuing depots were organized with the capacity of receiving and issuing daily with dispatch 400,000 rations. The magnitude of this work is shown by the fact that the average daily issues from April 30 to May 12 exceeded 250,000 relief rations. Major Krauthoff had also to care for the potatoes and other perishable vegetables, of which more than 200,000 sacks were in store at one time. Under Major Krauthoff's supervision there was established, in addition to his ordinary depots, one for special supplies, under Capt. J. N. Kilian, in the Moulder schoolhouse, this being one of the nine depots and subdepots established for this work. The details connected with this part of the work of the Subsistence Department is noted under the following head:

Special diet issues.-In connection with this work, the value of well-trained subsistence officers, such as are found in the Army, was strikingly instanced. The importance of proper methods of receipt, storage, delivery, and care of food supplies was most evident in connection with the stores for special diet. Special provision was made from the first (General Orders, No. 18, Pacific Division, paragraph IX, April 29, 1906) for the proper nourishment of the sick, invalids, and particularly small children and nursing women. That such consideration might be generally and promptly shown, provisions were made for issues on the certificate of a physician or in the discretion of the chairman of the relief section. In order to facilitate the special diet issues to the sick in hospitals and to others, a separate depot was established in the Moulder School, Page and Gough streets, which was most systematically and satisfactorily conducted by Capt. J. N. Kilian, commissary. By the use of specially constructed refrigerators, fresh meat, milk, butter, and other like articles were kept protected from the flies, heat, and other deleterious influences, so that the issues from this depot were always in first-class condition. If there were any instances of suffering for lack of suitable diet, it was not for lack of care and preparation on the part of the army, but must have been incidental cases which might easily arise among such great numbers of destitutes.



While the quantities of relief food were enormous in the aggregate yet, as they were largely volunteer gifts, thev 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. 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


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 eases 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.


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 focal was necesarily 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. 146) 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.


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.


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, Inspector­General'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,


For the twelve ensuing days after the count began the daily issues averaged 254,957 being to 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 carve to the front and by energy and hard work prevented any actual sufferring 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 count 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.


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 tinder Colonel Febiger's supervision during May and little 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 trade 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


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.


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,


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, 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 to 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:

  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 intrusted to our care.


As citizens we feel that the army in time of peaee 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.


It is gratifying to report that neither in San Francisco results 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 consensus 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 satisfactions 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.



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.


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.


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.



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. Budger, 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.


Under the personal direction of Mr. E. 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 ever 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.


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


towns and cities and also as to the congested state of adjacent towns from the overflow of destitute refugees from San Francisco. At the earliest possible moment attention was given to these sufferers, which is treated under the heads of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Sausalito districts, and relief of the Chinese. The number of destitutes outside of San Francisco was variously estimated at from 75,000 to 90,000, which, with those in the city, made an aggregate certainly exceeding 400,000.


While the calamities in San Francisco from their magnitude over­shadowed those in other parts of California, yet the relief work in that city was not permitted to entirely engross the attention of the army. An inspector sent on April 23 to Santa Rosa reported that the entire business portion of that thriving town had been destroyed by earthquake, but fortunately the sanitary conditions remained good and excellent order prevailed. Under an energetic local relief committee all homeless people were provided with shelter. Relief stores had been received, and the only stores needed were certain medical supplies, which were immediately forwarded. On April 30, in company with Secretary of Commerce and Labor Victor H. Metcalf, Governor Pardee, and Doctor Devine, I visited Santa Rosa, when the situation was found to be well in hand, there being no urgent need for further supplies.

Santa Rosa suffered very severely from the earthquake, its relative financial loss being perhaps greater than in San Francisco, but fortunately Santa Rosa escaped the horrors of expensive fire. Relief operations have been conducted under local committees, which have been supplied liberally with funds, food, and medical supplies. Matters rapidly assumed normal conditions, and the only criticism which could be made was the variety and quantity of food issued, which was lavish from an array standpoint. Efficient safeguards were instituted by the relief committee against fraud and imposition.


Conditions were investigated on May 6, when the situation was found to have been thoroughly cared for by the local relief committee. Fortunately charge of this work fell upon Mr. Hersey, whose energetic, businesslike, and persistent efforts admirably handled the entire situation. A small Federal guard was asked for and promptly ordered, but was ordered back on telegraphic information that the necessity therefor had passed. The business portion of San Jose was seriously damaged, and the calamity was enhanced by the deaths of 21 persons during the earthquake. Near San Jose a State asylum for the insane (Agnew's Asylum) was totally destroyed, the casualties aggregating 81. San Jose not only provided for its own destitutes, but extended aid in various forms to San Francisco refugees therefrom.


Berkeley was practically uninjured by earthquake, but it became a refuge for a thousand or more destitutes from San Francisco. Through the efficient and timely efforts of the president of the Univer-


sity of California, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, and of Mrs. Wheeler, the relief was ably and satisfactorily handled by a local committee. While the possibility of military supervision was once under consideration, yet at that time neither officers nor men were available. It transpired that the local efforts, so ably directed, were equal to all demands. Berkeley was supplied with relief stores in like manner as Oakland had been, but happily the administrative burden of prompt and suitable distribution did not devolve upon the army.


Oakland fortunately escaped any serious injuries from earthquake, and was spared the calamity of fire. It was, however, filled with refugees from San Francisco, the number in the early days being estimated from 50,000 to 75,000. The situation was promptly taken in hand by an energetic relief committee, of which the Rev. E. E. Baker was chairman. Fifty thousand dollars was allotted Oakland from the funds sent to San Francisco, but I um uninformed as to whether or not additional sums were sent to Governor Pardee and Mayor Mott for specific use in that city. Large quantities of relief supplies were shipped direct to Oakland, and whenever these were deficient in quantity or quality they were promptly supplemented by supplies billed to San Francisco, the diversions being made through Capt. Jesse M. Baker, the efficient quartermaster at Oakland pier, so as to avoid transshipment.

Realizing that the extent and continuance of the relief problem were overtaxing local resources and forces, Governor Pardee and Mayor Mott, in a conference with me, expressed the opinion that the time for military supervision in that city had arrived. There was absolutely not an officer or man who could be spared for that work. Fortunately, Gen. Charles A. Woodruff, retired, an officer of marked ability and intelligence, volunteered his services as civil aid, and served in that capacity in connection with the relief operations of Oakland , Alameda, and Berkeley from May 1 to May 8. He placed himself in communication with Mr. J. P. Edoff, the representative of Mayor Mott, and the Rev. E. E. Baker, chairman of the Oakland relief committee. General Woodruff found many different relief organizations in Oakland, all working independently and without controlling central authority. Noble as were these efforts in spirit and theory, yet their disassociated action had the consequential results of extravagance and waste, not to mention the encouragement of repeaters and impostors. General Woodruff, by tactful methods and personal appeals, succeeded in gradually concentrating the greater part of these organizations.

The rations issued originally by the generous-hearted people of Oakland were, to say the least, of a most liberal character, both as to quantity and quality. Gradually the great variety of food was reduced to absolutely essential articles-bread, vegetables, meat, sugar, coffee, and tea. The sick and delicate were, however, liberally supplied with a special diet suited to their physical needs, as recognized by medical officers and other officials.

Doctor Baker and Mr. Edoff heartily cooperated in General Woodruff's efforts to concentrate the destitutes and reduce the lavish generosity of issue to a plain living ration.


General Woodruff performed his difficult duties with very marked success until an officer was available for his relief. This officer, Maj. James B. Erwin, 9th Cavalry, entered upon his duties with energy and zeal. The relief committee, although gradually withdrawing from the work, cooperated as fully as circumstances would permit with Major Erwin, and furnished allotments to cover all his operations which were in the direction of economy and concentration.

In view of the very large number of destitutes and their scattered condition, there was ordered to Oakland for cooperation in relief work five troops of the 1st Cavalry, under command of Maj. O. J. Brown, the whole force being placed under Major Erwin's orders as far as relief work was concerned. These troops, under Major Brown's careful supervision, conducted their operations in Oakland with the same efficiency as regards relief work and with the same good conduct as has characterized the work of the army in San Francisco.

Basing his line of operations on those formulated by me in San Francisco, Major Erwin steadily labored to concentrate the refugees into selected camps, where meals were furnished. He immediately placed himself in relations with the relief committee, of which the Rev. E. E. Baker was chairman, and Messrs. James P. Taylor and James P. Edoff energetic financial members. The expenses of the work were met by allotments from the funds at the disposal of the relief committee, which in the aggregate received $100,000 from San Francisco.

Major Erwin reports that the Oakland relief committee performed most efficient work through its subcommittees on registration, housing, health, employment, investigation, etc. It was estimated on April 20, when the work was organized, that there were about 60,000 destitute refugees in Oakland, which number had been reduced to about 30,000 when Major Erwin look charge. As showing the efficiency of the Oakland relief committee and the high character of the refugees it may be stated that employment was found by the committee for 7,538 males and 2,835 females-in all, 10,373.

The Oakland committee had the same phases of experiences as elsewhere, its early operations being marked by lavish issues of all kinds to every applicant. As Major Erwin says:

The idea of affording relief was forgotten in extending a boundless hospitality to the unfortunates of a sister city, and the real objects for which the relief committee was formed were lost sight of. However , the idea of the committee that the relief extended should be prompt and sufficient, when deserved, was right and proper.

Major Erwin recognized the necessity of systematizing the methods of transportation, storage, and records, which was promptly put in operation. He wisely placed his employees on the pay basis, and made efficiency the guaranty of continued employment. The issue of food and clothing to refugees was based on the principle that after the first emergency only the worthy deserved assistance, and that the wisest plan was to rehabilitate applicants as soon as possible. On assuming charge there were no less than 50 separate camps and stations caring for 24,407 destitutes, while possibly 5,000 more were scattered through the city independent of these depots. The necessity of concentration was evident, and this was done through the medium of a camp at Adams Point, where all were brought, except the Chi-


nese , who were retained in a separate camp. Major Erwin recognizes the services of Capt. Jacob F. Kreps, 22d Infantry, in arranging and establishing the camps, which was carried on in the same admirable manner by Capt. De R. C. Cabell, 1st Cavalry, and Capt. John T. Nance, 9th Cavalry, who were in turn successors. A liberal and varied diet was furnished through the medium of a general mess. The sanitation was excellent, connections having been made with the sewers, and water plentiful. Good order was maintained, and the policing was always good. The camp was discontinued in June, 578 people with their tentage and baggage being transferred to San Francisco camps, while the other occupants, by receiving supplies for thirty days or more, were placed on the basis of independent support.

The Chinese, in a camp established independently on Lake Merritt, were cared for in the same systematic and satisfactory manner as were the occupants at Adams Point. Under a Chinese superintendent the camp was maintained in excellent condition, its occupants never causing trouble, and, although located in the resident portion of the city, it was so admirably handled that its presence was never a cause of complaint. His excellency the Chinese minister inspected carefully the Chinese camp near the end of May, and was so gratified with the proper care of his destitute countrymen that he arranged for the future location, under Major Erwin's supervision, of the destitute Chinese in permanent wooden structures.

The services of the 2d Squadron of the 1st Cavalry, under Maj. O. J. Brown, and Troop I, 1st Cavalry, under Capt. W. G. Sills, were most efficient and satisfactory. Major Erwin says:

The conduct of the men of the 2d Squadron was most excellent and their deportment, as well as military appearance,both on and off duty, was a matter of most favorable comment by the citizens of this city. Alameda, and Berkeley.

I am indebted to Maj. O. J. Brown, commanding this squadron, to the officers in it as well as to Captain Sills and Lieutenant King, of Troop I, for a steady and loyal support which never failed me.

Major Erwin reports that from May 7 to June 3 there were issued 499,315 rations, and the cost of the relief work to the date of its closing, while under his charge, aggregated $25,722.45. He followed the same lines of restriction as had been formulated and applied in San Francisco.

Major Erwin's work has been praised by his excellency Governor Pardee, and Mayor Mott, of Oakland. The Oakland relief committee formally expressed its appreciation of the work done by Maj. James B. Erwin, Capt. R. R. Raymond, and First Lieut. Harris Pendleton, jr., by a formal resolution which mentioned the ability and courtesy of these officers in successfully solving the difficult social problems assigned to them.


It is estimated that about 10,000 destitutes from San Francisco sought refuge in Marin County, across the bay, from Sausalito north to Bothin. The scarcity of officers and men made it impracticable at first to exercise much supervision over these unfortunate refugees. Food was freely supplied from San Francisco and distributed by the local relief committees to every applicant. On assuming charge of the relief work I declined to continue such arrangement, but formulated regulations under which requisitions for food must be made by the supervisors or other executive authority.


On the arrival of selected officers, the care of these people was intrusted to Capt. Parker W. West, who with his assistants were actively engaged in eliminating the unworthy and providing suitable accommodations for the remainder. The number of these destitutes, originally some 10,000, was reduced to about 500 on June 30. They were scattered in outbuildings through the outlying districts or camped in detached bodies, but eventually these were concentrated near San Rafael. There was never extreme destitution among them, but they received such careful attention as their condition demanded.


My intimate relations and knowledge of these officers cause me to speak of their services with hesitation, but to ignore them would be unwarranted. First of all should be stated the fact that all of the division records were saved through the devotion, energy, and foresight of these officers. The physical work alone was exhausting, as the office was on the eighth floor of the building, with no elevator running. No record of any value is known to have been lost.

Col. S. P. Jocelyn, my chief of staff, was a wise counselor and valued inspector. He left May 1 for Europe. The efficient work of Colonel Heizmann, of Lieutenant-Colonels Lundeen, Torney, and Febiger, and of Majors Devol and Krauthoff are mentioned elsewhere. Lieutenant-Colonel Wisser increased his reputation as an officer of special ability, his services as a general inspector being greatly enhanced by his intimate knowledge of San Francisco. Major Dunning, as military secretary, by systematic efforts and close application, has admirably handled the immense volume of additional business which has devolved upon an untrained and insufficient force, themselves serving under conditions of difficulty and hardship. Captain Haan's services have been invaluable, not only in the early days, but especially since May 1, when he has acted as chief of staff. Capt. F. L. Winn, acting as my aide-de-camp, performed especially valuable research work, which placed before the country the first definite list of fatalities and seriously wounded in San Francisco. Later his accumulated data completely disproved the current rumors that murders were committee by regulars, not a single person being thus killed.

Col. W. H. Heuer's professional advice regarding the water supply, electric railways, and other engineering questions made his services most valuable to me. Major McKinstry was most zealous and energetic in providing temporary shelter.

All these officers worked excessively, the hours of duty averaging seventeen daily until May 1, gradually diminishing thereafter. It is gratifying to recall that as an evidence of the fine vitality of the American officer, that not one has missed an hour's service by illness or disability. Practically the same statement is also true of the entire military force in San Francisco.


As has been stated elsewhere, the enlisted men of the Regular Army, almost without exception, displayed high qualities of manhood throughout the extended service. They were courteous in deportment, conciliatory in bearing, and considerate of the people, besides being faithful in their military duties. Verbal reports have been


made to me of frequent cases in which enlisted men of the Regular Army, whose names are unknown, contributed greatly to the comfort of homeless people, removing the sick, making personal sacrifices, and furnishing supplies for persons to whom they were unknown. Probably the most striking instance of the sound sense, mental appreciation of the situation, administrative ability, and practicability were exhibited by three privates. Frank P. McGurty, William Ziegler, and Henry Johnson, all of Company E, 22d Infantry. Two of these men, separated by the fire from their command on the afternoon of April 19, were later joined by the third. They applied themselves to the relief of the destitute people in their vicinity on Jones street. These destitutes, numbering nearly 3,000, consisted principally of Italians, with a few Chinese and Japanese. Stopping the individual seizing of stores, these privates established a relief station at the corner of Bay and Jones streets, opened a bakery, and worked day and night, until they were found by Maj. C. A. Devol, depot quartermaster, and continued in their work by Inspector-General Febiger. These men cared for nearly 3,000 people in the way of food and shelter, and later distributed blankets and shoes issued from the army stores at the Presidio. They also secured 50 tents and organized a camp capable of accommodating 500 people, and arranged for the accommodation of about 1,500 others in shacks adjacent to the camp. In this case the division commander has recommended the issue to each man of a certificate of merit for most efficient and humane services and for voluntarily taking charge of the administration of relief to several thousand destitute refugees in San Francisco immediately subsequent to the great tire of April, 1906.


The services of the army in San Francisco is a unique page in military history. They have been formally recognized by the division commander in General Orders, No. 42, hereto attached, with all other pertinent general orders of the division since April 18.

Despite the strict professional training of the United States Army, it has shown unexpected powers of adaptability to unprecedented and difficult conditions. Accustomed to supreme command, it has known in a great public calamity how to subordinate itself for an important civic duty-the relief of the destitute and homeless. In this work there were no signs of military degeneration, in officers or men. Thrown into intimate relations with the State and municipal authorities, serving side by side with the National Guard of California, and with the police department of San Francisco, cooperating with the great civil organization of the Red Cross, its operations have been free from violence, from quarrels, and even from bickerings. It has received only commendation from the State, the municipality, and the local press.

I do not think it too much to claim that this service demonstrates the adaptability of the average American, who makes an unsurpassed soldier without impairing his higher qualities as a man and as a citizen.

Very respectfully,

Major-General, Commanding.
  War Department.






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Last updated 10 April 2006