Newspaper Page Text
EDGEFIELD, S. C., \#DNESDAY, JULY 1, 1914 NO. 15.
COLLISION AT SEA.
interesting Personal Experien
ces. A Near Disaster on
Th'e Pretoria. Land in
When I decided to go to Europe
the dangers attendant npon an
ocean voyage were the most dread
ed ol' all the ills and inconve
niences of travel. The memories of
th? awful fate of the Titanic had
not faded from my mind when 1
lead a few weeks ago of the great
loss of life and the sinking of the
Empress of Ireland. But being re-,
minded by an obi colored person of
the old saying that lightning never
strikes in the same place wt accept
ed that homely philosophy along
with many other assurance of safety
and sailed on the eleventh of June
from Sonth Brooklyn. At the pier
were hundreds of people waving
farewell to the Pretoria as she start
ed on her journey. Some were
laughing and waving tiny United
States tlags and bouquets of flowers
while others were sad and weeping
as the ship fade.i from their -;ght.
Some were so anxious for the las:
glimpse of loved ones that they ran
along the platform to the extreme
end and remained there until we
passed from their view. A little giri
about five years old cried during tin
entire time nnroreour departure in
bidd ng good-bye to some one,
probably an aunt or cousin. It ap
peared unwise to me to subject a
child to such suffering, for it >eem
?d as if her heart would breik as she
clung to the lady with ber little
arms around her neck. In that vast
crowd there was not a familiar face
to us but the parting of the lady
and child brought te irs to our eyes
.and we were really glad that we
did not have to pass through such
Afi?V witnessing such a scene and
the order,"All ashore" was given
severing all connection with the
homeland a feeling of sadness came
over us for we realized fully then
that we were leaving behind us all
that was dearest in the world. We
could not rid ourselves of these
gloomy forebodings that seemed to
warn us of some approaching dan
But we tried to divert the mind
by becoming acquainted with our
new surroundings, locating our
stateroom, steamer chairs, rugs,
dining room tickets and various
other little items. There are about
360 passengers besides the steerage
and crew and for some time after
starting there was great confusion
on board before everything was ad
justed and settled for the journey.
The Wicker party had steamer
chairs on the promenade deck on
the north side of the vessel, each
one marked with the owner's name
and supplied with a steamer rug. I
We were quite willing to remain in I
these chairs for the Hr6t afternoon
on board looking out at the smooth |
calm waters and ;he clear sky that
was so soon to b.come cloudy and
bring us into terrible danger. The
first night passed quietly and the
timid ones were somewhat re-assur
ed for the days that were to come.
The captain's chair is near our and
the second afternoon out he seem ed
worried and had little to say, final
ly giving orders for the fog horn
to be blown.
The atmosphere became very
heavy and damp, and the fog was
so thick that the water could scarce
ly be seen from the railing. The
loud blasts of the fog horn con
ti nued after bed-ti me but our party
retired at the usual time with a'
fair degree of composure and most
of them were able to sleep accord
ing to later accounts.
The collision between our boat
and the New York occurred about
3 o'clock Saturday morning. The
stewards ran through the halls
erying, "Collision. Everybody on
deck," but I did not hear them nor
did I feel the shock that many ex
perienced. I don't know what
awakened us but suppose it was the
noise around me. I ran out and ask
ed what was the matter, but as this
is a German vessel all of the crew
.speak German and I could not un
derstand them but I knew that
something terrible had happened
for people were running around in
their night clothes in the wildest
excitement. I went back to my
state room and put on my skirt and
coat. Helen awoke and was so
If riff') tened she could scarcely Hud
any of ' her clothes. Bot I threw
something around her and was rush
ed upstairs oh deck. At first we
didn't sec any of nur party and
could get no satisfactory informa
tion as to the trouble. So we stood
there, cold speechless (with
fear, expecting anv moment that
the worst would happen. We heard
the order for the life boats to be
lowered and expected to be in them
lin a short while.About that time we
saw Mr. and Mrs. Dill, our good
friends from Gaffney who explained I
the cause of the disaster and ex
pressed the opinion that the danger
was not so great as it first appeared.
Others came up then and we learned
more of the details and felt some
what comforted. As we were on the
opposite side we did not see the
steamer New Yo.rk that was visible
to so many others.
I enclose experiences from some
of the passengers who saw tiie oth
er ship. One account is from a very
intelligent German lady from Port
laud, Oregon, Mrs. Backrodt .ind
there arc others who had different
experiences from minc which may
We sat on deck until morning as
sleep was impossible and listened to j
the various stories of the catastro
phe. We all wore life preservers
and as we were grouped on deck
one of our party got a snap shot of
us as a melancholy reminder of the
flight. The stewards served us
coffee about four o'clock in the
morning to ''estore our drooping
spirits. After ' was all over we be
gan to see the humorous side as we
recalled the appearances of some
of the terror-stricken passengers.
One was attired in a heavy bath
robe with a vest over that and oth
ers were not encumbered with abun
dance of clothing. I left everything
in our state room, purse, suit cases,
everything except an Ingersoll
wraicu that we held tightly clasped
in our hand. One gloomy passen
ger anuo un ced to us when wo were
recovering a little from the shock
that we were slowly sinking, but
contradictory testimony kept us
from despair. Some say that they
vere not frightened but the majori
ty agree that it was one of the most
terrible moments of their lives.
We went down tne next morning
and saw the hole in the ship about
six feet long made by tearing one
anchor away. As this was 25 feet
above water line there is no danger
but if it had been nearer water we
would have had a similar catastro
phe to that of the Empress of Ire
land. We can't say where the blame
suould be placed. Our captain is
always very careful and we think
he managed well.
The Pretoria is 17 years old. and
is now on its 118th trip and this is
the first collision.
We have regained our composure
now and having escaped sea-sickness
hope to have a pleasant journey the
remainder of the trip. We can't get
any mail so the only communication
that we have with the outside world
is by wireless telegraphy, which
gives very meagre accounts of the
disaster and other current events.
We are thankful that we are all
safe, not a single person being in
jured on either vessel. This letter
will be mailed at Boulogne, France,
the first stopping place en route to
Hamburg. Our steamer letters have
been read and re-read and have been
worth their weight in gold.
Mamie 2s'. Tillman.
At 3:30 of the early morning
watch I was awakened by a sudden
jarring of the vessel. I sat up and
listened to hear ii anything was
wrong. At once a ship-servant
cried ont along the hall, "Collision,
all out on de^k." Hurriedly dress
ing, my.wife and I ran D the part
of the deck occupied by our party.
It was a time of intense excitement.
It was reported that in collision
with the New York both ships weie
injured. Wild confusion was on
the New York and women and men
screaming. I drew ont a couple of
chairs and told Mrs. Dill we had
best sit quietly and reserve our
strength iii ca*e we had to leave
the ship. We bowed in prayer to
gether for God's protecting care for
us all. Soon the Captain came by
and spoke a word in German. I
?called to him to speak in English.
I Ile sai 1, 'There is no danger at
all." The hole m our strip was
high above tue water line and all
was well. A few hours later I had
a talk with tho Captain. . He told
me that the New York was over
80 miles out of her sailing track.
Tn the collision his prow struck the
? Now York, and cut an tgly gash
.ju feet long and :? fool wide, about
10 fret above nor water line. He"
held his vessel in against the Neje
York until ber Captain called out.
I to draw out, as the ?lainage was
above his water line. In the coTJJf
sion the anchor on the left of our
prow was torn away and carried off
by the oilier vessel,, leaving a hole",
by 0 feet, but 25 feet above our]
water line. There was no dancer
at all, ano we could easily continue
Rev. J. T. Dill,
Gaffney, S. C.
I am requested to express my
feelings experienced from the lini
ment of the collision of our, steamer
ap to the time when we had been'
assured by T he Officials that we
were safe. Having faced the death
several times in my life I am con
siderably insured from feeling of
fear or panic. for nobody but my
dear parents for whom I am guiug
now* were my first and last thought*
during this torturing hour. I can
not say very much more, because to
analyze my feelings more it woura
be necessary to sink Pretoria by
head, or at least to call "S. 0. S??
Prof. Alex V. Skilinskye .?
Moscow, Russia. j
rnuay evening was the first time
that I had really noticed the fog
horn. It had blown in its melari-:
choly \v?y but once until I decided
to retire and so I did under some
peculiar feeling, which I am unable
to. describe. When I felt the clash
about 3 a. ra. Saturday between the
''New York'r and our "PretorisT
there was a .throb in my mind,
which precision in thought..--*tyfiC
words is alike unattainable,
as I looked through the port-hole
and saw the steamer, there were
three preeminent and predominant
thoughts that passed through my
mind; namely: First; It is a good
thing it's morning. Second; The
answer I gave io a question put to
me about a year a^o (i. e.) In times
of difficulty and danger, in whom
do you put your trust?1' Third:
a short piece of poetry,
Behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadows.
Keeping watch above His own.'
Rev. Paul B. Clark,
Co vi nirton, Ky.
I felt a shock and jumped out of j
bed and someone turned on the
light. I had ray bed lowered and
looked out of the port-hole and
said: ''We have company at night.
There is a collision." There was a
steamer all lighted up against the
railing of our ship, with passengers
running to and fro screaming in
great excitement. There was one
woman perfectly nude with a baby
in her arms. I went into hall bare
footed. I saw people coming out of
cabins. Then signal was given to
lower life boats. Each one was
trying to calm the other. One
lady told me to put on life preserver.
I said no, it will do no good. If
we have to e~o down 1 prefer to go
as I am. Then First Officer ?ame
in and had coffee served to all and
we sat quietly and waited foi our
Mrs. A. G. Bachrodt
I felt the shock when the two
boats collided, and upon rising
from my berth aud looking through
the port hole I saw a vessel very
near us. I could see men and wo
men running to and fro and seem
ing v-ry much excited. I heard
much noise, and upon reaching the
upper deck was told by some of
the officers that there had been a
collision between our vessel and the
Steamer New York, but that the
danger was past and that the New
York had proceeded on her way.
This kept me from feeling afraid,
and it was not until several hours
later that I learned that our vessel
had lost an anchor, and that there
was quite a hole torn in her above
the water line and that we had had
a very narrow escape.
Mrs. D. A. Covington,
Monroe, N. C.
It was shortly after ten o'clock
wpep I first heard that the captain
had crone above because ol' a heavy
fog.- About tlii-! time the fog horn
sounded first and from that time
?n?! I fell asleep we heard it every
Uh ree minutes. I do not know what,
j waked me, but'at three-thirty (ora
tf&tje before) I heard voices and
j^dunds of feet on the deck above.
)king out of my Port hole, I be
Ji?Td a ship fully ?lighted and pass-|
in? us at full speed. On her deck
jr^re women and children in great
^Mteraent running to and fro. By
rt hiv time I felt our ship stop with a
>adderi lurch, and with a feeling of
great anxiety 1 hurriedly dressed
?ind rushed on deck, where I found j
-^O?t of our party, some wearing life!
preservers, others carrying them. !
Some even had small hand, bags!
If was light enough for ns to see
'everything perfectly, and the ships 1
corps were clearing and uncovering:
ihe life boats From the olKclals
i.o one could gel a word of informa- !
lion except that "It is nothing."' I
ware in the middle of the Sea, with ;
every wheel of machinery stopped, :
it is little wonder, when one rc-!
membered the security fell by the
passengers on the Titanic, and the
great disabler of the Empress of
Ireland, that all taces were blanch- j
ed with terror and that wild rumors!
The captain assured us over and
over that there was nothing. "Go j
below ladies, there is nothing!
wrong" he would say, but the ladies
(and gentlemen) refused to move.
At last with smiling faces the
deck stewards came around announc
ing coffee is served in the dining
room." I believe this was the tirst
time that every one felt reassured
and the timid comforted. Later we
learned that the New York had
collided with the Pretoria carried
away her auchor and left her
(?j^unded but not crippled.
" The perfect diaeipl ine of the 'crew
of the Pretoria is to be much prais
ed, and after this experience we
k-el much safer in the hands of our
good Captain, who held his vessel
in the rent of the other until he had
t tlked with the other captain and
\>as assured that all was well.
I hen to bc doubly sure he held his
v-?ssel still until he had heard from
t:ie New York twice by wireless,
taat she was unharmed and was
proceeding on her way to New
If such precaution had been ob
Nerved by the captain who wounded
t. e Empress of Ireland her history
might have been written differently.
Mrs. Annie G. Massey,
Hot Springs, Ark.
Of course it was on Friday night
li it on Saturday morning at 3:l?
oar S. S. Pretoria, plunged her
anchor into the S. S. City of New
York. We were going East, our
a ichor fastened on North side of
b )W, but the Nev, York had great
Double in pulling to the South side
ot'S. S. Pretoria before breaking
anchor loose and after tearing a great
bole about ten feet above water
?line in Our Pretoria S. S., Our
Aachor was lost in the S. S. City
or N. Y. tearing a great hole about
3-> ft. by 6 ft. just above Water
Line,, but the Captain of N. Y.
tuld Capt. M. Dugge of Pretoria to
back away as there was no danger.
To be certain our Captain nat
urally thought of the recent disas
ter of the Empress of Ireland. So
Captain Dugge held his bow to the
City of N. Y. until there was no
I danger, but the people were wild
jon N. Y., screaming to the top of
j their voices, begging and pleading
I lor help. And of course we were
all scared to death. Some coming
out almost naked, some asleep, oth
ers wild to know where the others
of their loved ones were. One
poor Italian was a steerage
passenger and when the auchor
pulled out just over his head he
made a successful run to top Deck,
.even by the Captain's Deck and got
into one of the life boats and there
curled up and hid himself. After
no danger was assured by the Cap
tain he pleaded for all to go back
to their rooms but not a one would
go. In a few minutes the Chief
Surgeon who had his wilts said,
'"Coffee now being served in dining
room." So nearly all went in and
partook of the coffee to settle our
excitement. This was a collision
that none of us want tue experience
over. I asked the Captain if S. S.
ever exchanged mail in Mid Ocean
and lie said never, that he got loo
j close to 8. 8. last night to feel
good. This description can never
j be told accurately for both the Cip
! tains of Pretoria and of S. 8. New
I York are far different in iheir
j views, neither of them tell ?nu- the
same story. And yon can't find
lout head nor tail. None of the
I crew will tell you anything. And
in all it is an experience never to be
W. E. .Massey,
Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Pretoria, June 2?, 1914
It seems that two weeks on
hoard a vessel would ?rive ample
time for writing but there is never
a quiet moment when one can col*
?oct thoughts. So I have concluded
io select a very noisy spot where a
band concert is in progress and
everybody talking in the halls out
It is the general opinion that it
is fatal to joncentrate the mind
either on reading or writing, for it
will lead quickly to mal-de-roer.
Until wubin a few days ago we
have spent most, of the ti:!:e on
deck, but now it is too cold and
windy, and we are all io the salon.
Just before dinner tonight we j
passed the Vaterland off ihe coast
of Ireland and everybody jumped
up from the table and ran out to
see it. A* we ?zet near land, we
see many vessels going in both di
rections. The passengers are be
ginning to brighten up and get
ready for landing on Wednesday.
There are 704 people on ship, in
cluding steerage and crew.
Wednesday morning June 23.
We are in the North sea n-^ar
Hamburg, where we hope to land
tonight if we reach there before the j
custom house closes at 8 o'clock.
Later than that will cause us to re-,
main on steamer over ni&ht, raak
in g fourteen days on water. '
The English channel was perfectly
smooth, and not at all boisterous as
we expected. Generally it is quiet
I going lengthwise of it, but exceed
ingly rollah in crossing from Dover
to Calais against the current.
The first sight of land at Scilly
I-lands was refreshing on Monday.
'.Ve ctn appreciate in a small de
gree the happiness that such a sight
L.ive Columbus. Since then we are
? constantly in sight of land, but it is
too cold on deck to watch the
? changing scenes, and rattier misty
and fog?*y to get a clear view.
: Yesterday we stopped at Boulogne,
I France for passengers going lo
Paris and other points. It was an
exciting event as we reached the!
! shore and the smaller boat came
lip for those leaving us. Soras of
them were pleasant acquaintances
made during the voyage and we
were sorry to say good-bye. Among
them were Mrs. Parker and daugh
ter of Macon, Ga. She is the state j
regent of D. A. R., and her daugh
ter is going to Paris to study voice
for a year, but Mrs. Parker will re-j
turu in August, after seeing that
ber daughter is comfortably situa
ted. As our vessel approached, our
band played in honor of the depart
ing passengers. There is a formi
dable looking fortress at Boulogne
which is an entra?e tc France.
We got a glimpse of land at
Lizard Point on English coast, and
the farra lands as seen through held
glasses are beautiful. The land is
laid off in large squares, and each
section is thoroughly cultivated
wi:h different crops, presenting a
vari-colored picture. In one sec-j
tion seemed to be mustard with
yellow blossoms, and in others
around it were grains of all shades
of green, with a brown spot of
freshly harrowed earth intermin
gled. They say that every avail
able space is cultivated in England,
and they make a speciality of in
At Boulogue we had news for
the first time in eight days. Our
wireless has been out of commission,
so we were entirely cut off from
the outside world. There were
several German newspapers, but
only one English paper on board
which we eagerly scanned as it was
passed around among our party.
Last night being the night before
landing, th; customary captain's
dinner was given, which is the cus
tom on every trip. The dining
room was decorated with flags of
every size and every nation, and on
each table were tiny Hags and caps
! as souvenirs for guests. A special
menu carri was prepared, and one
j was presented to each person. The
[dinner was more elaborare than
J usual, consisting of several courses.
Ic is always easy t<-? distinguish a
( German meal, for howver grand,
?somedish will betray their national
taste. Along with turkey, aspara^
! gus, tish etc.. was served, boiled
. abbage stuffed w"ith ground meat
highly seasoned with onion and
pepper. After the last course, all #
the mottoes were read and every
body donned the colored paper
My steamer letters have been a
continual joy to me. and have been
read and re-read with infinite pleas
|.i:re. lam grateful to every'one
who was kind enough to remember
nie aud for their prayers and good
wishes. One lady in our party,
Mrs. Massey of Arkansas said she
believed we were saved on the night
of the collision by the prayers of
friends in the Homeland.
The Deestrict Sknle letters were
very entertaining, inspiring and en
couraging. I will never urgec
my dear sknle mates.
Dresden, Germany, June 26.
We have just reached here and
found letters from home. We had
a delightful day in Be ri in today.
Mamie N. Tillman
interesting Letter From Mt.
The Advertiser for last week was
especially interesting on account of
t!ie letter from "Uncle Iv." His
writing reminds one of Bill Arp.
He pictures his community so at
tractively that it would not be
surprising if our Edgeh'eld cclony
should follow him. and doubtless
!s"ine from the rocky clay sections
Icmlddosoto advantage. But if
they will come down this way they
(may have the same advantage with
out the trouble of crossing the riv
er. In this locality wo have a fine
sandy soil, much of it underlaid by
n good clay sub soil; and if some
good citizens from the upp-r part
of the county will move dowe here
I think i: would be beneficia! both
to them and to our neighborhood.
When w?? get our clayed road we
will be we'.i situated, and these in
comers coni'l bein us io get it.
Aiken county has finished claying
the road up to our county line, and
we can greatly appreciate tue dif
ference now in a trip to Augusta.
We hear favorable reports, also,
from our committee as to collect
iez funds for finishing the up o ir
parr, of the road; so weare beaming
We have had . fine rains recently
and our farmers are now stretching
every nerve to recover as nearly as
possible the loss from the drought.
Recently Messrs. Walter Carpen
ter and Willie Murphy sustained
considerable loss from the burning
of a barn, which contained guano,
farming implements, and other per
sonal prop?rty belonging to them..
Mr. Farrell Padgett is at home
again, after having spent more than
a year in the U. S. army.
Mrs. Mary Miller spent last week
with Miss Fanny Sullivan. In hon
or of her visit M^r. and Mrs. Sam
Garner, and Mr. William Garner,,
spent last Sabbath day in this pleas
Mrs. W. A. Pardue, as is her cus
tom, celebrated the 4th by holding
a family reunion, on this occasion
entertaining about thirty guests.
Dr. and Mrs. Giraud Whitlock
took advantage of our national holi
day to visit the parents of the for
iner, our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs.
J. C. Whitlock.
Speaking of neighbors, we find
that we are in a community where
there are real neighbors-those who
have sympathy for another's need
and will help one out in time of
trouble. This is belter than style,
and beats assumed aristocracy out
Miss Marie Padgett, is down
from Greenville visiting relatives
in this county. She ??wi4 be this
week with her aunt, Mrs. W J.
Gaines. Miss Padgett ? spent last
session in the Greenville Female
College, where she made a good
record, being one of six on the hon
or roll. She represented the col
lege Y. W. C. A. at Kansas City
and also at Black Mountain.
Protracted meeting will begin at
Mt. Zion church on the 4th Sunday
m this month. B. G.
Ml. Zion, July 0th.