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Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, The

CHAPTER XXI. SEARCHING FOR THE DEAD

SENDING OUT THE MACKAY-BENNETT AND MINIA—BREMEN PASSENGERS SEE BODIES—IDENTIFYING BODIES—CONFUSION IN NAMES—RECOVERIES

A FEW days after the disaster the cable steamer Mackay-Bennett was sent out by the White Star Line to cruise in the vicinity of the disaster and search for missing bodies.

Two wireless messages addressed to J. Bruce Ismay, president of the International Mercantile Marine Company, were received on April 21st at the offices of the White Star Line from the cable ship Mackay-Bennett, via Cape Race, one of which reported that the steamship Rhein had sighted bodies near the scene of the Titanic wreck. The first message, which was dated April 20th, read:

"Steamer Rhein reports passing wreckage and bodies 42.1 north, 49.13 west, eight miles west of three big icebergs. Now making for that position. Expect to arrive 8 o'clock to-night.

(Signed) "MACKAY-BENNETT."

The second message read:

"Received further information from Bremen (presumably steamship Bremen) and arrived on ground at 8 o'clock P. M. Start on operation to-morrow. Have been considerably delayed on passage by dense fog.

(Signed) "MACKAY-BENNETT."

After receiving these messages Mr. Ismay issued the following statement:

"The cable ship Mackay-Bennett has been chartered by the White Star Line and ordered to proceed to the scene of the disaster and do all she could to recover the bodies and glean all information possible.

"Every effort will be made to identify bodies recovered, and any news will be sent through immediately by wireless. In addition to any such message as these, the Mackay-Bennett will make a report of its activities each morning by wireless, and such reports will be made public at the offices of the White Star Line.

"The cable ship has orders to remain on the scene of the wreck for at least a week, but should a large number of bodies be recovered before that time she will return to Halifax with them. The search for bodies will not be abandoned until not a vestige of hope remains for any more recoveries.

"The Mackay-Bennett will not make any soundings, as they would not serve any useful purpose, because the depth where the Titanic sank is more than 2000 fathoms."

On April 22d the first list of twenty-seven names of bodies recovered was made public. It contained that of Frederick Sutton, a well-known member of the Union League of Philadelphia. It did not contain the name of any other prominent man who perished, although it was thought that the name "George W. Widen" might refer to George D. Widener, son of P. A. B. Widener, of Philadelphia. The original passenger lists of the Titanic did not mention "Widen," which apparently established the identity of the body as that of Mr. Widener, who, together with his son, Harry, was lost.

The wireless message, after listing the names, concluded, "All preserved," presumably referring to the condition of the bodies.

A number of the names in the list did not check up with the Titanic's passenger list, which led to the belief that a number of the bodies recovered were members of the Titanic's crew.

MINIA SENT TO ASSIST

At noon, April 23d, there was posted on the bulletin in the White Star office this message from the Mackay-Bennett dated Sunday, April 21st:

"Latitude, 41.58; longitude, 49.21. Heavy southwest swell has interfered with operations. Seventy-seven bodies recovered. All not embalmed will be buried at sea at 8 o'clock to-night with divine service. Can bring only embalmed bodies to port."

To Captain Lardner, master of the Mackay-Bennett, P. A. S. Franklin, vice-president of the White Star Line, sent an urgent message asking that the company be advised at once of all particulars concerning the bodies identified, and also given any information that might lead to the identification of others. He said it was very important that every effort be made to bring all of the bodies possible to port.

Mr. Franklin then directed A. G. Jones, the Halifax agent of the White Star Line, to charter the Minia and send her to the assistance of the Mackay-Bennett. Mr. Jones answered this telegram, and said that the Minia was ready to proceed to sea, but that a southeast gale, which generally brings fog, might delay her departure. She left for Halifax.

NAMES BADLY GARBLED

On April 24th no wireless message was received from the Mackay-Bennett, but the White Star Line officials and telegraphers familiar with the wireless alphabet were busy trying to reconcile some of the names received with those of persons who went down on the Titanic. That the body of William T. Stead, the English journalist and author, had been recovered by the Mackay-Bennett, but through a freakish error in wireless transmission the name of another was reported instead, was one of the theories advanced by persons familiar with the Morse code.

BREMEN SIGHTED MORE THAN A HUNDRED BODIES

When the German liner Bremen reached New York the account of its having sighted bodies of the Titanic victims was obtained.

From the bridge, officers of the ship saw more than a hun-dred bodies floating on the sea, a boat upside down, together with a number of small pieces of wood, steamer chairs and other wreckage. As the cable ship Mackay-Bennett was in sight, and having word that her mission was to look for bodies, no attempt was made by the Bremen's crew to pick up the corpses.

In the vicinity was seen an iceberg which answered the description of the one the Titanic struck. Smaller bergs were sighted the same day, but at some distance from where the Titanic sank.

The officers of the Bremen did not care to talk about the tragic spectacle, but among the passengers several were found who gave accounts of the dismal panorama through which their ship steamed.

Mrs. Johanna Stunke, a first-cabin passenger, described the scene from the liner's rail.

"It was between 4 and 5 o'clock, Saturday, April 20th," she said, "when our ship sighted an iceberg off the bow to the starboard. As we drew nearer, and could make out small dots floating around in the sea, a feeling of awe and sadness crept over everyone on the ship.

"We passed within a hundred feet of the southernmost drift of the wreckage, and looking down over the rail we distinctly saw a number of bodies so clearly that we could make out what they were wearing and whether they were men or women.

"We saw one woman in her night dress, with a baby clasped closely to her breast. Several women passengers screamed and left the rail in a fainting condition. There was another woman, fully dressed, with her arms tight around the body of a shaggy dog.

"The bodies of three men in a group, all clinging to one steamship chair, floated near by, and just beyond them were a dozen bodies of men, all of them encased in life-preservers, clinging together as though in a last desperate struggle for life. We couldn't see, but imagined that under them was some bit of wreckage to which they all clung when the ship went down, and which didn't have buoyancy enough to support them.

"Those were the only bodies we passed near enough to distinguish, but we could see the white life-preservers of many more dotting the sea, all the way to the iceberg. The officers told us that was probably the berg hit by the Titanic, and that the bodies and ice had drifted along together."

Mrs. Stunke said a number of the passengers demanded that the Bremen stop and pick up the bodies, but the officers assured them that they had just received a wireless message saying the cable ship Mackay-Bennett was only two hours away fron{sic} the spot, and was coming for that express purpose.

Other passengers corroborated Mrs. Stunke.

THE IDENTIFED{sic} DEAD.

On April 25th the White Star Line officials issued a corrected list of the identified dead. While the corrected list cleared up two or more of the wireless confusions that caused so much speculation in the original list, there still remained a few names that so far as the record of the Titanic showed were not on board that ship when she foundered.

The new list, however, established the fact that the body of George D. Widener, of Philadelphia, was among those on the Mackay-Bennett, and two of the bodies were identified as those of men named Butt.

THE MACKAY-BENNETT RETURNS TO PORT

After completing her search the Mackay-Bennett steamed for Halifax, reaching that port on Tuesday, April 30th. With her flag at half mast, the death ship docked slowly. Her crew manned the rails with bared heads, and on the aft deck were stacked the caskets with the dead. The vessel carried on board 190 bodies, and announcement was made that 113 other bodies had been buried at sea.

Everybody picked up had been in a life-belt and there were no bullet holes in any. Among those brought to port were the bodies of two women.

THE MINIA GIVES UP THE SEARCH

When at last the Minia turned her bow toward shore only thirteen additional bodies had been recovered, making a total of 316 bodies found by the two ships.

Further search seemed futile. Not only had the two vessels gone thoroughly over as wide a field as might likely prove fruitful, but, in addition, the time elapsed made it improbable that other bodies, if found, could be brought to shore. Thus did the waves completely enforce the payment of their terrible toll.

{illust. caption = ISADOR STRAUS

The New York millionaire merchant and philanthropist who lost his life when the giant Titanic foundered at sea after hitting an iceberg.}

{illust. caption = ICEBERG PHOTOGRAPHED NEAR SCENE OF DISASTER

This photograph shows what is quite...}

LIST OF IDENTIFIED DEAD

Following is a list of those whose identity was wholly or partially established:

ASTOR, JOHN JACOB.
ADONIS, J.
ALE, WILLIAM.
ARTAGAVEYTIA, RAMON.
ASHE, H. W.
ADAHL, MAURITZ.
ANDERSON, THOMAS.
ADAMS, J.
ASPALANDE, CARL.
ALLEN, H.
ANDERSON, W. Y.
ALLISON, H. J.

BUTT, W. (seaman).
BUTT, W. (may be Major Butt).
BUTTERWORTH, ABELJ.
BAILEY, G. F.
BARKER, E. T.
BUTLER, REGINALD.
BIRNBAUM, JACOB.
BRISTOW, R. C.
BUCKLEY, KATHERINE.

CHAPMAN, JOHN H.
CHAPMAN, CHARLES.
CONNORS, P.
CLONG, MILTON.
COX, DENTON.
CAVENDISH, TYRRELL w.
CARBINES, W.

DUTTON, F.
DASHWOOD, WILLIAM.
DULLES, W. C.
DOUGLAS, W. D.
DRAZENOUI, YOSIP (referring probably to
Joseph Draznovic).
DONATI, ITALO (waiter).

ENGINEER, A. E. F.
ELLIOTT, EDWARD.

FARRELL, JAMES.
FAUNTHORPE, H.

GILL, J. H.
GREENBERG, H.
GILINSKI, LESLIE.
GRAHAM, GEORGE.
GILES, RALPH.
GIVARD, HANS C.

HANSEN, HENRY D.
HAYTOR, A.
HAYS, CHALES M.
HODGES, H. P.
HELL, J. C.
HEWITT, T.
HARRISON, H. H.
HALE, REG.
HENDEKERIC, TOZNAI.
HINTON, W.
HARBECK, W. H.
HOLVERDON, A. O. (probably A. M.
Halverson of Troy).
HOFFMAN, LOUIS M.
HINCKLEY, G.
Hospital Attendant, no name given.

JOHANSEN, MALCOLM.
JOHANSEN, ERIC.
JOHANSSON, GUSTAF J.
JOHANSEN, A. F.
JONES, C. C.

KELLY, JAMES.

LAURENCE, A.
LOUCH, CHARLES.
LONG, MILTON C.
LILLY, A.
LINHART, WENZELL.
MARRIORTT, W. H. (no such name appears
on the list of passengers or crew).
MANGIN, MARY.
McNAMEE, MRS. N. (probably Miss
Elleen McNamee.)
MACK, MRS.
MONROE, JEAN.
McCAFFRY, THOMAS.
MORGAN, THOMAS.
MOEN, SEGURD H.

NEWELL, T. H.
NASSER, NICOLAS.
NORMAN, ROBERT D.

PETTY, EDWIN H.
PARTNER, AUSTIN.
PENNY, OLSEN F.
POGGI, ——.

RAGOZZI, A. BOOTHBY.
RICE, J. R.
ROBINS, A.
ROBINSON, J. M.
ROSENSHINE, GEORGE.

STONE, J.
STEWARD, 76.
STOKES, PHILIP J.
STANTON, W.

STRAUS, ISIDOR.
SAGE, WILLIAM.
SHEA, ——.
SUTTON, FREDERICK.
SOTHER, SIMON.
SCHEDID, NIHIL.
SWANK, GEORGE.
SEBASTIANO, DEL CARLO.
STANBROCKE, A.

TOMLIN, ETNEST P.
TALBOT, G.

VILLNER, HENDRICK K.
VASSILIOS, CATALEVAS (thought to be a
confusion of two surnames).
VEAR, W. (may be W. J. Ware or W. T.
Stead).

WIDENER, GEORGE W.
WILLIAMS, LESLIE.
WIRZ, ALBERT
WIKLUND, JACOB A.
WAILENS, ACHILLE.
WHITE, F. F.
WOODY, O. S.
WERSZ, LEOPOLD.

ZACARIAN, MAURI DER.

CHAPTER XXII. CRITICISM OF ISMAY

CRIMINAL AND COWARDLY CONDUCT CHARGED—PROPER CAUTION NOT EXERCISED WHEN PRESENCE OF ICEBERGS WAS KNOWN—SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON BOARD TO HELP IN WORK OF RESCUE—SELFISH AND UNSYMPATHETIC ACTIONS ON BOARD THE CARPATHIA—ISMAY'S DEFENSE—WILLIAM E. CARTER'S STATEMENT

FROM the moment that Bruce Ismay's name was seen among those of the survivors of the Titanic he became the object of acrid attacks in every quarter where the subject of the disaster was discussed. Bitter criticism held that he should have been the last to leave the doomed vessel.

His critics insisted that as managing director of the White Star Line his responsibility was greater even than Captain Smith's, and while granting that his survival might still be explained, they condemned his apparent lack of heroism. Even in England his survival was held to be the one great blot on an otherwise noble display of masculine courage.

A prominent official of the White Star Line shook his head meaningly when asked what he thought of Ismay's escape with the women and children. The general feeling seemed to be that he should have stayed aboard the sinking vessel, looking out for those who were left, playing the man like Major Butt and many another and going down with the ship like Captain Smith.

He was also charged with urging a speed record and with ignoring information received with regard to icebergs.

FEELING IN ENGLAND

The belief in England was that the captain of the Carpathia had acted under Ismay's influence in refusing to permit any account of the disaster to be transmitted previous to the arrival of the vessel in New York. Ismay's telegram making arrangements for the immediate deportation of the survivors among the Titanic's crew was taken to be part of the same scheme to delay if not to prevent their stories of the wreck from being obtained in New York.

Another circumstance which created a damaging impression was Ismay's failure to give the names of the surviving crew, whose distraught families were entitled to as much consideration as those whose relatives occupied the most expensive suites on the Titanic. The anguish endured by the families of members of the crew was reported as indescribable, and Southampton was literally turned into a city of weeping and tragic pathos. The wives of two members of the crew died of shock and suspense.

CRIED FOR FOOD

Mr. Ismay's actions while on the Carpathia were also criticised as selfish and unwarrantable.

"For God's sake get me something to eat, I'm starved. I don't care what it costs or what it is. Bring it to me."

This was the first statement made by Mr. Ismay a few minutes after he was landed on the Carpathia. It is vouched for by an officer of the Carpathia who requested that his name be withheld. This officer gave one of the most complete stories of the events that took place on the Carpathia from the time she received the Titanic's appeal for assistance until she landed the survivors at the Cunard Line pier.

"Ismay reached the Carpathia in about the seventh life-boat," said the officer. "I didn't know who he was, but afterward I heard the other members of the crew discussing his desire to get something to eat the minute he put his foot on deck. The steward who waited on him reported that Ismay came dashing into the dining room and said.

"'Hurry, for God's sake, and get me something to eat, I'm starved. I don't care what it costs or what it is. Bring it to me.'"

"The steward brought Ismay a load of stuff and when he had finished it he handed the man a two dollar bill. 'Your money is no good on this ship,' the steward told him.

"'Take it,' insisted Ismay. 'I am well able to afford it. I will see to it that the boys of the Carpathia are well rewarded for this night's work.'

"This promise started the steward making inquiries as to the identity of the man he had waited on. Then we learned that he was Ismay. I did not see Ismay after the first few hours. He must have kept to his cabin."

REPLY TO CHARGES

Mr. Ismay's plans had been to return immediately to England, and he had wired that the steamer Cedric be held for himself and officers and members of the crew; but public sentiment and subpoenas of the Senate's investigating committee prevented. In the face of the criticism aimed against him Mr. Ismay issued a long statement in which he not only disclaimed responsibility for the Titanic's fatal collision, but also sought to clear himself of blame for everything that happened after the big ship was wrecked.

He laid the responsibility for the tragedy on Captain Smith.

He expressed astonishment that his own conduct in the disaster had been made the subject of inquiry. He denied that he gave any order to Captain Smith. His position aboard was that of any other first cabin passenger, he insisted, and he was never consulted by the captain. He denied telling anyone that he wished the ship to make a speed record. He called attention to the routine clause in the instructions to White Star captains ordering them to think of safety at all times. He did not dine with the captain, he said, and when the ship struck the berg, he was not sitting with the captain in the saloon.

The managing director added that he was in his stateroom when the collision occurred. He told of helping to send women and children away in life-boats on the starboard side, and said there was no woman in sight on deck when he and William E. Carter, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., entered the collapsible boat—the last small craft left on that side of the vessel. He asserted that he pulled an oar and denied that in sending the three messages from the Carpathia, urging the White Star officials to hold the Cedric for the survivors of the Titanic's officers and crew, he had any intention to block investigation of the tragedy. Ismay asserted that he did not know there was to be an investigation until the Cunarder docked.

Mr. William E. Carter, of Bryn Mawr, who, with his family, was saved, confirmed Mr. Ismay's assertions.

"Mr. Ismay's statement is absolutely correct," said Mr. Carter. "There were no women on the deck when that boat was launched. We were the very last to leave the deck, and we entered the life-boat because there were no women to enter it.

"The deck was deserted when the boat was launched, and Mr. Ismay and myself decided that we might as well enter the boat and pull away from the wreck. If he wants me, I assume that he will write to me.

"I can say nothing, however, that he has not already said, as our narratives are identical; the circumstances under which we were rescued from the Titanic were similar. We left the boat together and were picked up together, and, further than that, we were the very last to leave the deck.

"I am ready to go to Washington to testify to the truth of Mr. Ismay's statement, and also to give my own account at any time I may be called upon. If Mr. Ismay writes to me, asking that I give a detailed account of our rescue I will do so."


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