Lower Peachtree, AL Tornado, Mar 1913
THE FREAK TORNADO IN ALABAMA
FREAKS OF THE WIND--PITIABLE CHAOS--THE HERO OF LOWER
PEACHTREE--EXTENT OF DAMAGE.
Weird tales of horror and misery attended the tornado which swept over the little town of Lower Peachtree, Alabama, on Friday, March 21st, wrecking the entire village.
After the tornado had passed, corpses with hair stripped from heads and divested of every thread of clothing were picked up. Naked men and women ran screaming in the semi-darkness.
Chickens and hogs stripped of feathers and hair wandered in bewilderment among the ruins. Nailed unerringly into trees cleaned of their bark were pickets from fences that had been swept away. Where once had stood a big steamboat warehouse near the river was left the floor of the building standing upon which were the entire contents of the warehouse untouched by the terrific whirls of the wind.
In the backyard of the Bryant home, buried in debris, was a chicken coop, not a splinter awry. Within it was a goose sitting meekly upon a dozen eggs which she had not left.
The blast wrenched an iron bed from a house and wrapped it around a tree trunk as no human hand could have done.
Crossing the river from the town it had desolated it bore away half of a soapstone bluff many feet in height and left the other half standing unmarred.
Miss Mary Watson, a visitor in the Stabler home, was crossing a hallway when the tornado struck. She was swept through the hallway and to the rear of the house, where she was blown against a tree and her back broken.
In the business neighborhood everything was swept away except two grocery stores. They were thrown open as dispensaries of free provisions.
No semblance of order could be brought from the pitiable chaos of the wrecked town until Sunday afternoon, when cool heads prevailed and the survivors and visitors who offered assistance were regularly organized into committees to attend to the needs of the sufferers.
Troops from Fort Oglethorpe, with hospital corps and supplies for the relief of the sufferers arrived Sunday night and administered to the needs of the injured and homeless.
THE HERO OF LOWER PEACHTREE
Tributes to the bravery of Professor Griffin, a survivor of the tornado, were paid by many who visited the scene. Professor Griffin, after having been blown hundreds of feet from his home, returned bruised and bleeding to the center of the town and worked unceasingly to relieve the injured and to quiet survivors, insane with grief and excitement. Peter Milledge, whose wife and two children perished when their home was destroyed, went mad.
EXTENT OF DAMAGE
The Red Cross agent who investigated the situation at Lower Peachtree on Wednesday, March 26th, reported that sixty-eight were injured in the tornado which swept that section and that two hundred were destitute.
The True Story of Our National Calamity of Flood, Fire and Tornado by Logan Marshall, 1913, pages 243-245