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The Seahorse a letter from one of the Survivors

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The Seahorse a letter from one of the Survivors

Post by Admin on Wed 24 Feb - 21:50

One of the survivors Henry Hartford wrote a letter to his father from Tramore, which was published in the local newspaper.

"My dear father, I lose not a moment tho hardly able to write, to acquaint you of our dreadful shipwreck in this Bay yesterday two o'clock. Thanks to the Almighty for my marvellous escape I feel too much at present to attempt giving you a description of so dreadful an occurrence. I will only tell you out of 304 men of the Regiment, 34 women, 33 children and about 20 sailors and 16 officers, only 4 officers and 25 rank and file and 32 sailors have escaped yesterday.
I will now give you a correct list of the officers saved and those lost. Officers lost Captain J MacGregor, Lt William Neal, Major C W Douglas, Lt Abraham Dent, Adj. Edward Scott, Lt James Ceddes, Lt W Gillespie, Ensign A.C. Ross. Ensign WF Hill, Surgeon James Hagan, Ass Surgeon PR Lambe, Master William Baird, Mr Alien of the navy Officers saved Lt Cowper, A Mc Pherson, Henry Hartford, Ensign W Seward.
Since I was born I never witnessed such a sight, the screams and prayers of all. The sea sweeping off numbers at a time, picture to yourself our situation, the beach crowded with people who could render no assistance: no boat could live in such a sea, or put out for the surf. God only knows how I was saved. I stuck to the wreck until she went to pieces, and then took hold of a plank which was washed from me four or five times and I by look got hold of others. All I recalled was being completely exhausted, and from the cold could hold the plank no longer. I was then washed on shore, and taken up apparently dead. I don't know how I recovered, but when I did, I found myself before a large fire.
Every bit of our baggage is lost; I am this moment with a parcel of borrowed clothes. I have nothing in the world except what was on me when I left the ship. The great part of the baggage was washed on shore but all plundered last night by the inhabitants. The boxes and chests that were not opened were broken open by the people about here. I am told that it would take upwards of a thousand men to keep the baggage from being plundered. I have not at this moment more than a few pounds, and I will therefore have to draw upon the agents for some money. I was obliged to get some from them when I was in England and buy some clothes. I had three dozen of new shirts, that I bought at Deal and got a good bargain of, and intended to bring with me to India, also some new Regimentals and boots. I am told Government will allow money for the loss of our baggage, if so I can keep some of that, for the purpose I got it from you for. I understand they will allow us for what we value our loss at.
Tell my mother, Annie and Beck, I had some presents of silk shawls and handkerchiefs I brought from France, all of which are lost. I will feel much obliged to my mother, if she send me a few shirts and a few pairs of stockings, as I have this moment nothing in the world, but the battered clothes I came on shore with. I am afraid this will not leave Waterford till tomorrow as no post leaves this today. If my mother can send the things to me I will receive them at Waterford where we intend going this evening or tomorrow. She can send them as a parcel direct to the coach office, as we must stop at Waterford for some days to get some clothes, and shirts and stockings are not things to be bought in a hurry.
My shins and thighs are black and blue with striking against the wreck, and my hands and one of my legs cut with some of the nails. I feel this moment very stiff in the limbs and tho before a large fire, perishing with the cold. I tope tomorrow to be much stouter, left me have a line from you, I don't know where I will put up, but you direct me at the Post Office. I now conclude this letter and again return my thanks to the Great God for my providential escape, and I will ever feel grateful for his goodness. Never could there be such a horrible sight this morning, and I fancy this morning, I fancy I see the agonised countenances of the unfortunate sufferers on the wreck. I know my dear father, how happy my dear family will feel at my escape and remember me to all and believe me, dear father. Yr ever dutiful son. Henry Hartford.
There is this moment a brig in distress in the same place we were wrecked in. The sea is washing over her decks: everyone says she will be lost: my God, what misfortunes there are in this world."
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Re: The Seahorse a letter from one of the Survivors

Post by gerrywalsh on Sun 28 Feb - 9:55

i must keep a copy of this for the next time Barry brings me out to the three mile rock with 25mph offshores
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