No Place to Hide

Oct 20th, 2013
unimagined misery greeted the survivors in a span of two hours, eight minutes, and fifty -eight seconds the thriving population of 1,500 was reduced to a meager population of nine hundred. The town of Purvis, Mississippi was erased from the map .

  According to one survivor, Lilly Amanda Jennings, following the path of destruction ; no one had home or shelter. There was no place for the wounded or the dead . The hardest hit was the bladk sector of town . Negro mothers lay in the splintered remnants of their homes shielding their young with their bodies as they cradled other children, infants in their arms. Soon the falling rain and debris would end and these mothers would find no refuge or mercy from the broiling Mississippi sun.

When the full fury of the storm struck so many in the community rushed head on into the two hundred fourty -five mile an hour winds in a futile attempt to accept the security and salvation of their neighbor,James Jenigs and his  storm cellar offerd.

Of the more serious injures was a male iinfant with a serious head injury. The baby was the mortally wounded by flying debris when a nail penetrated the skull of the child. The mother attempted to comfort and nuture her baby but, she was ovecome by the emotion of situation . Several other women of all ages attempted to comfort 6the child. They too surrendered to the emotion and hoplessness of the situation.  A girl of twelve ; Annie Elizabeth Jennings took the infant froim the women softly she sang a lullaby as she rocked the baby from this life.

Every effort was made to provide christian burial for the dead. The unpleasant task of deciding the bodies that would be consigned to the funeral pyres , and who[s remains would be laid to rest in a mass grave fell to the soldiers sent by the governor to establish martial law and restore order to the community.

Restoring the intrastructure of the community was essential to the welfare of every resident for that reason James Jennings was among the few who chose to voluntarily surrender his firearms.  He and his neighbors needed communicati0on without the outside world restored. The severely damaged NO& NE railroad and Purvis Depot had to be restored and rebuilt. Transportation must be restored.  The economic structure must be reestablished at the earliest date. for this reason, James Jennings chose to accept the restrictions imposed by the soldiers and Military law.

Every able boied male and female in the communty immediately went to work rebuilding the community. They needed a safe place for the wounded so the hospitals and bringing medical personnel into the community became a priority. Jennings offered his services as a herbalist and folk healer to provide comfort to those in need.

The churches were a priority, bringing ministes into the storm stricken community became a priority. The living were in need of spiritual guidance and solace which faith alone would provide. with 147 hurried funerals planned it was essential for the community to have a secure confidnt place for the funeals when and if some of the wounded should persih.

The official death count was 147 but, the actual number was much higher. The casualties, and wounded, among the poor, the black, and the tribal sectors were not included .

 
 

M. Williamson
The tagline contains a few of the many hats and titles, I have worn in my lifetime. I am a published author with three books to my credit. I am a working journalist, guest editor, contributing reporter and social reporter.
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M. Williamson
Teaching assistant , substitute teacher, journalist, Nurse, in home health aide, nurse, and housekeeper
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