Sunday, September 22, 2013

Engulfed in a Robe of Flames, 1873

About four o'clock yesterday morning Captain E. A. Cole's little daughter aged about seven years, was so badly burned that no hopes are entertained of her recovery.  She was sleeping with an elder sister, who went out on the porch to get a drink of water, and set the lamp in the middle of the floor, near the bed.  From the lamp the mosquito-bar caught fire, and soon the flames communicated to the bed.  When the unfortunate little girl awoke, it was only to find herself wrapped in a robe of flames. Confused by the bright glare, and terrified by her helpless condition, she sprang form the bed and rushed madly out into the yard. Captain Cole, seeing the light and hearing the shrieks of the child, immediately entered the room, but seeing no one there, commenced subduing the flames of the burning bed.  He supposed his children had escaped uninjured, but about the time he extinguished the burning bed, he was horrified at the appearance of his little daughter, who, after running around the yard, entered the room, her clothing still burning.  This he made haste to extinguish, when he found that the fire had burned her so badly that it was useless to hope for escape, and the poor father quickly tore off the blackened shreds that clung to his child.  Dr. Erskine was sent for and attended the little sufferer.  Captain Cole, in extinguishing the flames of the bed, had his hands burned very badly.  He has our heartfelt sympathies.  Since writing the above, and at a late hour last night, we learn that she lingered until eight o'clock in the evening, when death put an end to her suffering.
Originally published in the Memphis Daily Appeal July 9, 1873

Captain Edmund Anderson Cole as an attorney and worked as the Clerk and Master of the First Chancery Court in Memphis.  During the Civil War he served for the Confederacy in Co. L 154th Sr. Tenn. Reg.  His first wife and the mother of Annie Cole, Ophelia A. Taylor, died in 1867 of consumption.  His second wife was Amanda Childress, she passed away in 1907.  Capt. Cole died from pneumonia in 1909.

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