President Taft yesterday made earnest efforts to obtain news of Maj. Archibald Butt, his military aid. He communicated two or three times with the White Star offices in New York, but each time was told that they were sorry to say they could give him no definite information in regard to Maj. Butt.
The messages received by the President were forwarded by him to Maj. Butt's sister, in Augusta, and to his brother, Louis Butt, in London. The President was deeply affected by the tragedy, and plainly showed his emotion at yesterday's Cabinet meeting in discussing the appalling loss of life. The President and others have not given up hope for Maj. Butt, but they acknowledge that the outlook is not bright. While the ordering of the Salem and Chester out to meet the Carpathia was for the purpose of relieving the anxiety of the many sorrowing friends and relatives on shore, the President also had in mind the obtaining of certain news as to whether Maj. Butt is on the Carpathia.
It was recalled by several of Maj. Butt's friends here yesterday that just before he left on his trip to Europe he said several times that he had a premonition that "something terrible" was going to happen. Maj. Butt made the statement to a newspaper man among others, and added that he couldn't explain it, that he never had had such a feeling before. His friends attributed these remarks to his unstrung nerves, and laughed them off. It was learned yesterday that Maj. Butt just before he sailed called three of his friends in and repeating these statements, asked them to witness his will.