The planes dropped the homemade explosives over two of the miners’ strongholds, but failed to inflict any casualties. The armed miners, many of them veterans of World War I, fought militias and police, who were equipped with heavy machine guns, for five days. [21] Both sides were bolstering their arms, and Sid Hatfield continued to be a problem, especially when he converted Testerman’s jewelry store into a gun shop. One of their primary tactics of combating the union was firing union sympathizers, blacklisting them, and evicting them from their homes. The corporate state, for its part, should also remember the lesson from Blair Mountain. [15] Even with the coal operators’ suppression, by early May 3,000 out of 4,000 Mingo miners had joined the union. Lots of sore feelings for generations on both sides of the issues discussed in this book, so I'm grateful for the author's approach. But it had always been that way, and they never fought back. The assassination outraged the miners, who considered Hatfield a hero for his involvement in the Matewan shootout. by Basic Books, The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America's Largest Labor Uprising. Reports of casualties ranged from as few as 20 killed to as many as 100, but the actual number has never been confirmed. Not an easy read. It was a bloody battle, and it was very deadly to fight or be in. Certain aspects of Mingo made it more attractive to union leaders than neighboring Logan County, which was under the control of the vehemently anti-union Sheriff Don Chafin and his deputized army. In a short time, the conflict had consumed the entire Tug River Valley. Since the late 1800s, the coalfields of the state's Mingo, Logan and McDowell Counties had operated under a repressive company town system. Within hours of the Madison decision, reports came in that Sheriff Chafin's men were deliberately shooting union sympathizers in the town of Sharples, West Virginia, just north of Blair Mountain—and that families had been caught in crossfire during the skirmishes. When Miners March (2007) contains 16 recently written songs (not music from the 1920s) from the audiobook When Miners March — The Battle of Blair Mountain. He dug with a trowel until he unearthed a bullet casing, which he handed to me. [9] They would repeat this type of tactic during the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado the next year, with even more disastrous results. [32] Morgan summarily rejected these, and the miners became even more restless. The miners surged forward and briefly broke the defensive line, only to be repulsed by a fusillade of bullets from a second machine gun nest located further up the ridge. The hostilities only ramped up in 1920, when the UMW finally started to organize workers in Mingo County. ", "Berkeley Grad Student Plays Leading Role in West Virginia March on Blair Mountain",, "Judge Rules Against Groups in Blair Mountain List Case",,,,,,,,,,, HistoryPodcast and transcription: "The Battle of Blair Mountain", Baseball and rebellion: The treason trial of Bill Blizzard, Zinn Education Guide: Teaching Guide for Blair Mountain, '"A Moment in the Sun": An Extended Interview with Independent Filmmaker, Author John Sayles', "Detective Tells Story of Fatal Matewan Riot",;words=Matewan?date1=1836&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=matewan&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=0, Length of U.S. participation in major wars,, [[File:{{{image_name}}}|300px|Sheriff's deputies during the battle]].

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