what if we really won the battle of blair mountain? _ Wess Harris What if we, the union miners of West Virginia, really won? The first Battle of Blair Mountain, fought in 1921, was the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War. Logan County, West Virginia, was the site of this battle between ten thousand miners seeking to take the U.S. Constitution to southern West Virginia and perhaps half that many well-armed mercenaries fighting for the corporate interests seeking to keep the United Mine Workers Union from the coal fields. The original battle was sparked by the murder of Matewan's pro-union Chief of Police, Sid Hatfield, by Baldwin-Felts gun thugs in the employ of local coal operators. The real cause of the conflict ran deeper. The heavily unionized northern coal fields were under pressure from the non-union southern fields. Perhaps even more importantly, the abominable horrors of life in the non-union camps made the fight personal. This was beyond wanting the Union. No longer would miners endure being told they could not visit with neighbors. No longer would miners endure evictions, beatings, and even killings for daring to speak their minds. The Union provided hope that the freedom
Appalachian Heritage – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 13, 2011
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