Thunder In the Mountains

Author: Lon Savage
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 0822971429
Format: PDF
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The West Virginia mine war of 1920-21, a major civil insurrection of unusual brutality on both sides, even by the standards of the coal fields, involved thousands of union and nonunion miners, state and private police, militia, and federal troops. Before it was over, three West Virginia counties were in open rebellion, much of the state was under military rule, and bombers of the U.S. Army Air Corps had been dispatched against striking miners. The origins of this civil war were in the Draconian rule of the coal companies over the fiercely proud miners of Appalachia. It began in the small railroad town of Matewan when Mayor C. C. Testerman and Police Chief Sid Hatfield sided with striking miners against agents of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, who attempted to evict the miners from company-owned housing. During a street battle, Mayor Testerman, seven Baldwin-Felts agents, and two miners were shot to death. Hatfield became a folk hero to Appalachia. But he, like Testerman, was to be a martyr. The next summer, Baldwin-Felts agents assassinated him and his best friend, Ed Chambers, as their wives watched, on the steps of the courthouse in Welch, accelerating the miners’ rebellion into open warfare. Much neglected in historical accounts, Thunder in the Mountains is the only available book-length account of the crisis in American industrial relations and governance that occured during the West Virginia mine war of 1920-21.

When Miners March

Author: William C. Blizzard
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1604864109
Format: PDF
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Chronicling the West Virginia Mine Wars of the 1920s, this first-hand account of the coal miners' uprisings offers a new perspective on labor unrest during this time period. Complete with previously unpublished family photographs and documents, this retelling shares the experiences of Bill Blizzard, the author's father who was the leader of the Red Neck Army. The tensions between the union and the coal companies that led up to the famous Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest open and armed rebellion in United States history, are described in detail, as are its aftermath and legacy. Addressing labor issues in contemporary times, this historical narrative makes clear the human costs of extracting coal for electricity.

The Devil Is Here in These Hills

Author: James Green
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802192092
Format: PDF
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From before the dawn of the 20th century until the arrival of the New Deal, one of the most protracted and deadly labor struggles in American history was waged in West Virginia. On one side were powerful corporations whose millions bought armed guards and political influence. On the other side were 50,000 mine workers, the nation’s largest labor union, and the legendary “miners’ angel,” Mother Jones. The fight for unionization and civil rights sparked a political crisis verging on civil war that stretched from the creeks and hollows to the courts and the US Senate. In The Devil is Here in These Hills, celebrated labor historian James Green tells the story of West Virginia and coal like never before. The value of West Virginia’s coalfields had been known for decades, and after rail arrived in the 1870s, industrialists pushed fast into the wilderness, digging mines and building company towns where they wielded nearly complete control over everyday life. The state’s high-quality coal drove American expansion and industrialization, but for tens of thousands of laborers, including boys as young as ten, mining life showed the bitter irony of the state motto, “Mountaineers are Always Free.” Attempts to unionize were met with stiff resistance. Fundamental rights were bent, then broken, and the violence evolved from bloody skirmishes to open armed conflict, as an army of miners marched to an explosive showdown. Extensively researched and told in vibrant detail, The Devil is Here in These Hills is the definitive book on an essential chapter in the history of American freedom.

Gun Thugs Rednecks and Radicals

Author: David Corbin
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1604864524
Format: PDF
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A sobering account on the human cost of a landmark industrial conflict retraces the West Virginia coal mining rebellions of the early 20th century as culled from articles, speeches, union transcripts and Senate committee testimonies by miners and their families. Original.

West Virginia

Author: Otis Rice
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813127335
Format: PDF, Mobi
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" An essential resource for scholars, students, and all lovers of the Mountaineer State. From bloody skirmishes with Indians on the early frontier to the Logan County mine war, the story of West Virginia is punctuated with episodes as colorful and rugged as the mountains that dominate its landscape. In this first modern comprehensive history, Otis Rice and Stephen Brown balance these episodes of mountaineer individualism against the complexities of industrial development and the growth of social institutions, analyzing the events and personalities that have shaped the state. To create this history, the authors weave together many strands from the past and present. Included among these are geological and geographical features; the prehistoric inhabitants; exploration and settlement; relations with the Indians; the land systems and patterns of ownership; the Civil War and the formation of the state from the western counties of Virginia; the legacy of Reconstruction; politics and government; industrial development; labor problems and advances; and cultural aspects such as folkways, education, religion, and national and ethnic influences. For this second edition, the authors have added a new chapter, bringing the original material up to date and carrying the West Virginia story through the presidential election of 1992. Otis K. Rice is professor emeritus of history and Stephen W. Brown is professor of history at West Virginia Institute of Technology.

Storming Heaven A Novel

Author: Denise Giardina
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393076264
Format: PDF
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This is the story of the miners and the union they wanted, of the people who loved them and the people who wanted to kill their dreams. Annadel, West Virginia, was a small town rich in coal, farms, and close-knit families, all destroyed when the coal company came in. It stole everything it hadn't bothered to buy—land deeds, private homes, and ultimately, the souls of its men and women. Four people tell this powerful, deeply moving tale: Activist Mayor C. J. Marcum. Fierce, loveless union man Rondal Lloyd. Gutsy nurse Carrie Bishop, who loved Rondal. And lonely, Sicilian immigrant Rosa Angelelli, who lost four sons to the deadly mines. They all bear witness to nearly forgotten events of history, culminating in the final, tragic Battle of Blair Mountain—when the United States Army greeted ten thousand unemployed pro-union miners with airplanes, bombs, and poison gas. It was the first crucial battle of a war that has yet to be won.

Never Justice Never Peace Mother Jones and the Miner Rebellion at Paint and Cabin Creeks

Author: Ginny Savage Ayers
Publisher: West Virginia & Appalachia
ISBN: 9781946684370
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 1986 Lon Savage published Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21, a popular history now considered a classic. Among those the book influenced are Denise Giardina, author of Storming Heaven, and John Sayles, writer and director of Matewan. When Savage passed away, he left behind an incomplete book manuscript about a lesser-known Mother Jones crusade in Kanawha County, West Virginia. His daughter Ginny Savage Ayers drew on his notes and files, as well as her own original research, to complete Never Justice, Never Peace--the first book-length account of the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912-13. Savage and Ayers offer a narrative history of the strike that weaves together threads about organizer Mother Jones, the United Mine Workers union, politicians, coal companies, and Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency guards with the experiences of everyday men and women. The result is a compelling and in-depth treatment that brings to light an unjustly neglected--and notably violent--chapter of labor history. Introduced by historian Lou Martin, Never Justice, Never Peace provides an accessible glimpse into the lives and personalities of many participants in this critical struggle.

The Battle of Blair Mountain

Author: Robert Shogan
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786735945
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In 1921, some 10,000 West Virginia coal miners-- outraged over years of brutality and exploitation-- picked up their Winchesters and marched against their tormentors, the powerful mine owners who ruled their corrupt state. For ten days the miners fought a pitched battle against an opposing legion of deputies, state police, and makeshift militia. Only the intervention of a Federal expeditionary force ended this undeclared war. In The Battle of Blair Mountain, Robert Shogan shows this long-neglected slice of American history to be a saga of the conflicting political, economic, and cultural forces that shaped the power structure of twentieth-century America.

West Virginia and the Civil War

Author: Mark A. Snell
Publisher: The History Press
ISBN: 9781596298880
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The only state born as a result of the Civil War, West Virginia was the most divided state in the nation. About forty thousand of its residents served in the combatant forces about twenty thousand on each side. The Mountain State also saw its fair share of battles, skirmishes, raids and guerrilla warfare, with places like Harpers Ferry, Philippi and Rich Mountain becoming household names in 1861. When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861, leaders primarily from the northwestern region of the state began the political process that eventually led to the creation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. Renowned Civil War historian Mark A. Snell has written the first thorough history of these West Virginians and their civil war in more than fifty years.