The Battle of Blair Mountain
The Story of America’s Largest Labor Uprising
Robert Shogan 2004 296p 6 x 9
The Battle of Blair Mountain covers a profoundly significant but long-neglected slice of American history – the largest armed uprising on American soil since the Civil War. 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 the 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, spearheaded by a bomber squadron, ended this undeclared civil war and forced the miners to throw down their arms. Some consider this to be the rebirth of american unions, while others mark it as the end of an era of militant labor struggles starting in the 1870s.