100 years since the Battle of Blair Mountain – by Andy Thompson and Jerry White (World Socialist Web Site – September 10, 2021)


This month marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, when as many as 20,000 coal miners in southern West Virginia waged armed combat against a private army of gun thugs hired by the coal operators.

The pitched battle lasted from August 25 to September 2, 1921, when US military forces deployed by President Warren Harding occupied the coalfields, disarming and arresting hundreds of miners under martial law.

The miners began their struggle with the express purpose of marching through Logan County, hanging the county’s notorious pro-company Sheriff Don Chafin, and moving on to Mingo County, where they would overthrow martial law and liberate their union brothers in the county jails.

In the largest insurrection since the American Civil War, the armed miners, many of whom had been drilled in military tactics during World War I and previous strikes, fought against Chafin’s Gatling guns and even aerial bombardment, leaving more than 130 killed on both sides.

The anniversary of this historic battle was hardly noted in the corporate press outside of a few articles.

For the rest of this article: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/09/10/bmtn-s10.html