Hillbilly: The Real Story

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm  Comments Off on Hillbilly: The Real Story  
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Our Set Up

Posting something other than our normal historical posts. These are some examples of our “museum” that we will sometimes bring out with us at events. A majority of the items presented came from Southern West Virginia and Kentucky. Most items date from roughly the 1880s and into the 1940s since we also discuss parts of the miner’s daily lives vs. just exclusively on the Battle of Blair Mountain, itself, because it is important to remember the context of the times that these men and women lived in.

Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm  Comments Off on Our Set Up  
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On this Day in 1921

On September 5th, 1921, all hostilities had come to an end when the US regulars had entered the region on the 4th. The miners weren’t looking to fight the federal government. In the aftermath of the battle, most miners go home and do not discuss what happened for years to come. 1,200 indictments from the West Virginian government are sent out. The federal government chooses not to get involved with putting these miners on trial. Bill Blizzard is made a scapegoat and declared the “general” of the miners; although, more recent research has revealed most miners worked as independent bands than as an overall organized group. He and 23 other men were tried for treason. However upon revealing the fact that the companies had tried to bomb the miners with airplanes, most men were discharged. Only one man was convicted of treason but he jumped bail and disappeared into the annals of history never to be heard from again. More than 300 miners were arrested for 11 year terms but most are only imprisoned for several months to 3 years. Attempts to unionize in southern West Virginia do not occur again until FDR’s New Deal Policies. Don Chafin, leader of the Logan defenders, becomes drunk with power until in 1924 when he is removed from his position as sheriff for bootlegging. He would remain active in regional Democrat party politics until his death in the 1950s.

Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 11:15 am  Comments Off on On this Day in 1921  
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On This Day in 1921

September 4th, 1921. The 3rd day of fighting continues with no clear victories achieved by either the Logan defenders or the Miners. By this date, several thousand US regulars began to replace the defenders on the mountain and surrounding countryside. Most miners lay down their arms and return home since they weren’t looking to fight the Federal government. Small pockets of isolated fighting occur on the frontiers of the 10 mile wide front since it is unlikely they knew the regulars were in the area. One band of miners made it within four miles of Logan before they laid down their arms. Several West Virginia State Police fired upon reporters, assuming they were hostiles. No other reason as to why were given.

Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 10:28 am  Comments Off on On This Day in 1921  
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On this Day in 1921….

The second day of fighting occurs at Blair Mountain; Sept. 3 1921. Federal troops are organized from Fort Knox and several states that surround West Virginia.

Published in: on September 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm  Comments Off on On this Day in 1921….