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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Don Chafin’s Militia

Most of Don Chafin’s private army was made up of the recently created WV State Police, WV National Guard, hired guns, citizens from Logan, members of the American Legion, strike breakers, and a variety of others. For those that wanted to wear a uniform, khaki was the most common color. Khaki generally meant what we would consider Olive Drab now a days. Like the miners, many of these men were also veterans of the Great War and would have worn their service uniforms. In many pictures, these men are seen wearing the campaign hats, which was a common head gear for the state police and soldiers of the US Army. The other option was to wear a white armband to “counter” the red scarves that the union men would wear. Since these men were armed by the coal companies, they were almost exclusively armed with the M1903 Springfield rifle and to a lesser extent, the M1917 Enfield rifle. In addition, they were also armed with Winchester lever action rifles, Thompson sub-machine guns, Colt and Browning machine guns, and even ex-military light artillery. In the end both sides did minimal damage to each other since both sides were under disciplined and many were not trained in military warfare; over a million rounds were fired in five days resulting in less than 50 dead on both sides.