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Coal and conflict: The Battle of Blair Mountain

The Battle of Blair Mountain marked the beginning of the end for the West Virginia Mine Wars.

In August 1921, a group of union miners marched through Logan County hoping to free the arrested miners in Mingo County. After a brief clash with Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin in the town of Blair, John Wolbur and 70 other union members began the trek up Blair Mountain, eventually killing mine guard John Gore.

This resulted in three days of the miners fighting with Sheriff Chafin and his army. Chafin even had gas bombs dropped on the miners.

Fighting came to a sudden halt as the federal government sent troops and assistance before tensions could escalate further.

The miners surrendered, viewing the acknowledgment from the federal government as a step in the right direction.

The West Virginia Mine Wars ended just days later on September 4th, 1921. This short-lived battle’s legacy has stood the test of time as a story portraying the resilience of America’s working class. 




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