Battle of Blair Mountain

Battle of Blair Mountain

Outside the Aracoma Hotel during the Battle of Blair Mountain courtesy of Joe Adams.

Outside the Aracoma Hotel during the Battle of Blair Mountain courtesy of Joe Adams.

The Battle of Blair Mountain was one of the largest civil uprisings in United States history and the largest armed rebellion since the American Civil War. For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers, called the Logan Defenders led by Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin. Sheriff Chafin was paid by coal mine operators to stop the attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. The striking miners dislike of Chafin is epitomized by the song they sang on their march to Logan: “We’ll Hang Don Chafin from a Sour Apple Tree”. The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired, after the United States Army intervened by presidential order.

There is another Battle of Blair Mountain that’s been going on and that is the battle to save this historic site. The outcome is still pending.

The Battle of Blair Mountain

Silent film taken right after the Battle of Blair Mountain.

Blair Mountain, WV: The West Virginia Mine Wars

Blair Mountain 1992 – before Mountaintop Removal. The video below was taken from the top of the Blair Mountain Fire Tower. The tower has been torn down so people can’t go up there and film the mountaintop removal mining that is going on.

RIP, Mr. James Weekley
August 26, 2014 by Ken Ward Jr.
bloJames Weekley
James “Jimmy” Weekley, 74, of Blair, died Aug. 22, 2014.  Mr. Weekley was one of the lead plaintiffs in the first major court case to challenge mountaintop removal. He was one of a few very brave citizens who put a lot on the line to try to take a stand for their home…more


Battle of Blair Mountain Photo Gallery

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5 Responses to Battle of Blair Mountain

  1. Bob Piros says:

    Matthew, shows a
    draft card for Owen Reynolds in 1918.
    He was born in 1894 in VA.
    He worked for the Wilson Coal CO.
    in Logan,WV. He had a wife & child.

  2. Timothy Shell says:

    Help save us from the narrow minded who believe that job creation is more important than history, I doubt Mr. Long would be so willing to destroy this important historical site if he had any family members participate in the battle. It was because of this battle and other events that finally turned the tide in the “Mine Guard” operating practices of the operators and finally started making things better for the miners of this generations and subsequent ones. God bless the Rednecks!!!

    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – Sir Winston Churchill

  3. DAVID LONG says:


    • Frank Thompson says:

      Saving Blair Mountain is about saving a Historic Landmark and is not about mountain top removal in general. Nevertheless, a more environmental friendly method of mining would require many more employees than the mountain top removal method. The coal companies switched to the mountain top removal method because it required substantially fewer employees.