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(A copyrighted publication of West Virginia Archives and History)

Volume 50 The United States Army and the Return to Normalcy in Labor Dispute Interventions: The Case of the West Virginia Coal Mine Wars, 1920-1921

By Clayton D. Laurie

Volume 50 (1991), pp. 1-24

On four separate occasions between 1919 and 1921 the United States Army was ordered to intervene in labor disputes between miners and coal mine operators in West Virginia. Federal military interventions to maintain or restore civil authority threatened by unrest or riots originating from labor disputes was not unknown duty to army personnel. Between 1877 and 1920 several presidents had called upon the army to assist civil officials in quelling domestic disorders under authority of the Constitution and congressional statutes. In the vast majority of federal military interventions prior to 1917, regular army troops succeeded in restoring order quickly, with a minimum of injury and bloodshed, in strict adherence to orders issued within legal parameters set by the Constitution, federal statutes, and army regulations. Although questions of army neutrality were constantly raised, especially by labor groups and workingmen who were most often the focus of federal military interventions, historically United States Army actions during American domestic disturbances were amazingly non-partisan and non-violent when compared to the record of National Guard forces while under state control.1

Although intervention in labor disputes was a relatively routine duty for army personnel by 1920, the interventions in West Virginia represented a watershed in the history of the army role in suppressing domestic disorders. The Constitution and Revised Statutes of 1874 clearly defined the procedures for state authorities to gain federal military assistance and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1874 prevented the misuse of federal military power by local and state civil authorities before and after regulars had been deployed. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker suspended these legal procedures in 1917 for the duration of World War I when National Guard forces, traditionally the first recourse for state officials needing military forces to maintain order, were federalized for wartime service in France. With the absence of state military forces, the United States Army was called upon to fill the void under a policy developed by Secretary Baker known as direct access. A wartime expedient, the direct access policy allowed local and state civil officials to summon directly federal troops for quelling disorders without resorting to the complicated pre-war procedure involving the state legislatures, president, and the War Department. Without pre-war legal procedures, numerous state and local officials, at the behest of local businessmen and patriotic groups, took undue advantage of the easy access to federal troops to crush labor unions or suppress radical groups and dissenters. The years 1917-21 saw an unprecedented number of federal military interventions in domestic disturbances and labor disputes.2

The first army interventions in the West Virginia coal mine wars were carried out under these wartime policies. In the final federal intervention in West Virginia in 1921, however, the federal government moved to restore the procedures that existed before the war, having come to fear potential abuses of federal military power by overzealous, inept, or corrupt state or local officials. The West Virginia disturbances were significant as they closed a chapter involving extraordinary extra-legal procedures in the domestic employment of federal troops and in effect restored the provisions of the pre-war statutes and the Posse Comitatus Act. In other respects, however, the deployments in West Virginia resembled other wartime interventions in labor disputes as federal regulars were sent in to suppress what were deemed by local, state and federal officials as radical and foreign-inspired labor uprisings and challenges to legally constituted civil authority. The army, therefore, closely cooperated with state and local officials and mine owners and operators. In this respect, the West Virginia interventions more closely followed the labor disputes of the 1890s than those of the Progressive Era when federal neutrality was more strongly emphasized. Within the army itself, duty in West Virginia, following a four-year period of extensive civil disturbance intervention, gave impetus to army leaders to make significant preparations to systematically deal with expected future radical disorders of even greater magnitude.

While army and federalized National Guard units were on nearly constant call between 1917 and 1918 to suppress strikes and labor disorders in vital war industries, one sector that witnessed surprisingly few such difficulties during World War I was the coal industry. The wartime calm in the coalfields, obtained through federal mediation efforts between management and labor, was an exception to the normally turbulent labor situation that had plagued the coal industry during the previous forty years. The industry, however, had many unsolved labor problems from the pre-war years, which by late 1919 had developed into a potentially explosive situation, due to new unionization efforts.

Unionization had always met fierce resistance from coal operators, who used eviction, termination, blacklisting, yellow dog contracts, court injunctions, coercion, and intimidation to prevent workers from joining unions and to stifle union organizers. By the early twentieth century, especially in the eastern United States, coal operators held and exercised exclusive political control and strongly influenced local and state governments, literally dictating state policies that would insure coal profits, prevent labor organization, and guarantee a passive work force. Such tight control was necessary, coal operators maintained, because of the "boom and bust" nature of the coal mining industry, the instability of consumer demand, competition at home and abroad, and constantly fluctuating coal prices. Except for a brief period during the Anthracite Strike of 1902, when the federal government openly sided with labor organizations against recalcitrant mine owners, the companies had successfully resisted attempts by miners to unionize.

In the face of owner opposition, however, miners succeeded in forming unions as early as the 1860s. None of these early organizations gained national stature, recognition, or membership until several merged to form the American Federation of Labor-affiliated United Mine Workers of America (UMW) in 1890. Although the UMW initially favored conference and arbitration techniques rather than strikes, resistance on the part of coal operators compelled the union to adopt strikes as the primary means of obtaining its goals. Traditional miner demands became union demands and included union recognition; the right of workers to join a union, thereby ending yellow dog contracts; collective bargaining; the right of free speech and assembly, especially during strikes; the outlawing of cribbing, blacklisting, and company anti-union espionage; the installation of scales to weigh coal and miners to serve as check weighmen; the firing of all company-paid mine guards; safer working conditions; and a check-off system for the deduction of union dues.3

Mine unions made little progress on any of these demands prior to World War I. The war years, however, provided some material relief as mine union membership grew, reaching an all-time high of 427,811 members nationwide in 1918. Miners still felt, however, that in spite of wartime increases, mine wages were out of alignment with the rising cost of living and increases given in other industries. Like other American workers of the time, the members of the UMW were determined to maintain wartime gains and to make new advances in the immediate post-war period.4

After the November 1918 Armistice, the UMW anticipated a sharp decline in membership in the wake of demobilization, government deregulation of industry, the increased cost of living, failed industrial strikes, and resurgent efforts of the mining industry to resist unionization with strikebreakers, injunctions, and yellow dog contracts. While 50 percent of the mines in West Virginia were unionized, most of these operations were in the northern half of the state. To strengthen the UMW throughout West Virginia, local union leaders launched a new recruiting drive in two anti-union strongholds, Mingo and Logan counties. Coal operators counted upon political connections in the state capitol and in the county sheriffs' offices to resist unionization by manipulating the machinery of local law enforcement against union organization efforts. If these methods failed, brute force was often the next recourse.5

Sheriff Don Chafin of Logan County, a popular figure to most local people except miners and union men, embodied both the legal and violent aspects of the operators' anti-union campaign. In the pay of the operators, "Boss" Chafin misused his deputies to assault and evict union organizers as soon as they set foot in the county. Provoked by this opposition, the local branch of the UMW, District 17, organized from two to five thousand miners in September 1919 for a march on Logan County to unseat Chafin. Taking advantage of the wartime arrangement for direct access to federal troops still in effect, Governor John J. Cornwell asked the Commander of the Central Department, Major General Leonard Wood, for a force to intercept and disperse the marching miners. Wood consented and gathered a federal force of sixteen hundred troops for deployment in Logan County. The general's actions were consistent with the direct access policy permitting intervention without prior civil or military approval in situations of extraordinary or imminent danger. Confronted by an overwhelming combination of state-recruited sheriffs' posses and soon to be dispatched federal military forces, whom the miners surmised sided with the operators, the march was quickly terminated. Although the federal force was not needed to deal with the miners' march, regulars were sent to Kanawha City, Clothier, and Beckley in connection with the nationwide coal strike of 1919.6

By this time, however, the Wilson Administration had decided to reinstate pre-war policies and decrease the frequency of federal military intervention in labor disputes. The first indication of this change in policy came on November 3, 1919, when Secretary of War Baker turned down a request from the governor of Georgia for federal troops to intervene in a labor dispute. Baker explained:

"It should be borne in mind that our Regular or permanent Army is designed to resist and overcome enemies of our government and is provided for strictly federal use. . . . The protection of private property, rights, and liberties, and lives of the inhabitants of any state is primarily the duty of the individual concerned. . . . Use of federal troops for this class of duty has heretofore always been the last resort. . . . Our Constitution contemplates such force only when all other forces of a locality or state have been exhausted . . . or insufficient to meet the emergency."7

In a complete reversal of the policy followed on every occasion that federal troops were called to aid civil officials since spring 1917, Secretary Baker now severely limited the possible number of situations in which states could obtain rapid and direct federal military aid. Baker did, however, reiterate his willingness to aid the governors of each state to reorganize, reoutfit, and retrain a National Guard force as provided for by the National Defense Acts of June 3, 1916, and June 14, 1917. At this time the change in policy only affected those states that had organized either National Guard units or sizeable constabulary forces. West Virginia, however, lacked both.8

Meanwhile, in January 1920, the UMW moved its unionization campaign from Logan to Mingo County. During the nationwide walkout in the coal industry in November 1919, while unionized mines were idle, the non-unionized mines of southern West Virginia continued to produce coal thereby undermining the UMW's strike effort. UMW President John L. Lewis and union officials in West Virginia were determined that this situation would not recur, and began a massive effort to organize miners in Mingo County -- an effort that included a visit and rousing speeches by labor organizer and union celebrity Mother Jones. The coal companies responded to the new UMW campaign by wholesale firings of union miners, which resulted in the closing of many operations, and increased harassment of union organizers.

When operators hired Baldwin-Felts detectives from Bluefield to evict the families of fired union miners from company housing and tent colonies near the town of Matewan, they encountered resistance from Chief of Police Sid Hatfield. Tensions between Baldwin-Felts detectives and Hatfield continued through the spring until a confrontation took place on the main street of Matewan on May 19, 1920. When Hatfield tried to arrest the detectives for illegally evicting miners from their homes and illegally carrying weapons in his jurisdiction, a gunfight ensued between the detectives and Hatfield, who was assisted by a number of armed miners waiting in ambush for the hated detective force. In the shootout that followed, ten people died including Matewan Mayor Cable C. Testerman, Lee and Albert Felts, five other Baldwin-Felts employees and two miners. In the wake of the "Matewan Massacre," which made Sid Hatfield a folk hero to miners throughout the state and somewhat of a national celebrity, emboldened miners on July 1 initiated strikes all along the Tug River Valley in West Virginia and Kentucky. Concomitant with this escalating strike activity was an increase in the number of violent incidents by both miners and company guards and detectives. By mid-summer, coal production in the region had ground to a halt.9

On August 28, 1920, Governor Cornwell asked the new commander of the army's Central Department, Major General George A. Read, for a battalion of troops to guard the mines of southern West Virginia. General Read responded by forwarding orders to the Second and Fortieth Infantry Regiments at Camp Sherman, Ohio. Troops under command of Colonel Samuel Burkhardt were dispatched immediately under the policy of direct access and arrived in Williamson on August 29. The next day, a force of five hundred regulars kept the peace by conducting squad-size patrols near the Mingo County coal mines. Federal troops soon saw action after their arrival and employed "classic infantry tactics" on two occasions when fired upon by sizeable groups of armed miners at the Howard Colliery and at Thacker. Although gunfire was exchanged in these incidents, no casualties were reported on either side.10

While federal troops were involved in confrontations with armed miners, relations between the regulars and the local populace were generally cordial. Both sides initially seemed to welcome the federal troops as a neutral intermediary and a positive force for ending the decades-old conflict between operators and miners. The vast majority of the region's residents were law-abiding and peaceful citizens before, during, and after the arrival of federal troops. The children of Mingo County, especially, found the soldiers on duty in their mining camps a curiosity. At least one local girl, a school teacher, was courted by a soldier on duty in the Matewan area, while another married a federal soldier from Massachusetts. Federal troops provided food, clothing, and shelter to miners made homeless by evictions and shared in celebrations with local citizens on numerous occasions. Miners in return aided troops in moving heavy military vehicles over the muddy and often impassable mountain tracts and otherwise cooperated with the regulars.11

In mid-September 1920, however, the efforts of coal operators to import strikebreakers into the region caused rioting at Williamson. Federal troops were summoned to protect the strikebreakers and their families as they arrived at the Williamson train station, and to escort the new miners to work. The presence of federal troops allowed coal operators to reopen several mines with the use of strikebreakers. Combined with court injunctions obtained by coal operators in September that forbade the UMW from interfering with mine operations, the various strikes in the region gradually weakened. By November 4 violent incidents decreased and Governor Cornwell requested the withdrawal of federal troops.12

Less than four days after the final November withdrawal of the troops, the meager force of available deputy sheriffs and constables demonstrated their inability to maintain peace in Mingo County. New violence erupted. For the third time, on November 28, 1920, Governor Cornwell called on the Fifth Corps Area commander. Tired of sending troops to put down unrest that immediately renewed after withdrawal, General Read urged the governor to submit a request for aid to the president, according to RS 5297, stipulating that the legislature could not be convened in time to submit its own request. By having Cornwell follow the pre-war procedure, Read hoped to obtain a presidential proclamation under RS 5300 for the strikers to cease, desist, and disperse. In Read's opinion, the unorganized and leaderless miners were likely to ignore the proclamation. He would then be empowered to declare martial law and deploy his troops near the mines, as in the past, and to assist law enforcement officers as a posse comitatus in arresting union members and thereby end the strike.13

While approving Governor Cornwell's request for military aid on behalf of the president, Secretary of War Baker refused to secure a presidential proclamation. When Baker had initiated the policy of direct access in 1917, he had done so to avoid the delays characteristic of formal presidential involvement. Thus when General Read sent a provisional battalion of the Nineteenth Infantry, commanded by Colonel Herman Hall, from Camp Sherman, Ohio, into Mingo County on November 28, it went with no more authority than its predecessors; that is authority under the direct access policy and paragraph 487 of the army regulations. Cornwell, in an effort to comply with federal stipulations, proclaimed a state of martial law on November 27, placing the sheriff's department and the small state constabulary under Colonel Hall. The gesture was meaningless as many of the law enforcement officials, like Sid Hatfield, either sympathized with the miners or feared them. Either way local officials were incapable of handling the situation. To counter these uncooperative lawmen and restore order permanently, General Read himself requested a presidential proclamation and martial law powers from Secretary Baker.14

Baker's patience with West Virginia officials was nearing an end, and in a memorandum written on December 2, 1920, he refused Read's request, stating: "The rule to be followed is that the public military power of the United States should in no case be permitted to be substituted for the ordinary powers of the States, and should be called into service only when the State, having summoned its entire police power, is still unable to deal with the disorder."15 Baker explained that during the war, when National Guard units under federal control were no longer available to the states, he had suspended pre-war procedures for obtaining federal troops. However, Baker complained, two years after the war, the states had no excuse for failing to reconstitute guard units or fully resume state police functions. In an obvious effort to curtail further reliance on federal military aid, Baker finally rescinded the direct access arrangement between governors and corps area commanders. Henceforth, all requests for federal troops would have to be made through the War Department to the president, according to pre-war procedures, unless the danger was so immediate as to warrant emergency intervention. Meanwhile, Baker instructed Read on December 1 to begin immediate withdrawals of the Nineteenth Infantry from riot duty in the state.16

Governor Cornwell feared renewed trouble in January, when Sid Hatfield and other participants in the Matewan Massacre were to stand trial for the murder of the Felts brothers and other Baldwin-Felts detectives. He requested Secretary Baker to delay withdrawals at least until the legislature could reconstitute the state's National Guard units. Assured by Cornwell of West Virginia's intent to assume responsibility for maintaining law and order, Baker agreed to withdrawal of one company each on January 15, 17, and 19, 1921, to Camp Sherman, Ohio. The last company and the regimental headquarters, however, were to remain in Mingo County until February 16, 1921.17

Three months later economic recession and the results of two elections disturbed the shaky calm that had existed since Colonel Hall's final withdrawal. Making cheap labor more readily available, the recession of 1921 enhanced the position of the mine operators. In addition, Ephraim F. Morgan, the candidate favored by coal operators for governor, took office on March 4. Nationally, the newly-elected Republican President Warren G. Harding, who ran on the slogan of a "Return to Normalcy," showed no indication of sympathy for the plight of the miners. Expecting no help from the state or federal governments to overcome resistance to unionization in Mingo and Logan counties, the UMW opted once again for the tactics of confrontation. Rumors soon spread that the union was smuggling weapons to miners on both the Kentucky and West Virginia sides of the Tug River. Governor Morgan sent Captain of Constabulary James R. Brockus with sixty state police to Mingo County to investigate. Defiant miners greeted the state police with sporadic rifle fire up and down the banks of the Tug from May 12-14, an incident known as "The Three Days Battle." Skirmishes between miners and constables, company guards, and non-union strikebreakers, raged along the river and the surrounding hills near the villages of Merrimac, Rawl, Sprigg, and Matewan, West Virginia, and McCarr, Kentucky, resulting in the deaths of at least four people and the wounding of many more.18

Despite Governor Cornwell's promise to Secretary of War Baker two months earlier that West Virginia would rapidly reestablish a National Guard force, the state legislature had only begun to take steps in that direction. Perhaps presuming that the new Secretary of War James W. Weeks would permit direct access one more time, newly-elected Governor Morgan asked General Read on May 12, 1921, for five hundred troops, "to prevent wanton slaughter of innocent citizens." The next day, Governor Edwin P. Morrow of Kentucky, whose state also suffered from intermittent gunfire along the Tug River, made a similar request. Read declined to send troops to either state pending approval by President Harding. In anticipation of such approval, however, Read, on his own authority, alerted the Nineteenth Infantry for a return to Mingo County and dispatched his intelligence chief Major Charles F. Thompson to Charleston to determine the extent of the emergency.19

After consulting with Governor Morgan, local officials, and spokesmen for Mingo County's chief coal operator, the Houston Coal and Coke Company, but apparently making no effort to learn the miners' side of the controversy, Major Thompson decided that lawless miners had caused a serious disorder warranting some form of military intervention. However, Major Thompson had also investigated the military capability of the governments of Kentucky and West Virginia, seeking to discover whether the available state forces could end the disorders. His assessment was that Kentucky, with three hundred deputy sheriffs and a fully organized National Guard force comprising five companies of infantry and three troops of cavalry, needed no federal assistance. Indeed, one hundred and fifty guardsmen had already been sent to the Kentucky side of the Tug River Valley and reported the situation there as improving. West Virginia, on the other hand, having temporized with the organization of its National Guard, had raised a relatively small volunteer state police force made up of "respectable Mingo County citizens." Major Thompson concluded, however, that in the cases of both Kentucky and West Virginia "authorities have not taken sufficiently active measures . . . (and that) for purposes of both politics and economy, they have decided to rely on federal protection."20

Major Thompson recommended against a third deployment of troops to West Virginia without a presidential declaration of martial law. In 1919 and 1920, the War Department had limited the troops in the state to guarding the mines. In each case lawlessness recurred as soon as the troops withdrew. Thompson concluded that a state of martial law, giving troops the power to make arrests, hold prisoners, and supersede uncooperative officials, was necessary to produce lasting results. In full accord, General Read endorsed and forwarded Thompson's recommendation to the Secretary of War on May 16, 1921. The next day President Harding informed Governor Morgan that there would be no federal troops until Harding was "well assured that the State had exhausted all of its resources in the performance of its functions."21

Morgan had, however, exhausted his resources. After declaring martial law in Mingo County on May 19, he placed Brockus's constabulary at the command of the county sheriff. In the decision Ex Parte Lavinder, however, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that there could be no martial law dependent upon a civil officer, such as a sheriff, for enforcement. Martial law could only be enforced by a state militia which West Virginia lacked. Morgan therefore resorted to calling part of the untrained, unorganized, enrolled militia of Mingo County to active duty. The Mingo Militia, made up of coal company officials, strikebreakers, non-union, and anti-union men, promptly and enthusiastically enforced the provisions of martial law against miners. Mass arrests of miners by the militia were followed by increased sniping and bombing incidents, and more bloodshed. Rather than quelling violence as intended, martial law and its partisan enforcement heightened the tensions between strikers and operators throughout Mingo County. The new outbreaks of violence further supported appeals for a congressional investigation of the hostilities in the West Virginia coalfields.22

On July 14, 1921 the Senate's Committee on Education and Labor, chaired by Iowa Republican Senator William Kenyon, began a three-month investigation of the recurring crises in West Virginia's coal mining industry. Interviewing scores of witnesses, including Sid Hatfield, union officials Fred Mooney and Frank Keeney, and Captain James Brockus, the Kenyon Committee's hearings aired innumerable abuses by the operators and kindled short-lived hopes among the miners for immediate reforms. In its October 1921 report, the committee condemned, among many other things, the practice in Logan County of paying the sheriff and his deputies from funds contributed by the coal operators instead of exclusively from the public treasury, but no immediate reforms were forthcoming.23

While in Washington testifying before the Kenyon Committee, Sid Hatfield learned that he and thirty-five miners had been indicted by a West Virginia grand jury for their alleged role in an attack on a non-union mining camp the previous summer. Although Hatfield suspected the charges were trumped-up by the state at the urging of the Felts family, still seeking vengeance for Hatfield's role in the Matewan Massacre, he returned to West Virginia to stand trial. On the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse in Welch on August 1, 1921, the gunmen of the Baldwin-Felts Agency avenged the deaths of Albert and Lee Felts and their colleagues by shooting to death the unarmed Sid Hatfield and an associate, Ed Chambers, as the two men and their wives prepared to enter the court building. The death of the popular chief of police enraged grief-stricken union miners and their sympathizers throughout southern West Virginia.24

Capitalizing on the miners' outrage, Frank Keeney, UMW District 17 president, organized a rally in Charleston and called for a march against the coal operators. On August 7, one thousand miners presented Governor Morgan with a resolution calling for an end to martial law in Mingo County. By that date, nearly one hundred and thirty miners had been arrested and held without charges. When the governor refused to rescind state-imposed martial law, Keeney called upon the miners to assemble on August 20 at Marmet, just south of Charleston. From that location, along the banks of Lens Creek in Kanawha County, Keeney hoped to march thousands of miners sixty-five miles to Logan County, and from there to Mingo. Keeney's objectives remain uncertain, but evidence supports the idea that he hoped a gun battle would ensue eliminating thirty-four year old Sheriff Don Chafin and enough mine company guards and private detectives to open the area for union organizers. If that failed, at least the march and ensuing violence would force federal intervention which the miners considered preferable to bossism or state enforced martial law.25

On August 20, 1921, nearly five thousand miners, armed with rifles and an old machine gun with three thousand rounds of ammunition, assembled at Marmet. Their commander, "General" Bill Blizzard, a twenty-eight year old man of proven leadership in District 17, formed the men into a column and began the march toward Logan. Along the way new recruits swelled the column until it reached fifteen to twenty thousand men. Informed of "Blizzard's Army," Secretary of War Weeks directed General Read, on August 23, to place the Nineteenth Infantry in readiness, and sent Major Thompson to Charleston to investigate. Realizing that two years of cumulative "insurrectionary fury" were about to explode in the coalfields, Governor Morgan, on August 25, asked President Warren Harding for one thousand troops and military aircraft. According to Morgan "the miners had been `inflamed and infuriated by speeches of radical officers and leaders'." Learning that Morgan had taken what appeared to the president as only slow and halting steps to organize a National Guard, Harding withheld aid pending reports from his military advisors. Initial reports from Major Thompson minimized the need for federal troops, but in face of continued requests for help, Secretary of War Weeks determined further information was needed.26

On August 25, Secretary Weeks, with the approval of President Harding, sent Brigadier General Henry H. Bandholtz, Commander of the Military District of Washington and former Provost Marshal for the American Expeditionary Force in France, to investigate the West Virginia situation. The fifty-six year old general carried with him a mandate to determine whether the use of federal troops was necessary or the mere threat to use federal military force would suffice in restoring order. When his train arrived in Charleston in the early morning hours of August 26, 1921, Bandholtz immediately conferred with Thompson, Morgan, Keeney and Mooney. Armed with the authority of the White House and the War Department, Bandholtz wasted little time in exerting pressure.27

General Bandholtz informed Governor Morgan, and later the two union leaders, that he was indifferent to the merits of the dispute between miners and coal operators, but was concerned only with the president's directive to restore law and order without delay and preferably without bloodshed. During his meeting with Bandholtz, Morgan claimed that the southern counties were at the mercy of an army of rabble, and insisted that army intervention alone would prevent loss of life and destruction of property. Convinced that the miners were in the wrong, Bandholtz warned Keeney and Mooney that he considered them personally responsible for the march and any problems caused by the miners, as well as any consequences that might ensue if the army stepped in. Bandholtz stated: "These are your people. I am going to give you a chance to save them, and if you cannot turn them back, we are going to snuff them out like that (snapping his finger under Frank Keeney's nose). This will never do, there are several million unemployed in this country now and this thing might assume proportions that would be difficult to handle."28

For his part, Keeney conceded that Blizzard's army might get violent if it met resistance, but promised that the marchers would disperse if guaranteed federal protection against reprisals by Sheriff Chafin and the operators' guards. After Keeney and Mooney agreed to disband the miners, General Bandholtz gave them a handwritten ultimatum to convince skeptics that he meant business. Confident the marchers would yield, Bandholtz nonetheless requested permission from Secretary of War Weeks to continue preparations for the deployment of troops equipped with tear gas dispensed from mortars.29

Major General James G. Harbord, Deputy Chief of Staff, wired Bandholtz complimenting him for his "great skill" in handling matters. Harbord further directed Bandholtz to have Governor Morgan rewrite the formal request for military aid, originally submitted on August 25, to include both a statement that the governor would try to convene the state legislature and a list of measures that he would use to reassert state authority against the insurgents. This would place Morgan in compliance with RS 5297. Harbord, however, referred specifically to what he called West Virginia's egregious failure to accept money available to the states for the establishment of a National Guard, inferring this would hinder federal efforts.30

Even while negotiating with Governor Morgan, General Harbord proceeded with preparations to intervene. On August 26, he sent Bandholtz to prepare for infantry operations and instructed Major General Charles T. Menoher, Chief of the Air Service, to examine Kanawha Field, outside Charleston, to determine its suitability for use in either reconnaissance or tactical air support operations. Later in the day, commander of the First Provisional Air Brigade, Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, personally led a flight of three olive-drab DeHavilland Bombers (DH-4B) from Bolling Field in the District of Columbia to execute Harbord's orders concerning Kanawha Field. Upon landing, Mitchell, never one to mince words about airpower, commented to the press that the Army Air Service, by itself, could end the civil disturbance by dropping canisters of tear gas upon the miners. If that failed he recommended the use of artillery by the ground forces to bring the crisis to a speedy conclusion.31

Fortunately, Billy Mitchell lost the opportunity to demonstrate what tear gas or artillery could do to mountaineers, miners, and immigrants armed with hunting rifles. As soon as Keeney and Mooney read Bandholtz's note and addressed the crowd, the miners decided to call off the march. The two men impressed the group with the seriousness of the current situation and appealed to their loyalty and patriotism. If the march continued, it was stated, it would be done against the direct orders of the President of the United States. The miners would then be facing the entire might of the federal government and the United States Army. For the first time many miners realized that their march was interpreted by federal authorities as a rebellion against the West Virginia and federal governments and not as a justified and righteous struggle against what miners perceived as greedy coal operators, corrupt sheriffs, or ruthless Baldwin-Felts "thugs." As the marchers began to disperse, Keeney and Mooney hurriedly made arrangements with local railroads on August 27 to return the miners to their homes.32

Upon learning of these events, General Bandholtz, accompanied by Major Thompson and Bill Blizzard among others, visited the positions previously occupied by the miners. Satisfied that the emergency was over, the general wired the War Department that while all alerted units could stand down, they should remain prepared for future use. Bandholtz had no confidence in the ability of Governor Morgan and the legislature to maintain order, stating, "the State had made only a feeble attempt to check the growth of the insurgent movement or to keep reasonable touch with its progress." That same day Bandholtz boarded a train for Washington, while General Mitchell flew back to Bolling Field. Despite the outward appearance of calm, actions by state authorities almost immediately stirred further unrest.33

At midnight, August 27, 1921, in an ill-advised move to arrest leaders of the miners' march and union miners involved in a recent fracas with state police, a posse of from seventy to one hundred deputies and state police, led by Sheriff Don Chafin and Captain James Brockus, went to the small mining community of Sharples north of Blair Mountain, near the Boone County line. In a confrontation with miners that resulted in a gunfight, at least two miners were killed and two others were wounded. From positions on adjacent hillsides, miners fired at the police forces who quickly withdrew. Within forty-eight hours, five thousand miners streamed back into the area to defend their homes against what they perceived as a new and unwarranted attack by those in league with the coal operators. Miners who were awaiting trains to return to their homes from the aborted march on Logan County now refused to board, and resumed their march. Chafin and Brockus, in an effort to contain and combat the new uprising, raised a volunteer force of approximately three thousand anti-union, anti-miner "militiamen," and took up positions near the summit of nearby Blair Mountain. With the miners deployed along a ten-mile front at the base of the mountain, determined to wipe out all impediments to their march, Governor Morgan on August 29 renewed his application for federal troops, citing an insurrection fanned by the influx of "Bolshevist" outsiders from Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The next day Morgan appended to his request a statement that the legislature could not be convened in time to avert bloodshed.34

The ineptitude and insensitivity displayed by West Virginia officials during the raid at Sharples convinced President Harding and his principal advisors that Governor Morgan and county officials were obviously too much a part of the problem to share in its solution. On August 30, Harding issued a proclamation under RS 5300 as the first step toward federal intervention to protect West Virginia from domestic violence. The proclamation called for both the miners and the Logan County force to disperse by noon on September 1, 1921. It was the first such presidential proclamation regarding a civil disorder issued since the American entry into World War I four and one-half years before. The proclamation finally and formally put to rest the wartime policy of direct access in action as well as thought.35

Accompanied by Chief of Staff Colonel Stanley H. Ford and Judge Advocate Colonel Walter A. Bethel, General Bandholtz returned to Charleston on August 30. Secretary of War Weeks had ordered Bandholtz to investigate compliance with the proclamation and provide guidance for the army in the event neither side dispersed. Neither side immediately complied. With the broad mission of suppressing domestic violence, dispersing lawbreakers, and maintaining order, Weeks gave Bandholtz some leeway as to tactics and the degree of force to be employed by stating that "necessity is the measure of your authority." Bandholtz's instructions translated into qualified martial law -- a modified form of martial law in which his troops would support civil authorities in executing state laws. Secretary Weeks wrote Governor Morgan on August 31, 1921, "I very earnestly hope that it may not become necessary to employ federal troops. If they are used it will be to restore peace and order in the most effective and prompt way. The problem will be regarded by the military authorities purely as a tactical one."36

Support for civil authorities was contingent upon the ability of local and state forces to suppress violence and restore order efficaciously. If Bandholtz determined that civil officials were ineffective, or even negligent by releasing prisoners whom they knew would contribute to new disorder, the general was to detain the prisoners in his custody "as long as necessity exists." In cases where the military refused to turn prisoners over to civil officials, Bandholtz was to detain those prisoners as ordinary military prisoners under the provisions of the Court Martial Manual. In each case, however, Weeks required the general to forward a full report of the circumstances.37

By September 1, private airplanes had dropped copies of Harding's proclamation on the belligerents. Each side, now totaling an estimated ten to twenty thousand men, refused to comply: the Logan County force was unwilling to relinquish the commanding heights of Blair Mountain, and the miners feared that their withdrawal would precipitate new raids by Sheriff Chafin and Captain Brockus. Arriving in Charleston at 11:30 a.m., General Bandholtz carried with him a second proclamation that reflected the belated realization of President Harding and Secretary of War Weeks that the 1866 decision in Ex Parte Milligan after the Civil War prohibited "martial law . . . where the courts are open and in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction."38

On September 1-2, intermittent skirmishing took place as the miners probed the positions of the defending force. Not content with rifle and machine gun fire to repulse the miners, the coal company operators associated with the Logan County force at one point arranged for commercial aircraft to drop homemade bombs filled with nails and metal fragments upon the miners. The bombs missed their targets or failed to explode. This incident gave rise to a short-lived rumor that the army had bombed the miners. A member of General Bandholtz's staff, Captain J. W. Wilson, compared the Battle of Blair Mountain -- with its considerable expenditure of ammunition interrupted by frequent breaks for coffee, lunch, liquor or rest -- to comic opera. Wilson observed neither ground taken nor casualties suffered. On September 3, the miners repeatedly attempted to overrun the militiamen, but without success, due largely to their lack of organization, leadership, and a common tactical goal.39

As the miners prepared their assaults up Blair Mountain, General Harbord ordered four units, previously selected for the task, to West Virginia. Eleven officers and 201 enlisted men of the Nineteenth Infantry and 15 officers and 224 enlisted men of the Tenth Infantry Regiments came by rail from Camp Sherman and Columbus Barracks, Ohio. The first troops of the Nineteenth Infantry arrived in West Virginia on September 2. From Camp Knox, Kentucky, General Bandholtz ordered 36 officers and 384 men of the Fortieth Infantry Regiment to West Virginia, while further orders prompted the dispatch of 47 officers and 158 men of the Twenty-sixth Infantry Regiment from Camp Dix, New Jersey. In addition to the above forces, all of which arrived on September 3, a detachment of Chemical Warfare troops equipped with tear gas were dispatched from Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. All told, General Bandholtz commanded a federal military force of 2,106 troops. To supplement this federal force Governor Morgan directed on September 3 that all "state and county officers . . . deputies, assistants, and other subordinates" cooperate with and obey General Bandholtz and his subordinates.40

While orders went out to the infantry regiments, General Harbord directed the Chief of the Army's Air Service, General Charles T. Menoher, to have General Mitchell send twenty-one aircraft of the Eighty-eighth Aero Squadron, commanded by Major Davenport Johnson, to Kanawha Field. In light of General Mitchell's reputation as a zealous booster of air power and his proclivity to "steal the show," the War Department ordered him to relinquish command of the squadron to Bandholtz and by no means accompany that unit to West Virginia.41

On September 1, DeHavilland DH-4B bombers, each equipped with front- and rear-mounted machine guns and carrying tear gas and fragmentation bombs, began the three hundred and twenty mile flight from Langley Field to Charleston. After spending the night at Roanoke, Virginia, the planes crossed over the Appalachians and by late afternoon, eleven had landed at Kanawha Field. Of the twenty-one planes requested, only seventeen were in proper condition and managed to take off from Langley Field. Two planes experienced mechanical difficulties at Roanoke and one crashed there on take-off. Another bomber experienced engine difficulty over West Virginia and crash-landed near Beckley, while two others became lost in dense fog and ended up landing in Mooresburg, Tennessee. Four additional aircraft, twin-engine "box-like Martin bombers," from Aberdeen, Maryland, were also ordered to Kanawha Field but only three survived the flight. The total number of army aircraft in West Virginia by September 2 stood at fourteen. The bombers and their crews became an instant hit with the local population who had never seen so many military aircraft at one time in one place. Although neither the DeHavillands or Martins ever used their armament, they performed several reconnaissance missions and enjoyed the unique distinction of being the first air unit to participate in an American civil disturbance. Mitchell subsequently boasted how the "`Mingo War' provided an excellent example of the potentialities of air power, that can go wherever there is air, no matter whether they be over water or land."42

With no more than two thousand troops and fourteen bombers to overawe the civilian combatants of both sides, General Bandholtz deployed on September 3, 1921. From the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company building in Charleston, Bandholtz divided the area around Blair Mountain into three operational zones and deployed his command in a classic pincer movement around the two civilian forces. The first group of regulars, under the command of Colonel C. A. Martin and Major Charles T. Smart, Nineteenth Infantry, were ordered to advance southeast by rail along the Coal River from St. Albans to Madison, Danville, Sharples, Jeffrey, and finally Blair, to the rear of the miners' army at the base of the mountain. The Fortieth Infantry, in a second column under the command of Colonel G. A. Shuttleworth, would move on Logan, positioning themselves behind Blair Mountain opposite the miners and behind the army raised by Sheriff Chafin. The remaining federal troops, regulars of the Twenty-sixth Infantry, would reinforce the remaining units of the Nineteenth Infantry at Madison, with additional companies positioning themselves along the Kanawha River at Marmet, Paint Creek, Lens Creek, and Montgomery. As the first two columns began their double envelopment of the Blair Mountain battle area, General Bandholtz ordered a cease-fire to go into effect at 4 p.m. In compliance with Governor Morgan's order to obey Bandholtz, the sheriff's deputies and the volunteers of the Logan force immediately disbanded. The miners, reassured then that they would not be attacked, and unwilling to resist so many regulars and the power of the national government, surrendered to the federal troops or simply went home. Although casualty figures were not kept by either side, best estimates put the death toll during the Battle of Blair Mountain at sixteen with all but four of the dead being miners. None of the casualties were inflicted by federal forces.43

Between September 4-8, 1921, federal troops disarmed and sent home without incident nearly fifty-four hundred miners. Having dramatically restored peace and order, virtually without firing a shot and without army-induced bloodshed, General Bandholtz refused Governor Morgan's subsequent request for military posses to help civil authorities arrest miners wanted for violations of state laws. The maintenance of long-term order in West Virginia and the arrest of suspects, in Bandholtz's mind, was not an army job once calm was initially restored. Military intelligence agents investigated union headquarters and meeting halls for evidence linking the marchers to a radical conspiracy. The agents found almost no radical literature, in spite of coal operator claims, and determined that a mere 10 percent of the miners were foreigners, "poor ignorant creatures who will believe anything that they are told." One intelligence officer stated in his report, "I cannot find that any organization except the UMW operating in this field openly. . . . A small amount of I. W. W. and Bolshevist literature has been taken from departing miners." Although trouble was expected by the army prior to its arrival in West Virginia, during the entire deployment no violent incidents by miners against federal troops were reported.44

For the next three months, withdrawals of army troops proceeded piecemeal and in the face of strong political opposition. General Bandholtz first recommended a partial withdrawal of regulars on September 7. The next day Secretary Weeks ordered the return of the Twenty-sixth Infantry to Camp Dix, the Eighty-eighth Aero Squadron to Langley Field, and the Chemical Warfare Detachment to Edgewood Arsenal. Countering the withdrawal, Republican Senator Howard Sutherland pressed Weeks to retain a federal force near Charleston as a deterrent to future mining disorders.45

Weeks, like General Bandholtz, opposed detaining federal troops for "police duty," especially when congressionally-mandated budgetary constraints favored immediate return of all regiments to their home stations. Nevertheless, bowing to the request of the senator, the Secretary of War placed the remainder of federal troops, now less than thirteen hundred men, under the commander of the Nineteenth Infantry, Colonel Carl A. Martin. This force was to withdraw in phases over several weeks, a period deemed sufficient for Governor Morgan to replace them with units of the soon-to-be activated West Virginia National Guard. On November 3, a board of army officers from the Fifth Corps Area met with Morgan's adjutant to draw up a schedule for the prompt deployment and allocation of the new guard units throughout the state. One month later, the last federal unit in West Virginia, a battalion of the Tenth Infantry, boarded a train for Columbus Barracks, Ohio, quietly ending the army's involvement in the West Virginia coalfield wars.46

During the three months of federal military intervention, the army successfully restored order. However, the fundamental political, social, economic, and labor issues which caused federal military intervention in the first place remained unresolved as the strikes in Mingo County continued through the winter of 1921 and into 1922. As elsewhere, the army's civil disturbance mission was to restore order and support legally constituted authority, not to effect social, political, or economic change. The miners still had their grievances, exacerbated now by the indictment of Keeney, Mooney, and other local union leaders for offenses against state law in connection with the March on Logan and the Battle of Blair Mountain. Although most union leaders escaped conviction, the influence of federal military intervention upon the UMW was unintentionally devastating. Unable to halt coal production effectively through strikes, violent or otherwise, miners and their unions had little or no bargaining power in dealing with coal operators who steadfastly refused their demands, prevented the organization of workers, and vehemently denied unions the recognition they sought. In October 1922 the UMW ended their eighteen-month strike which had cost District 17 over two million dollars and the lives of at least twenty people. The UMW thereafter suffered a national decline lasting through the 1920s and into the early 1930s. Not until a federally-mandated labor organization campaign was launched in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, would miners' unions begin a nationwide resurgence. In West Virginia, the UMW nearly faded into oblivion. Having witnessed union powerlessness to overcome the combined resistance of company, local, state, and federal authorities to unionization, the miners of West Virginia were forced by financial necessity to work in non-union operations. From a state membership of fifty thousand miners in 1921, West Virginia's membership in the UMW dropped to a mere six hundred by 1932.47

The procedures which brought federal military interventions in West Virginia represented a policy transition by the army and the federal government away from the wartime expedient of direct access to regulars by state and local authorities back to pre-war constitutional and statutory procedures. This transition took place very slowly; nearly two years after the 1918 Armistice and one year following the congressional and presidential proclamations officially declaring the war at an end in 1920. During these years the federal government and the United States Army continued to use extra-legal wartime procedures against labor organizations and radicals nationwide. Only after the government and military were certain that the wartime emergency was over, and that labor radicalism had been sufficiently tamed, did policies revert to those of the Progressive Era. As was demonstrated in West Virginia the policy of direct access, so easily formulated and implemented in 1917, was not so quickly or easily revoked after 1920. Only after substantial cajoling, and large-scale troop deployments, were federal officials able to quiet the disorders in West Virginia and convince state officials of the importance and urgency of rapidly recreating a National Guard force, viewed fundamentally as a state responsibility. By early 1922, the goal of returning responsibility for handling domestic disturbances to the states had been successfully accomplished by federal officials and the United States Army. Future disturbances would be dealt with in the first resort by new state police and National Guard forces, now re-established nationwide.


1. This article is adapted from an unpublished study, "The West Virginia Coal Mine Wars," by the author, Ron H. Cole and Paul C. Latawski, formerly of the United States Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C. It will be a part of the center's second volume (1877-1945) of a three-volume history concerning the role of federal troops in domestic disturbances, 1787-1970; authority is granted the president under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, and Sections 5297, 5298, and 5299 of the Revised Statutes of 1874, see: Cassius M. Dowell, Military Aid to the Civil Power (Ft. Leavenworth, KS: General Service School Press, 1925), 201-09; for a composite history of the role of the U. S. Army in civil disturbances see: Frederick T. Wilson, Federal Aid in Domestic Disturbances, 1787-1903 (Washington: GPO, 1903); Jerry M. Cooper, The Army and Civil Disorder (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980); Robert W. Coakley, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1878 (Washington: U. S. Army Center of Military History, 1989); Bennett Rich, The President and Civil Disorder (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1941) and Edward Berman, Labor Disputes and the President of the United States (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1924).

2. Record Group 60, Records of the Department of Justice, Box 12 -- Glasser Report -- Wartime Strikes and the Army, Memo, Baker to Bliss, 29 May 1917, 25-28, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, hereafter RG 60, Glasser File, Box 12, NARA; War Department, General Orders and Bulletins, General Order No. 147, 20 Nov 1917 (Washington: GPO, 1918); William Preston, Jr., Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933 (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), 105.

3. Howard B. Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia: The Story of West Virginia's Four Major Mine Wars and Other Thrilling Incidents (Morgantown: West Virginia Univ. Press, 1969), 12; Anna Rochester, Labor and Coal (New York, 1931), 163, 177. "Cribbing" refers to the company practice of building a crib structure on the sides of standardized coal cars used to figure miner production and wages. A cribbed car contained more coal, but miners still received the same pay per car as if the crib did not exist.

4. David J. McDonald and Edward A. Lynch, Coal and Unionism: A History of the American Coal Miner's Union (Indianapolis: Cornelius, 1939), 136, 141.

5. Daniel P. Jordan, "The Mingo War: Labor Violence in the Southern West Virginia Coalfields, 1919-1922," in Essays in Southern Labor History: Selected Papers, Southern Labor History Conference, 1976, ed. by Gary M. Fink and Merl E. Reed (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977), 102-03; Richard D. Lunt, Law and Order vs. the Miners: West Virginia, 1907-1933 (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1979), 12, 15-16; Rich, The President and Civil Disorder, 159; Merle T. Cole, "Martial Law in West Virginia and Major Davis as Emperor of the Tug River," West Virginia History 43(Winter 1982): 125; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 85, 87; Lon Savage, Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-1921 (Elliston, VA: Northcross House, 1986); Michael Meador, "The Redneck War of 1921," Goldenseal 7(April-June 1981): 44; RG 407, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, U. S. Army, War Department Files AGO 370.6 (Mingo County, West Virginia), Annual Report, Commander, Fifth Corps Area, 23 May 1921, AGO (Mingo County, West Virginia), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, hereafter RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County).

6. Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 88-91; Lunt, Law and Order, 122; Cole, "Martial Law," 125-26; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, iii-iv.

7. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Item 28-b, Letter, Baker to Dorsey, 3 Nov 1919, NARA; Under existing law at this time federalized National Guardsmen, once discharged from federal service, were under no further military obligation to either the federal government or their respective states. The states, therefore, had to recreate National Guard units from nothing.

8. Ibid.

9. Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 9-10, 13-16, 19-20.

10. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Annual Report, Fifth Corps Area, 1921, 1-5, NARA; Lunt, Law and Order, 97-99, 105, 110, 113; Cole, "Martial Law," 127-28; Lucy Lee Fisher, "John L. Cornwell: Governor of West Virginia, 1917-1921," West Virginia History 24(July 1963): 381; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 23-28 and passim; Berman, Labor Disputes and the President, 209; United States, War Department, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the Army to the Secretary of War, 1921 (Washington: GPO, 1921), 58.

11. Howard Radford, interview with the author, Matewan, WV, 23 Aug 1988; J. C. Ferrell, letter to the author, 8 Aug 1988; R. B. Adams, "Blair Mountain from the Other Side," Goldenseal 13(Fall 1987): 70; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 23, 28, 30; Cole, "Martial Law," 128-30.

12. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Annual Report, Fifth Corps Area, 1921, 1-5, NARA; Lunt, Law and Order, 97-99, 105, 110, 113; Cole, "Martial Law," 127-28; Fisher, "Cornwell: Governor of West Virginia," 381; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 23-28 and passim; Berman, Labor Disputes and the President, 209; Report of the Adj. Gen., 1921, 58.

13. Lunt, Law and Order, 114-15; RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Annual Report, Fifth Corps Area, 1921, 2-3, Tels., Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 24, 25 and 26 Nov 1920, Tel., Cornwell to Baker, 25 Nov 1920, NARA. The six continental military departments were redivided and reorganized into nine continental Corps Areas on 20 August 1920.

14. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Tels., Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 24, 25, and 26 Nov 1920, NARA.

15. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Item 23-a, Memo, Secretary of War Baker to Army Chief of Staff and Corps Area Commanders, 2 Dec 1920, NARA.

16. Ibid.; Chapter 47, Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1913; Report of the Adj. Gen., 1921, 58.

17. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Letters, Cornwell to Read, 21 Dec 1920, Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 23 Dec 1920, Acting Adj. Gen., Fifth Corps Area, to Commanding Officer United States troops -- Williamson, WV, 31 Dec 1920, Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 14 Jan 1921, Acting Adj. Gen., Fifth Corps Area to Commanding Officer, United States troops -- Williamson, WV, 17 Jan 1921, Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 10 Feb 1921, and Fiske, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, to Adj. Gen., USA, 15 Feb 1921, NARA; Report of the Adj. Gen., 1921, 58; Hatfield was acquitted of murder charges stemming from the Matewan Massacre in March 1921.

18. Lunt, Law and Order, 117-18; Cole, "Martial Law," 129-30; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 38-39; Testimony of J. Brockus, West Virginia Constabulary, in United States Congress, Senate, Committee on Education and Labor, West Virginia and the Civil War in its Coalfields, Hearings Pursuant to Senate Resolution 8, 67th Congress, 1st Sess., 1921-22, hereafter Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 273.

19. RG 470, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Annual Report, Fifth Corps Area, 1921, 3; Tels., Morgan to Read, 12 May 1921, Morrow to Read, 13 May 1921, Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 12 May 1921, and Col. Sturgis, Commanding Officer, 19th Infantry, Camp Sherman, Ohio, to Commanding General, Fifth Corps Area, 13 May 1921, NARA; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 159; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 39.

20. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Memo, Army Chief of Staff, G2, Fifth Corps Area to Read, 16 May 1921, Re: Conditions in Mingo County, 13-15 May 1921, NARA, Wash.; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 39.

21. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Memo, Army Chief of Staff, G2, Fifth Corps Area to Read, 16 May 1921, and Memo, Read to Adj. Gen., USA, 16 May 1921, NARA; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 160-61; "President Withholds Troops From West Virginia," Army and Navy Journal 58(21 May 1921): 1021.

22. 88 W. Va. 713, 108. S. E., 428 (1921) -- cited in Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 161; Testimony of Brockus, in Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 273-77; RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Memo, Thompson to Read, 23 May 1921, NARA; Cole, "Martial Law," 138-40.

23. Jordan, "The Mingo War," 110; also Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 92, 191 and Lunt, Law and Order, 99; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 48-50.

24. Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 51-53; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 96-98; Lunt, Law and Order, 125.

25. Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 161; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 96; Lunt, Law and Order, 125.

26. Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 681; RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County, West Virginia), Memo, Jervey, Army Chief of Staff, Operations Division, Office of the Chief of Staff, to Adj. Gen., USA, 23 Aug 1921, and Tel., Harris, War Department, to Commanding General, Fifth Corps Area, 25 Aug 1921, NARA; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 98-99; David Corbin, Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coalfields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1920 (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1981), 195, 218-19; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 162; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 64-65. Legislation recreating the West Virginia National Guard took effect on 27 July 1921, and the first National Guard unit, Company I, 150th Infantry, was activated on 21 August. By late October, eleven state militia companies would be in existence. John H. Carnock was named adjutant; see Cole, "Martial Law," 139-40.

27. Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1032; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 162; Mauer Mauer and Calvin F. Senning, "Billy Mitchell, the Air Service, and the Mingo War," West Virginia History 30(October 1968): 342.

28. Lunt, Law and Order, 126; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 162.

29. Cabell Philips, "The West Virginia Mine War," American Heritage 25(August 1974): 90; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1033.

30. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo, West Virginia), Tel., Harbord to Bandholtz, c/o Morgan, West Virginia, 26 Aug 1921, NARA.

31. Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 339, 342-43; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 87-88.

32. Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 343; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 66-68.

33. Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1033; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 163; Mauer, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 343; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 92-93.

34. Philips, "West Virginia Mine War," 91; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 682, 1034; Lunt, Law and Order, 130-31; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 99-100; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 94-96; RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Tel., W. R. Thurman, Logan County, to Wells Goodykoontz, House of Representatives, 31 Aug 1921, and Morgan to Secretary of War, 30 Aug 1921, NARA.

35. Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 163; Lunt, Law and Order, 131, 140; RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Proclamation by the President to the Citizens of West Virginia, 30 Aug 1921, NARA; United States, War Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1921 (Washington: GPO, 1921), 204.

36. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Letter, Weeks to Morgan, 31 Aug 1921, NARA; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1033; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 163-64; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 101-02; Dowell, Military Aid to the Civil Power, 200, "Letter of Instruction, Secretary War to Bandholtz, circa 30 Aug. 1921."

37. Dowell, Military Aid, 200.

38. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Tels., Morgan to Harding, 31 Aug 1921, and Wm. Petry to Harding, 31 Aug 1921, NARA; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 164-66; Lunt, Law and Order, 132; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 134.

39. Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 100-01; Lunt, Law and Order, 137.

40. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Annual Report, Fifth Corps Area, 1922, NARA; Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 348; "Federal Troops in West Virginia," Army and Navy Journal 59(3 Sept 1921): 12; Lunt, Law and Order, 138; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 165; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1032; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 121; Report of the Sec. of War, 1921, 204-05.

41. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Radiogram, Menoher to Commanding Officer, 1st Provisional Air Brigade, Langley Field, VA, 1 Sept 1921, NARA; Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 339, 344-46; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 127.

42. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Tels., Adj. Gen., USA, to the Chief of the Air Service, 9 Sept 1921, Menoher to Adj. Gen., USA, 12 Sept 1921, and Mitchell to Adj. Gen., USA, 17 Sept, NARA; Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 349-50; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 125-28. The return flight of the Martin Bombers was marred by tragedy; see Richard A. Andre, "Bomber Number 5," Wonderful West Virginia 48(1984): 21-23.

43. Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 165-67; Lee, Bloodletting in Appalachia, 101; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 129-31, 134, 140; Lunt, Law and Order, 138; Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War:" 348; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1034-35.

44. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Bandholtz to William, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff, 4 Sept 1921, NARA; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 141; Lunt, Law and Order, 138-41.

45. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Letters, Sutherland to Weeks, 10 Sept 1921, and Weeks to Sutherland, 12 Sept 1921, NARA; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 166; Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 1034; Mauer and Senning, "Billy Mitchell, Mingo War," 350.

46. RG 407, AGO 370.6 (Mingo County), Special Order no. 240, Headquarters, Fifth Corps Area, 14 Oct 1921, and Proceedings of the Board of Officers, Fifth Corps Area, 3 Nov 1921, NARA; Lunt, Law and Order, 142-43; "Federal Troops in West Virginia," Army and Navy Journal 59(17 Sept 1921): 54.

47. Senate, West Virginia Coalfields, 671; Rich, President and Civil Disorder, 167; Lunt, Law and Order, 141-43; Jordan, "Mingo War," 118-19; Savage, Thunder in the Mountains, 144.

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