In the largest uprising in the United States outside of the Civil War,
thousands of miners waged armed warfare in Logan County, West Virginia
against mine owners, the sheriff and federal troops in an effort to
unionize the mines in 1921.
The battle marked the first time
U.S. troops were ordered to bomb civilians. The United Mine Workers
(UMW) enjoyed widespread support among the general population and were
the first industrial union to admit African Americans on an equal basis.
union leader Bill Blizzard eventually surrendered his army in order to
avoid further civilian casulties. Blizzard was acquitted in court of
Future UMW & Congress of Industrial
Organizations (CIO) leader John L. Lewis fought alongside Blizzard at
the Battle of Blair Mountain and succeeded in getting recognition for
the union 14 years later in southern West Virginia.
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