Skip to main content

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Tuesday October 27, 1903
From The Indianapolis News: U. M. W. of A. Vice-Pres. Lewis Back From West Virginia

The troubles on Campbell Creek in West Virginia appear to be settled, according to this article which appeared yesterday in The Indianapolis News:

Vice-President Thomas Lewis, of the United Mine Workers of America, has returned from the Kanawha district of West Virginia, where he succeeded in effecting a settlement of the troubles at Campbell Creek between the miners and the operators. The operators have agreed to the Huntington (W. Va.) scale, which was signed last April, and which virtually means that the Campbell Creek miners will have their old scale of wages, but will enjoy several concessions in regard to weighers and similar matters. There were three hundred miners affected by the settlement.

President John Mitchell, Vice-President Lewis and Secretary William B. Wilson will leave the city to-morrow to attend the celebration of Mitchell's day in Pennsylvania. Mr. Mitchell will go to Scranton, Mr. Lewis to Minersville, and Mr. Wilson to Hazelton.

The Indianapolis News
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-of Oct 26, 1903

Monday October 27, 1913
Ludlow Tent Colony, Colorado - Fighting Continues as Miners Defend Their Families

Red Bandanna
After the deputized gunthugs led by Linderfelt were forced to retreated yesterday morning, word came that another train was on the way from Trinidad full of mine guards who had been deputized by Sheriff Grisham of Las Animas County. These guards were heavily armed and the train was equipped with mounted machine guns. As it turned out, union men had refused to operate the train, and thus, the Baldwin-Felts Detectives were forced to operate the locomotive themselves.

As the train approached Ludlow this morning, it was met by 500 miners, with red bandannas tied around their necks. They were hidden on Water Tank Hill near the Green ranch. Louie Tikas was in command of the Greek miners, many of whom have seen military service back home. They opened fire on the train as it approached, and forced the Baldwin thugs to stop the train and back it up all the way to Forbes Junction. A blizzard is blowing in, and the fighting may be over for the day. There is no word on injuries at this time.

Out of the Depths
The Story of John R. Lawson, a Labor Leader

-by Barron B. Beshoar
(1st ed 1942)
CO, 1980

Photo: Blair Mt Reenactment Society


Sunday October 27, 2013
More on the Red-neck Miners and the Red Bandanna:

Red Bandannas: A characteristic of the miners in the Coal War of 1920-21 was the red bandanna that was worn around his neck; it was a part of the revolting miner’s “uniform.” Not only was it used to identify one insurgent from the next, but it also helped unify the group. Paisley on cotton and wool in the 19th Century was major and by the beginning of the 20th century the paisley pattern was being printed, rather than woven, onto other textiles, including cotton squares which were the precursors of the modern bandanna. Being able to purchase printed paisley rather than woven paisley brought the price of the costly pattern down and added to its popularity. Avoid modern “railroad” paisley patterns or modern bandannas, these are not correct for the era.
More on what to wear here:

Historians of the Colorado Coalfield Strike/War of 1913-14 also mention the miners wearing the red bandanna as they went into battle. Beshoar quotes John Lawson after the murder of Brother Luca Vahernick at the Forbes Tent Colony:

"Let every miner wear his red bandanna around his neck," Lawson said. "It is our uniform." He had already set an example by knotting his own bandanna around his neck. A .45 caliber revolver was strapped to his waist.
Battle Cry of Union!

We have fought them here for years, boys,
We'll fight them in the end,
Shouting the battle cry of union.
We have fought them in the North,
Now we'll fight them in the South,
Shouting the battle cry of union.

The union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the Baldwins, up with the law;
For we're coming, Colorado, we're coming all the way,
Shouting the battle cry of union.

Folk Archive credits Frank J. Hayes, then international vice-president of the UMWA, as the author of the lyrics of "We're Coming Colorado," also called "The Battle Cry of Union." (Fighting in North and South, refers to the strike which was already underway in the northern field when the strike in the southern field began in Sept of 1913.)

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site