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

Tuesday April 21, 1914
Ludlow, Colorado - Tent Colony Set Ablaze by Militia as Fourteen-Hour Attack Ends

The Remains of the Ludlow Tent Colony
The Ludlow Tent Colony was set ablaze last evening and completely destroyed after a fourteen hour battle between the mine guards, who now compose the state militia, and the strikers. The colony was attacked yesterday morning and was bravely defended by the miners as the women and children took shelter in the pits, or escaped at the north end of the colony through an arroyo. Some found shelter at a nearby ranch, while others made their way to the Black Hills east of the colony where they spent the night out in the open.

Witnesses state that as the strikers ran out of ammunition in the evening, the militiamen entered the colony, looted the tents, and set fire to the tents. Militiamen are now in control of the former tent colony.

The known dead, at this time number 11 and include the leader of the colony, Louie Tikas. Mary Petrucci appeared in the town of Ludlow early this morning in a state of confusion. Her children are missing, and attempts to locate them by the Ludlow postmistress,  Susan Hallearine, have been unsuccessful.

Newspapers across the nation and around the world are reporting the news of the battle. The Chicago Daily Tribune reports the story in today's paper:


Battle in Colorado Coal Zone Ends with Death of Leader of Greek Miners.
Number of Slain Said to Include a Soldier and a Civilian;
Clash Near Trinidad.

Trinidad, Colo., April 20-A fourteen hour battle between striking coal miners and members of the Colorado National guard in the Ludlow district today culminate late tonight in the killing of Louis Tikas, leader of the Greek strikers and the destruction of the Ludlow tent colony by fire.

Reports received here late tonight place the dead at thirteen persons, including eleven strikers, one soldier, and one noncombatant. It also was reported that two soldiers had been wounded one seriously, and that more than twenty strikers were wounded.

Machine Gun Sweeps Tents.

Darkness fell with the battle raging fiercer than at any time during the day. A machine gun brought by the reinforcements was planted near the Ludlow station and the tents of the strikers' colony were swept.

Reports received shortly before 6 o'clock state that heavy firing still continued. All telephone wires are down and telegraphic service is limited to one railroad wire.

The military force totals about 100 men and fully 400 armed strikers are said to be in the hills at the foot of Hastings and Berwind canyons and along the Colorado and Southeastern railroad tracks.

Refuse to Carry Troops.

An effort to send recruits from Trinidad was delayed this afternoon by the refusal of the train crew to take out the train. The master mechanic and dispatcher and superintendent finally took out the train.

The entire district is in a high state of excitement. Citizens are arming themselves in Trinidad.

Mother Jones with Strikers Children

From yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer:
The House committee which is investigating conditions in the Colorado coal field probably will conclude its hearings this week. "Mother" Jones who led the strikers in the field and who was several times forcibly ejected from the strike zone, is on her way to Washington to appear before the committee.

Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
 in the American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008

Chicago Daily Tribune
(Chicago, Illinois)
-of Apr 21, 1914

The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 20, 1914

1). The Remains of the Ludlow Tent Colony
2). Machine Gun Pointed at Ludlow Tent Colony
3). Mother Jones with Strikers' Children


Monday April 21, 2014
The Petrucci Family Remembers 100 Years Later

From the Colorado Independent of April 18, 2014:
"Ludlow: One hundred years of silence." by Susan Greene

Frank Petrucci’s three brothers and a sister died in the Colorado Coal War. His family and the nation still struggle to talk about it.

For three generations, one topic was out of bounds for the Petrucci family.
What never came up between a mother and her son, and later, between her son and his daughter was what happened 100 years ago next week after an April snow dusted the foothills of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.


Frank’s daughter, Mary Elaine Petrucci of Denver learned of her family’s sad history not from her father or grandmother, but from a cousin in Trinidad who spoke of Ludlow in hushed tones when Mary Elaine was about 9. She later read what she could find on the topic, including a book by George McGovern for which her grandmother refused to be interviewed.

As a Petrucci, she learned early on that you didn’t ask about what you weren’t told. And so Mary Elaine knew only what she imagined: That even after decades had passed, it was all too painful for her grandma and her dad to discuss....

She and her dad are planning to drive south next month when the UMWA will commemorate the massacre’s 100th anniversary at the monument. Frank will be there with his cane, oxygen tank and spotty memory of the days he played kick-the-can on the scrubby land that was his family’s battlefield. Mary Elaine will, as she always does, urge her dad to speak for himself at the ceremony. It’s likely that he’ll start sentences he can’t finish.

The Petruccis lost their voice in 1914. In 2014, it’s time to get it back.

The Colorado Independent
"Ludlow: One hundred years of silence"
-by Susan Greene
Apr 18, 2014
(This is a nice long article about surviving tragedy, and a family finding its memory. Several photos. Well worth reading.)

Mary Elaine Petrucci Finds Her Voice

Bernard Petrucci-6
Joe Petrucci-4
Lucy Petrucci-2
Frank Petrucci-6 mo's

Little Bernard died of illness a few weeks before the Ludlow Massacre after the guards refused to allow Mary to take him into Trinidad for treatment. The other three children perished in the pit where they had sought shelter from machine-gun fire. The mine guards (by then, militiamen) set fire to tent above them.
To view a photo of the four little Petrucci children:


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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