HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Battle of Matewan: May 19...

Fri May 19, 2017, 03:09 PM

Battle of Matewan: May 19, 1920

Hat tip, Ken Ward. He retweeted this at @Kenwardjr:

May 19, 1920, Sid Hatfield and armed miners met 13 Baldwin-Felts detectives for a shootout.



Battle of Matewan

The Battle of Matewan (also known as the Matewan Massacre) was a shootout in the town of Matewan, West Virginia in Mingo County on May 19, 1920 between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.

A contingent of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency arrived on the No. 29 morning train to evict families that had been living at the Stone Mountain Coal Camp just on the outskirts of town. The detectives carried out several evictions before they ate dinner at the Urias Hotel and, upon finishing, they walked toward the train depot to catch the five o'clock train back to Bluefield, West Virginia. While the detectives made their way to the train depot, they were intercepted by Matewan Chief of Police Sid Hatfield, who claimed to have arrest warrants from the Mingo County sheriff. Hatfield, a native of the Tug River Valley, was a supporter of the miners' attempts to organize the UMWA in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. Detective Albert Felts and his brother Lee Felts then produced his own warrant for Sid Hatfield's arrest. Upon inspection, Matewan mayor Cabell Testerman claimed it was fraudulent.

Unbeknownst to the detectives, they had been surrounded by armed miners, who watched intently from the windows, doorways, and roofs of the businesses that lined Mate Street. Stories vary as to who actually fired the first shot. On the porch of the Chambers Hardware Store, began the clash that became known as the Matewan Massacre, or the Battle of Matewan. The ensuing gun battle left seven detectives and three townspeople dead, including the Felts brothers and Testerman. The battle was hailed by miners and their supporters for the number of casualties inflicted on the Baldwin-Felts detectives. This tragedy, along with events such as the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado six years earlier, marked an important turning point in the battle for miners' rights.

4 replies, 3519 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Battle of Matewan: May 19, 1920 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 2017 OP
Laffy Kat May 2017 #1
ms liberty May 2017 #2
WhiskeyGrinder May 2017 #3
rug May 2017 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 03:16 PM

1. Like a lot of people, I learned about Matewan from the movie.

When my sons were old enough I made sure they saw it too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 04:46 PM

2. Please cross post to Omaha Steve's Labor Group.

Thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 04:46 PM

3. K&R for history.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 05:11 PM

4. Which Side Are You On Florence Reece Original

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread