Blair Mountain From

The Other Side

By: R. B. Adams

Page Two


Bill Blizzard, a militant officer of United Mine Workers District 17, was recognized as the "generalissimo" of the armed miners invading Logan County. Blizzard and other leaders were later tried for treason against the state, and acquitted.
All accounts of the Logan Mine War refer to the troops as U.S. Army. At the time I thought some might have been West Virginia National Guard units or volunteers from Welch under the command of Colonel William E. Eubank. I do know that one of the men was a man named "Waddy" Chewning, who had a movie date with a Logan girl with whom I became acquainted. Some accounts state that a Logan unit of the West Virginia National Guard was engaged in the Logan defense forces. This is untrue. The Logan unit was not organized until after the Mine War, when Company E, 150th Infantry, was organized with Harry S. Walker as captain and Charles J. Everett as lieutenant. I was named 1st sergeant, to do the work. Shortly afterwards, Company M, a machine gun company, was formed with Huntington native Joe Corbely of Micco as captain and New York native Ned Crummy lieutenant. I did not re-enlist after my one-year enlistment expired.
As an addendure, before the road had been built across the mountain between Blair and Hetzel I once was traveling from logan, via train to Saint Albans and then by the Coal River train to Sharples, to call on the Boone County Coal Corporation and spend the night at their clubhouse. On the train I met E. M. Jeffrey, general store manager of Logan Mining Company, who had been on a visit to a small mine operated by J. J. Ross, formerly of Logan. He told me that instead of spending the night he planned to walk across the shortcut path to Ethel and get a taxi into Logan and suggested I join him. It was music to my ears. After we reached Sharples we started up Beech Creek where he stopped and said he wanted to say hello to his son-in-law, who operated an independent store across the creek from the road. Shortly he returned and said his son-in-law had talked him into staying overnight, but that I would have no trouble in finding the path.
Anxious to get home, I started the walk. I wended my way on to Monclo and past Ardrosson to the foot of the mountain where I found the path, but as I traveled up the mountain the path became more indistinct. Finally I reached the top and started down the mountain, wondering where I would reach bottom. An angel saved me. At the foot of the mountain I spied some pipes coming from the head of a gas well. I knew where I was. Several years before I had been invited to witness the shooting of the well, which had been promoted by a man named Comstock of Charleston and drilled by the Wilson brothers. I walked on to Ethel and called a taxi to Logan. It had taken me four hours to make the trip, instead of the supposed one hour. Strangely, five years after the walk across the mountain I returned to Sharples to work for Boone County Coal Corporation.


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