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Newspaper Page Text
y " vr"
f pn Et xtr - ran
FtftW & ggW-f gi
ways. And they speak in many lan
guages. It was because I thought
that I might be able to organize them
so that they could protect their camp
that I joined them. All they need is
organization to become erreat sol-
xnere wasn t any cnance 01 toe
militia coming up the face of the hill.
The hill looks right down on Wal
senburg, and they'd have to come up
in the face of our fire in order to
So they tried to flank us. Two de
tachments of militia, both with ma
chine guns, tried to take us in the
right and left flank. Major P. P.
Lester, an officer of the state Red
Cross, who should have been a non
combatant, led the militia who tried
to turn our left flank. He was killed
It was not until Wednesday after
noon that Adjutant General Chase,
commanding the Colorado state mili
tia, called me up and asked for a
truce. I agreed to it. I had hard
work to keep my men from continu
ing. They had been betrayed by the
militia so often, that they do not
trust them even in a truce.
They didn't start the battle. The
militia fired the first shot. They had
been shooting at us for two days.
They were the aggressors through
out. They meant to drive us back to
our camp and that might mean
The militia had a cannon in addi
tion to their three machine guns.
They had constructed it "at the mine
forges. I don't know whether they
shot anything from it or whether
they simply set it off with giant pow
der to scare our men. I think they
shot pieces of iron and chain, but
they didn't do any damage.
And it didn't scare anybody. Men
don't scare very easy when they're
fighting to keep other men from
shooting up and burning their homes.
And that's what I honestly believe
would ha,ve happened if we'd lost the
The militia fired a steady stream of
lead at us. Bullets spattered against
the rocks. They whizzed by in the
air. They kicked up the dust by our
And all the time the machine guns
kept up a persistent tattoo. There's
something pretty about the sound of
a machine gun. It's so regular. But
it isn't pretty when it's turned against
All day long I heard that steady
br-r-r-r-r-r and listened to the bullets
whizz around me.
We suffered, but we only lost one
man. He was killed by our own men.
He lost his "uniform" a white hand
kerchief tied 'around the left arm.
He walked into a party of our men,
still carrying his rifle. They took
him for a Rockefeller gunman.
Eleven bullets found his body. Two
other of our men were wounded.
I think it's all over now. The fed
eral troops are here. We welcome
them. For it can't be that the great
government of the United States
would turn against us like the state
We think we're going to be safe
from gunmen. At least, every miner
Ludlow is going to become a mem
ory instead of an ever-present
dread. We won't have to fight days
and watch nights to protect helpless
women and children.
For that was the sole cause of the
battle of Walsenburg. It was be
cause of Ludlow that practically
every striker in this district armed
We aren't pleading I any defense.
We don't feel that we need one. Wo
men we knew, children we played
with, have been shot and burned.
We're protecting them now.
Wouldn't you? H
Charles Del Missier, 5848 S. Lincoln
sL, met two strangers. Gave them
$500 for privilege pf distributing $8,
000. Changed mind and shouted for
police. Strangers fled.
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