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Newspaper Page Text
ies' steel armored 'death special that
I want to tell you, Miss O'Reilly. Be
cause that's what 'brought on this
Lee Calvin adjusted his stalwart
body to prolonged inactivity 245
pounds of bone andjanew.
"It was the worst thing that ever
happened in any strike anywhere
the shooting up of SLEEPING wo
men and children from a fortified
car, wasn't it?
"And who did it? That's the
"Well, I was on that train and I
"About Feb. 1st I was working on
Paint Creek as chief guard of a col
liery. The strike had quieted down
and Supt. Hale of Mucklow mine told
Capt. Levi of the Baldwin-Feltz mine
guards that we must reduce his 25
gunmen to 10 five night men and
five day men a saving of $500 a
"The night shift saw their chance
and they took it. On Feb. 7 at 5 a.
m. before it was daylight the night
shift climbed the hills above Muck
low and shot up the miners' shacks.
The day guards, just getting up, ran
out to attack and found their friends.
"But a fight with striking miners
sounded fine and saved their, jobs.
There you have the 'battle of Muck
low!' "Capt. Levi, in charge of B. & F.
mine guards at Mucklow, telephoned
the sheriff to come up and arrest the
"Sheriff Bonner Hill was just
sworn in and knew next to nothing
Df his duties.
"R. B. Paine, assistant chief of the
Baldwin-Feltz men working aB
Chesapeake & Ohio railroad detec
tives, knew the sheriff was inexpe
rienced. So Paine sent word to Holly
Grove that the sheriff was coming up
to make wholesale arrests. Then we
caiieti out the C & O. armored train.
"Yes, I know we are going slow,
but sending that death special up
Paint Creek "was the crime of crimes
in the mine war. It proved who is
perhaps guilty of other things.
"Sheriff Hill picked up 10 deputies
in Charleston, but he paid neither
for the train nor the arms and am
munition put on board. Calling it
'the sheriff's train was only a blind.
"When Holly GrovQ heard the
sheriff was coming, the miners flitted
into the hills,
"That left the women and children
alone in their strikers' tents.
"Remember, it was in February,
early dark and bitter cold. About 9
p. m. the 'Death Special' pulled out of
Charleston. In the steel armored car
behind the engine was a machine
gun and a dozen B. & F. mine guards
acting as Chesapeake & Ohio detec
tives. "Five of those men had done time
for murder, burglary or worse. Five
were ex-policemen discharged for
drunkenness. The crowd looked at
home in an armored car.
"The sheriff and his 10 deputies
were" put in care of the special. With
us was Quinn Morton of Burnwell,
millionaire mine owner, and his gen-
eral manager, M. M. McClanahan.
"I could not understand how they
came to be there until later.
"Sheriff Hill and his deputies sat
quiet, talking and joking--expecting
no trouble. But when the train pass
ed the junction and headed up the
creek the detectives pulled out boxes
of rifles and began loading a gun for
each. Qumn Morton had secured
two boxes of 30-30's Winchesters
man-killers. from the state capital.
"These guns belonged to the Con
solidated Coal Company, but had
been confiscated by the militia at the
first declaration of martial law.
"Why did the governor give them
back to a fighting coal corporation?
"Don't ask me.
"That is West Virginia.
"Phil Walker, a railroad detnrtive,
qrfered me a rifle, .
" 'You were often up the Creek be
fore and never got hurt. Why dQ you