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Newspaper Page Text
They fired carefully, deliberately.
They didnt fire to frighten but to
But they didn't shoot at those mili
tiament because the blood lust was in
their veins. They shot because the
memory of Ludlow was in their
minds. " x
Soon after the battle starter, Rock
efeller's murderers at the Walsen
mine turned their machine guns on
the city of Walsenburg. Two men
were killed there, while women and
' children crouched in terror in the
basements of their homes,
Such was the battle of Walsen
burg, in which 300 strikers Wednes
day defended their position on a hill
top against about 200 so-called mili
tiamen. They tell me that one militiamen
and ten gunmen "were killed. It's too
bad but they shouldn't be militia
men and gunnien. They shouldn't be
working for greedy coal operators
against men and women and chil
dren who are striking for bread.
It wouldn't be so bad if they
weren't working against the women
and children. The men can stand
their attacks. But when they kill
wives and mothers and babies kill
them for hire it's different.
I never knew braver or better men
than those miners. They're rough;
they're ignorant, but they're men.
They love their families.
And I know that when they fought
the militia at Walsenburg it was sim
ply to protect their families.
It wasn't for revenge. It was from
fear of another massacre.
The strikers under me occupied a
position on a hill "the Hogback."
One-half mile back of them was their
camp of Toltec, and stretching twelve
miles back of that were seven other
strikers' camps in which were fifteen
hundred women and children. All
that stood between John D. Rocke
feller's murderers and these fifteen
hundred women and children was
"The Hogback" and the strikers
on it. J
And. .every man was thinking of
Ludlow. Four men who had lost
wives and children in the massacre,
there were in our ranks. They'd told'
the story of Ludlow, over and over
again. They'd told how the militia
men and the gunmen, brought to Col
orado to kill for hire, had trained
their machine guns on the camp.
They'd heard how the tents were sqt
on fire, how the children screamed
rand died in cruel flames!
- And they were determined to die
rather than let those militiamen
reach the camp back of Walsenburg.
We didn't do wrong. We didn't re
sist officers of the law. We' resist
ed men who have preyed on us for
months, who have shot us down, who
have burned our camps and who
have killed our women and children. .
That's the awful part.
The battle started Monday after
noon when Rockefeller's army open
ed fire on my automobile between
Toltec and Walsenburg. Tuesday
the militia, men wearing the' uniform
of tie state of Colorado, but as much
in Rockefeller's employ as the gun
men, arrived in Walsenburg. They
boasted they were going to take "Thfi
Hogback" and wear "Rednecks,"
their derisive name for the strikers,
as watch-charms. We heard of that;
we swore we would die rather than
give Rockefeller's murderers a
chance to turn their machine guns
on our women and children.
"The Hogback" is three miles long.
We held the top of it We only had
one hundred armed men there. They
crouched behind the rocks. The posi
tion' was practically impregnable.
There were two hundred and fifty
militiamen. There were ' over one
hundred mine guards. They had nine
machine guns. We had the advant--age
of position, but they outnumber
ed us, they had the machine guns,
and were better organized.
The men under me are s brave as
any in -the world. They -wouldn't
work in dusty mine pits if they
werent. But they dpp't inow 0115.
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