The bloody mine war depicted in this volume is the most deadly outburst of force in the coalfields since the Civil War, resulting out of the deep resentment of Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin, the Baldwin-Felts mine guards, and the bullheaded attitudes of the company owners at the time. President Warren G. Harding eventually became involved, sending federal troops to the region, including an air squadron from Langley Field. During the fighting, miners and several of Sheriff Chafin's army were killed. Blair Mountain stands as a powerful symbol for workers to this day.
At the time of this original manuscript, penned in 1927, Swain was a reporter for the county newspaper, The Logan County Banner, in Logan. Swain paints a vivid picture, in his most unique style, of West Virginia in bygone days. Here he documents the accounts surrounding the 1921 Blair Mountain War and the struggle between state coal miners, calling themselves "rednecks", and coal operators and the people of Logan.