The West Virginia Mine War


If there was a remnant of glory left over from this forlorn epic, it finally rested like a faded mantle about the shrunken shoulders of Frank Keeney. He had done his honest best to turn the marchers back from their foolhardy excursion—not once but several times. But his loyalty to their basic goal had been constant, and when the national union abandoned the southern counties, he broke with it and tried to organize an independent union. This, too, failed, although in the effort he sacrificed his home, his savings, and his future status with the UMW . Until late 1969, when he, too, died, he was the last survivor of the old Red Neck general staff and held occasional court on the street corners of downtown Charleston for the aging veterans of The March—the last great insurrection—who now and then wandered up to the city.