Matewan Massacre

Logan Coal Operators Association Collection

Statement of Henry Haywood, Taken At The Office Of Prosecuting Attorney S. D. Stokes, Williamson, West Virginia, June 28, 1921.

S. D. Stokes, Prosecuting Attorney.
A. C. Pinson, Sheriff Mingo County.
Thomas B. Davis, Adjutant-General of West Va.


Q. Mr. Haywood, were you in Matewan at the time those detectives were killed up there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know anything about what led up to that? Did you hear anybody talking or planning about it before it took place?

A. Well, now, I will tell you about as much as I know. I was working at Hatfield tunnel at the present time, watching the tunnel. I had belonged to the United Mine Workers all the time, but still I had went to work watching the tunnel. I got off about half-past three that evening. I was supposed to leave about three o'clock. I was late getting relieved. I went on into Matewan. There seemed to be an awful big crowd of people up there. I hear some fellows say "There is a lot of Felts men here; they have been up throwing people out of the house." I says, "Is that so?" They said, "Yes." We think some of them are coming in to arrest them on 16." Said they didn't have no papers for them, said they was coming on 16 with papers to arrest them. I was standing up there on the ice house. I seed some of them. I didn't know them.

Q. Some of the detectives, you mean.

A. Yes. I saw some of them. I had seed Albert Felts before, and Lee, up there on Cabin Creek. I seen them coming out then from the hotel and come on down to catch 16. They had grips with them. They came down and Sid was standing out on the street, and Mr. Felts said, "Sid, let's you and I take a walk down the street." They walked ferninst one another down the sidewalk. Me and N. H. Atwood was standing together down there. We walked down together. I wasn't thinking about any trouble, anything like that, and Mr. Atwood was special police about watching people throw coal off the train and bringing them in. We was standing there talking. Anyway, Sid walked into the hardware door, and Cunningham and Albert walked to the door, anyway, Albert said to him, "I have got a warrant for you. I suppose you will go along like a man and not cause any trouble?" Sid said, "Certainly I will. I have to speak to my police over here and tell him what to do." He never spoke to Atwood, just walked on in the hardware. He hadn't been in there over a second until the guns commenced cracking. I was standing about in the middle, and I run.

Q. Where were you standing when you heard the first shot?

A. Standing ferninst the hardware door.

Q. Who fired that first shot?

A. Well, I couldn't hardly say to save my life.

Q. What is your best impression who did the first shooting?

A. I just think Sid Hatfield done about the first shooting.

Q. Did you see his bright gun?

A. Sir?

Q. You saw that bright gun that he raised there, did you?

A. No, I never seen the gun at all, but I have seen him with a bright gun all the time.

Q. You were standing looking in the door?

A. Yes, I was standing looking in the door.

Q. And who else was in there besides Sid Hatfield?

A. Well, I seed this Dug Mounts, and I seed Sid Hatfield, seed Isaac Brewer - that is about all I seed.

Q. Did you see Felts shoot any?

A. Never seen him shoot a shot.

Q. And you think that Sid Hatfield fired that first shot?

A. I believe he did.

Q. Didn't he talk about town right after that, right after the killing that day and the next day, didn't he say that he had shot Felts?

A. Yes, sir, and he said he killed Lee. He said Lee had the best nerve of ary one in the bunch.

Q. Said he killed Albert and Lee both, didn't he?

A. A. Yes, sir. He said he killed Lee. He said Lee had better nerve than ary one in the bunch. He said he just shot and sunk down.

Q. When Felts was shot he just sank down, didn't he? I mean Albert Felts.

A. Well, when the first shot fired I wheeled and run down the street.

Q. And you didn't see what happened?

A. No.

Q. Who do you think shot Testerman?

A. Well, I don't know who did shoot him.

Q. What is your best impression about that?

A. Well, I would be afraid to say.

Q. Now, what you say is not going beyond here. You are going to be taken care of.

Q. Of course I know, but I would not say something about a man I wouldn't think would be right. Of course a man can have ideas and be wrong. I wouldn't like to say something about a man that wouldn't be right. Of course it is my belief Sid Hatfield shot Testerman. I believe it with all my heart he did. Of course I might be wrong.

Matewan Massacre


West Virginia Archives and History