The Harlan County War was the series of violent labor disputes between coal operators and coal miners between 1931 and 1939 in Harlan County, Kentucky. Based on what I've read so far, the violence got so bad that the National Guard was called in to control the miners, although it sounds like maybe the mine operators needed to be controlled. Either way, it was a hot mess there in the 1930's.
My novel is set in the same time period on the other side of the Black Mountain Range in southwest Virginia, which places it just a smidge northeast of Harlan County. What happens in Harlan serves as a backdrop for my story - it fuels the paranoia of the mine operator about the potential for miners to unionize or strike. The potential for violence makes the miners and their families even more uncomfortable at a time when safety in coal mines was a low priority.
The problem I'm running into is getting straight-forward details about what happened and when. My story opens on April 16, 1931. But the stuff going down in Harlan happens in what most of the sources describe as "early 1931." I have a book with the detailed information, but it's full of a million other details that aren't as relevant. The Battle of Evarts happens on May 5, 1931. I'm debating whether to move the start of my story to May or to go with it as is.
My tasks for this week are to finish the research on the Battle of Evarts to pin down the events and dates that my miners will learn about and to finish revisions to the first section of my novel.