"We didn't have time,"

Charles H. Tanner was the Auditor for the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) during the cruel Copper Country Strike of 1913–1914. He had also served as a bodyguard for WFM President Charles Moyer.


Near the end of the strike, WFM President Charles Moyer, Tanner and several other WFM officials were assaulted by Citizens' Alliance members and "deported". The following was recorded in Tanner's own words:

HANCOCK, Mich., Feb. 25.- Announcement was made by the copper mine strikers' counsel at the opening of the afternoon session today that they had concluded the presentation of their case before the congressional committee. Chairman Taylor announce that at the conclusion of the inquiry here the committee would sit for one day in Chicago to take testimony of Michigan national guard in answer to the strikers' charges.

The committee then adjourned the public hearings until Saturday. In the meantime the Congressmen will make an inspection of the mines, stamp mills and smelters. The operators will begin the introduction of witnesses on Saturday or Monday. Charles H. Tanner auditor of the Western Federation of Miners, took the stand today before the committee and described the deportation of Charles H. Moyer and himself.


"Moyer was standing at the telephone in his room," Tanner said, "when there was a rap on the door. I was standing by the bed and Moyer himself opened the door with his free hand. A crowd of twenty or thirty rushed in shouting 'Where is Moyer? Where is Moyer?' At the same time three men covered me with automatic revolvers. Then Moyer, by the telephone replied "I am Moyer." "Several men made a rush for him and bent him over almost double. Another man rushed in from the hallway and struck Moyer, as he was bent over, on the head with a revolver. The gun exploded and Moyer was wounded in the back."


Tanner said Moyer and he were then rushed out of the room, down the stairs and out of the hotel. They were hustled across the bridge to Houghton, where they were placed on a train for Chicago in charge of two deputies, one named Hensley and warned if they ever came back they would be hanged. On the bridge the witness said he was struck over by his captor and he showed the committee a scar resulting from the blow. "Did not Moyer say he believed the shooting to be accidental?" asked Attorney Rees of Counsel for the companies.

"He did not, to me."

"Did either you or Mr. Moyer offer any resistance," asked Chairman Taylor.

"We didn't have time," said Tanner.

Tanner was the only witness called on this subject.

Left out of this account is the fact that the "twenty or thirty" men who rushed into the room were a mob made up of members of the Citizens' Alliance. Many of them were proudly wearing the well-known button of that organization, including Deputy Hensley, named above, who kept guard upon Tanner and the wounded and bleeding Moyer after they were forced onto the Chicago-bound train. The other deputy who boarded the train to assist with guarding the two captive union men was named McKeever. He also wore the button of the Citizens' Alliance, right next to his deputy's badge.

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