Retreat pillar mining concentrates stresses on workings directly outby gob areas, which can result in coal mine bumps. The development of bump-control design criteria by the U.S. Bureau of Mines was furthered by data from a novel bump control mining method at the Olga Mine, McDowell County, West Virginia. The pillar splitting, retreat mining system induced large pillar pressure increases and roof-to-floor convergence. Roof-to-floor convergence monitoring proved to be a valuable tool in evaluating the pillar splitting mining method and localized destressing techniques. Maximum strain energy storage in chain pillars appears to have occurred just prior to the first of four split cuts. At that point a 15-ft-wide, highly fractured perimeter confined the core of the 55- by 70-ft pillars, permitting the pillar core to support tremendous pressures. Splitting the chain pillars into two 17.5- By 70-ft wings removed the confinement load, resulting in pillar yield. Thus, the pillar splitting mining method successfully redistributed the weight of the roof away from the pillar line. Shot fire and auger drilling destressing techniques augmented the pillar splitting mining method by redistributing the weight of the roof.