Hatfield and McCoys The Hatfield and McCoy fued was between two families in West Virginia and Kentucky. The Hateflelds, from West Virginia, and the McCoy’s, from Kentucky. The Hatfield’s were more affluent, and politically connected to what was going on around them. Most of the Hatfield’s at this time fought for the confederacy in the American civil war, as did most of the McCoy’s with the exception of the few who fought for the Union. One of those being Asa Harmon McCoy. Asa Harmon McCoy, was despised by The Hatfields’s for Joining the Union army. He was discharged early and sent home due toa broken leg.
Upon returning home he was told that he would be receiving a visit from Devil Anse Hatfield, who despised him. Devil Anse was a party of a local group called the County Wildcats. They were a local milita group, with mostly members of the Hatfield family. One day Asa Harmon McCoy was getting water from his well, and he heard gunshots, so he ran to hide in his cave he had near his home, which was supplied with items he’d need to survive. It was snowing that day, so the Wildcats followed his lave, pete’s, footprints back to the cave where they found Harmon.
On January 25, 1865, Harmon was fatally shot and killed by members of the Hatfields. The next recorded feud wasn’t until ten years later in1878. Floyd Hatfield, who was Devil Anese cousin, had a hog, but Randolph McCoy said it was his. The matter was taken to the local Justice and peace, who was by Bill Stanton, a relative in both families. Stanton ruled in the Hatfields favor. In June 1880, Bill Stanton was murdered by two McCoy brothers, Sam and Paris, who were later acquitted due to “self defense”.
The feud was the worst during the New Years’s Night massacre in 1888. Several members of the Hatfield family went to the McCoy cabin and opened fire on the sleeping family. The cabin was set on fire in an effort to have Randolph McCoy run ouside. He escaped, but two of his children were shot, and his wife was beaten and left for dead. The remaining McCoys moved to Pikeville to escape the violence. Between 1880 and 1891 more than a dozen memebers’ lifes were taken due to the feud. In 1891, the families both drew white flags, and officially agreed to stop feuding.