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The Authentic History of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud

By the s Devil Anse was an increasingly successful timber merchant who employed dozens of men, including some McCoys. Though not as prosperous as Devil Anse, Randolph owned some land and livestock. Both families lived along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, which snaked along the boundary between Kentucky and West Virginia, and both families had complex kinship and social networks. Family loyalty was often determined not only by blood but by employment and proximity. The families even intermarried and sometimes switched family loyalties, even once the feud had started.

Many people—even members of his own family—regarded Asa Harmon, who had served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, as a traitor. While some have surmised that his murder set the stage for the feud, most historians now see this incident as a standalone event. Relations between the two families continued to sour over the next decade before flaring again over a seemingly small matter: In Randolph McCoy accused Floyd Hatfield, a cousin of Devil Anse, of stealing one of his pigs, a valuable commodity in the poor region.

Sam stood trial for the murder but was acquitted for self-defense reasons. According to accounts, Johnse and Roseanna hit it off, disappearing together for hours. Supposedly fearing retaliation from her family for mingling with the Hatfields, Roseanna stayed at the Hatfield residence for a period of time, drawing the ire of the McCoys. Although they certainly shared a romance, it rapidly became clear that Johnse was not about to settle down with Roseanna.

Several months later he abandoned the pregnant Roseanna and quickly moved on.


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According to the romanticized legend, Roseanna was heartbroken by these events and never recovered emotionally. The real turning point in the feud, according to most historical accounts, occurred on another local election day in August The fight soon snowballed into chaos as one of the McCoy brothers stabbed Ellison Hatfield multiple times and then shot him in the back.

Authorities soon apprehended the McCoys, but the Hatfields interceded, spiriting the men to Hatfield territory. After receiving word that Ellison had died, they bound the McCoys to some pawpaw bushes. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. West End Walking Tour. Tri-State Wedding Reception Sites. Visitors Guide Spring-Summer Check out Area Restaurants.

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Take a Hike on a Local Trail. You may cancel at anytime. This offer is only available for new customers. Edit Article Add New Article. Sign Up Log In. Winds light and variable.. Tonight Partly cloudy skies. Winds light and variable. Close 1 of 2. Here are some key events in the feud: Welcome to the discussion. Groundbreaking ceremony for new Highlawn Elementary Photos: Barboursville Christmas Parade Photos: Marshall Winter Commencement Photos: River town holiday displays Photos: Huntington's annual Christmas Parade of Lights Photos: Wrestling tri-match at Huntington High School.

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Hatfield–McCoy feud

Manly Wade Wellman 's short story "Old Devlins Was A-Waitin'" has the protagonist calling up the shade of " Old Devlins " to settle a conflict on behalf of one of the latter's descendants, although the story takes some liberties with history. The Flintstones featured a feud between the Hatrocks and the Flintstones in the episode "The Flintstone Hillbillies" aired January 16, , which was loosely based upon the Hatfield—McCoy feud. The Andy Griffith Show also alluded to the rivalry in an episode called "A Feud is a Feud" aired December 5, , in which the feud is between the Wakefields and Carters.

The Merrie Melodies cartoon "Feud with a Dude" has the character Merlin the Magic Mouse trying to make peace with the two families, only to end up as the new target.

Hatfields & McCoys

A television movie titled The Hatfields and the McCoys told a fictionalized version of the story. The two feuding Virginia families in the made-for-TV film Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud are called Hatfield and McCoy. The eleventh episode of Bones season 7, entitled The Family in the Feud , is about a long-running family feud that main character Seeley Booth likens to the Hatfield—McCoy feud. From May 28—30, , U.

White Lightning premiered on the History channel. The series begins with an investor offering to set up the feuding families into business making moonshine, and follows the families' attempt to run the business together. In an episode of Modern Family originally aired January 15, , titled " Under Pressure ," Cam is working as a gym teacher who has plans to let parents play dodgeball with each other at the school's open house, and wants to divide the two teams into Hatfields and McCoys. The school principal frowns upon this idea, however, Gloria and a competitive mother played by Jane Krakowski decide to settle their score with such a game.

Hurriedly Cam proclaims Hatfields for one side and McCoys for the other.

The Hatfield and McCoy Feud

The fifth season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic featured an episode titled "The Hooffields and McColts", in which two clans have a longstanding feud over whether to use land for farming or construction. A similar theme was covered in Season 3, episode 9 of Littlest Pet Shop , "Feud for Thought", in which two koalas are at odds with each other but don't know why, other than that their owners are in a feud. In World of Warcraft , the Alliance starting zone of Elwynn Forest features two feuding farmer families called the McClure and the Stonefield and a pig they are fighting over, a reference to the Hatfield—McCoy feud.

In the action RPG Borderlands 2 , the game features two rivaling families clans , the Hodunks and Zafords, and many fans believe this is a reference to the Hatfield—McCoy feud. This idea is supported by the add-on Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre , in which a member of each clan is to be married, a likely reference to the marriage of Nancy McCoy and Johnson Hatfield.

The song 'A Summer Vacation' by Ice Cube mention the event and explains it as senseless violence in which lives are unnecessarily lost. While comparing to the events going on in his life by gang violence.

The Hatfield & McCoy Feud

It is track 8 on Pillowcase Blues. In the multiplayer FPS ""Team Fortress 2" the core component of the story is that two rival brothers, Redmond Mann and Blutarch Mann, have been fighting for the properties granted to them by their father Zepheniah Mann for years, hiring different mercenaries to carry out the operations. This is similar to a family feud with the exception that it takes place in a single family.


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  • Both families task the player character in carrying out attacks on one another. Names in red indicate those who were killed as a direct result of the feud. Numbers in green square brackets [ ] are cross references to the timeline in the "Deaths" section above. Names in orange highlight intermarriages between Hatfield and McCoy. Numbers in green square brackets [ ] are cross-references to the timeline in the "Deaths" section above.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Battle of the Grapevine Creek. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Devil Anse Hatfield family tree. Randolph McCoy family tree. Retrieved September 22, Archived from the original on September 24, Retrieved September 12, The Wall Street Journal.

    Retrieved April 1, Press of the Preservation Council of Pike County. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers — Retrieved September 12, — via WV Culture. Archived from the original on March 23, University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved October 24, Report from the Adjutant General of Kentucky, ".

    History's Mysteries - Family Feud: The Hatfields And The McCoys (Better Audio Quality)

    National Guard History eMuseum. Archived from the original on June 4, Retrieved May 31, Current Literature Publishing Company: Hatfield and McCoy Country. Archived from the original on December 10, Retrieved December 20, Check date values in: