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Hatfields & McCoys


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Death of Asa Harmon McCoy

When Asa Harmon McCoy (a brother of Randall McCoy) was killed, it was said that it was because he fought against the Confederacy during the war between the states . . . nobody was convicted in his killing, but it was suspected that the Hatfields were involved . . .

  • 07 January 1865

Dispute over hog

In the fall of 1878, Randolph McCoy brought charges against Floyd Hatfield for stealing one of his hogs. The resulting trial occurred here and was presided over by the local justice of the peace, Preacher Anderson Hatfield. Preacher Anderson was Devil Anse Hatfield's cousin and did not want to appear biased so he gathered a jury of six Hatfields and six McCoys to hear the case. When the jury reached its verdict, Selkirk McCoy, nephew of Sarah McCoy and a veteran of the Virginia Confederacy, sided with the six Hatfields in favor of Floyd. The McCoys felt betrayed and open hostilities soon erupted between the Haftield and McCoy families. Later Bill Staton, who testified in favor of his brother-in-law Floyd Hatfield was killed by two of Randolph McCoy's nephews while he was hunting. They were tried and acquitted in a trial presided over by Valentine Hatfield, uncle of Devil Anse. After this, violence between the families continued and the resulting conflict eventually escalated into the most famous family feud in American history. [From the historical marker placed in remembrance of the trial.]

  • 1878

Death of Bill Staton

In June 1880 Staton was killed by two of "Ole Ran'l" McCoy's boys, Sam and Paris, who were later acquitted on the grounds of self-defense.

  • June 1880

Roseanna McCoy & Johnse Hatfield

Roseanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield meet. She leaves her father's home to live with him at Hatfield cabin. Roseanna later returns home, then moves to aunt's cabin where Johnse is captured by Roseanna's brothers. Roseanna's ride to Devil Anse's saves Johnse's life. Pregnant Roseanna returns to her father's home, catches measles, miscarries baby, then moves to Pikeville. Johnse marries her cousin, Nancy McCoy, on 14 May 1881.

  • 1880

Death of Ellison Hatfield

Ellison Hatfield is fatally wounded (stabbed and shot) by three sons of "Ole Ran'l" McCoy -- Bud, Tolbert and Pharmer. After Hatfield dies, the trio is tied to pawpaw bushes and executed.

  • 09 August 1882

Death of Jeff McCoy

Jeff McCoy killed on banks of the Tug.

  • 1882

Death of Bud, Tolbert & Pharmer McCoy

Ellison Hatfield fatally wounded by Bud, Tolbert and Pharmer McCoy on August 9. After Hatfield dies, the trio is tied to pawpaw bushes and executed.

. . . . . . . . . .

PawPaw Tree Incident. This episode is result of August 1882 election-day fight. Tolbert, a son of Randolph McCoy, exchanged heated words with Ellison Hatfield, which started a fight. Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph McCoy Jr. stabbed Ellison to death. Later the three brothers were captured by Hatfield clan, tied to pawpaw trees, and shot in retaliation. [From a historical marker in Pike County]

  • 1882

Death of Alifair & Calvin McCoy

New Year's Day raid on Ole Ran'l McCoy's cabin leaves Alifair and Calvin dead, home burned to ground.

  • 01 January 1888

Death of Roseanna McCoy

Roseanna McCoy, less than 30 years old, dies in Pikeville.

  • Pikeville
  • 1888

Death of Ellison Mounts

Ellison Mounts executed for Alifair McCoy's murder.

  • 18 February 1890

Death of Randolph McCoy

Randolph McCoy died at the age of 88 after catching fire. He is buried in the Dils Cemetery in Pikeville, next to his wife who passed away in the 1890's.

  • Pikeville, Kentucky
  • 28 March 1914

Death of Devil Anse Hatfield

aka Captain Anderson Hatfield

  • Logan County, West Virginia
  • 06 January 1921

Asa Harmon McCoy

Harmon McCoy was killed on Jan. 07, 1865 by a band of bushwhackers known as the Logan Wildcats.  This band of marauders was headed by Anderson Hatfield & his uncle Jim Vance.  This pair both served in the Confederate Army for a short time before deserting. 

Harmon McCoy enlisted in the Union Army in 1863, & had returned home to Peter Creek on Dec. 24, 1864.  The majority of his neighbors on Peter Creek also served in the Union Army (contrary to some earlier accounts reported in books).  "Preacher" Anderson Hatfield, who presided over the hog trail & cousin to Devil Anse, also served in the Union Army.

According to family accounts, the Logan Wildcats had raided the home of Harmon McCoy numerous times during his absense. His son, Larken McCoy, who was 9 at the time of his father's death, would later recount how the family was terrorized & forced to flee into the hills to escape the Logan Wildcats.  It was recorded in 1934 that Larken reported that one of the reasons his father was killed was because Jim Vance feared that Harmon would wreak vengeance upon the Logan Wildcats for their treatment of his wife & children.

Lark and his brothers Bud (Asa Harmon Jr.) & Jake would later ride in the posse that killed Jim Vance.

Some people consider the death of Harmon McCoy a war casualty, & not murder.  It was reported in Martha McCoy application for a widow's pension that Harmon had re-enlisted. Thus far, no record of this has been uncovered.   

Harmon Mccoy was my 2X greatgrandfather & Larken was my greatfather.

  • Peter Creek, Pike Cty., KY
  • 07 Jan. 1865

Contributor: BeNotForgot
Created: May 30, 2012 · Modified: February 18, 2014

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