The Hatfield-McCoy feud began in 1875 between rival families of Devil Anse Hatfield and Ol' Randall McCoy. The story of “The Feud,” now over 135 years old, has become a modern American symbol of the perils of family honor, pride, justice, and vengeance.
HOW IT BEGAN:
The most notorious family feud in American history involved the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. During the American Civil War, the feud leaders from both families were staunchly pro-Confederate, and Randolph himself served in the Confederate Army during the opening years of the war. However, Randolph’s younger brother, Asa Harmon McCoy, enlisted in the Union Army. He was discharged from the Union Army on December 24,
1864 after suffering a broken leg, and returned home. Soon after his return, Jim Vance, uncle of Devil Anse Hatfield, and a member of the "Logan Wildcats" (a Confederate home guard organized by Hatfield) put Asa Harmon on notice that the Wildcats would soon be paying him, "a visit." Asa Harmon McCoy tried to escape by hiding out in a local cave, but was tracked to his hideout and killed. No charges were ever filed but it was widely known that Vance and members of Hatfield’s Wildcats were directly responsible for his death.