"DEVIL ANSE" IN VIRGINIA
Former Feudist Visits "Cap" Hatfield, His Father
Richmond, Virginia Oct. 24,1908
"Devil Anse" Hatfield is once again in the mountains of West Virginia,
after an absence of years. Nineteen years ago James Hatfield, Jr., better
known as "Devil Anse," was recognized throughout the mountains of West Virginia and
Kentucky as one of the quickest and surest shots in the Hatfield faction, when he left West Virginia for the plains of Minnesota.
"Devil Anse" is highly respected in the community in which he lives. Few in that
section know of his past life or of the exploits of himself and his kinsmen in
their family warfare.
He is on a visit to his father, "Cap" Hatfield, leader of the Hatfield clan, who
is 90 years of age and very feeble. After spending some time at his old home it is
the purpose of "Devil Anse" to return to the wheatfields.
"West Virginia is no longer like home to me," he says, "many lives were lost during
the was between the two families. The Hatfield McCoy feud, known through-out the world
for the ferocity with which it was waged, started in Floyd County nearly forty years
ago and extended over a dozen counties in the two States. Twenty years ago I grew tired
of the eternal strife and bloodshed and went West."
John McCoy was the head of the McCoy family, of which there were fifteen children. Only
one survives. "Cap" Hatfield was the father of thirteen children, of which number eleven
were killed, the only two now alive being "Devil Anse" and a girl.
A mountain romance concerns itself with the McCoy who survived and the Hatfield girl. The
two were about the same age. One day they met on a mountain trail. Later the little community
in the hills was startled to learn that the two had, eloped and that they had been married by
a mountain preacher. This ended the feud. The couple are happy. They live in a pretty little
wooded glen in the West Virginia hills, surrounded by growing boys and girls carrying in their
veins the fused blood of the two old fighting families.
At times the feud of former days reached such proportions that State troops had to be called out.
The trouble affected even the cousins of the two sides. Innocent women and children were shot like
rabbits in the fields. In one instance two members of one of the clans, both mere boys, were tied
to trees and burned to death.
For more information
about the Hatfields and McCoys
Visit Libby's Genealogy
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