Many Americans readily recognize the names "Hatfield" and "McCoy," but don't really know the background of the legendary feud; beginning on Memorial Day, viewers can learn all about the families on the History Channel miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
The American family feud, the Hatfields & McCoys, will be explored in full on the History Channel, in a three-part series, beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.
History buffs or otherwise, many Americans find the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud intriguing. But, although many readily recognize the names, few truly know the background and basis of the fighting that almost set Kentucky and West Virginia into a war. Hatfields & McCoys, featuring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in an all-star cast, follows the two families as the leaders of the clans return home from the Civil War—Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) to West Virginia and Randall McCoy (Paxton) to Kentucky. The two families are just across the Tug River boarder from each other and, as misunderstandings and resentments increase, tensions explode into a war between the two families. Soon, friends and neighbors jump into the fray, and even the two states become involved, bringing them to the brink of war.
Other celebrities included in the six-hour drama include Tom Berenger, Powers Booth, and Mare Winningham.
Hatfield-McCoy Feud Exploded over a Pig
At one time, Devil Anse had a successful timber business, and actually employed some McCoys. Randolph owned land and livestock. But, when Randolph’s brother, Asa, a traitor who served the Union Army during the Civil War, was murdered by the Logan Wildcats—a local militia group to which Devil Anse and other Hatfields belonged—tensions between the families were raised, if not ignited. The relationship between the two families went downhill and, when Randolph accused Floyd Hatfield of stealing a hog—and was acquitted when a McCoy relative married to a Hatfield testified in Floyd’s favor—the battle was launched. Two years later, that witness, Bill Staton, was killed by Sam and Paris McCoy, but they were acquitted by reason of self-defense.
The battle between the two families raged on for years—as did love, romance and broken hearts. The History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys explores the legend in full which, despite cooling off many years ago, still captivates Americans at the very mention of the names.
Hatfields & McCoys will air on the History Channel beginning on Monday, May 28, at 9/8C, and will continue at the same time on Tuesday, May 29 (Part II) and Wednesday, May 30 (Part III). Additionally, find more information about the two families on the History Channel website.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Video: History Channel, Hatfields & McCoys
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