Hatfield and McCoy Feud: William Anderson “Cap” Hatfield II

This post was written by jshepherd1102 | September 30, 2013

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William Anderson “Cap” Hatfield II is the second oldest of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield’s children. His nickname is derived from Devil Anse’s other nickname, “Captain”, which he obtained during his service in the Civil War. When his older brother Johnse Hatfield removed himself from the feud, it was Cap that replaced him as Devil Anse’s Lieutenant. In the book titled The Hatfields, Cap was “heavyset with a powerful bull-like neck, a thick pug nose which stood out prominently on a round face covered with a stubbled beard. He was also described as having a eye injury that was caused by a percussion cap explosion, giving him the appearance of being wall-eyed. Cap was perhaps better suited for his role as Devil Anse’s Lieutenant than Johnse, as Cap’s quarrelsome demeanor and affinity for violence is legendary. In Cap’s younger days, legend has it that he would often cause Devil Anse grief with his wild and unruly antics that lead to many shootouts. Cap served under the tutelage of his great uncle Jim Vance, of whom he assisted in the planning and execution of the infamous New Years Night Massacre. Although arrested and held in a Mingo County jail, Cap would later escape and was among the Hatfields being pursued by Randolph McCoy at the fight of “Devil’s Backbone”, a rocky crag which served as the Hatfield’s hideout. Escaping the bloody encounter, Cap disappeared. The New York Times ran an article detailing Cap’s death, which occurred on August 22nd, 1930 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Maryland. He passed away due to a brain ailment, and the article described him in his later years as being peaceful.

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4 thoughts on “Hatfield and McCoy Feud: William Anderson “Cap” Hatfield II”

  1. My five time grandfather is devil anse hatfield, I would love to met my real hatfield family some day.

  2. I have watched the Hatfield & McCoy’s movie at least 20 times & never get bored seeing it. I love all the characters, & would love to talk to them directly. My family were all from
    Tennessee, & I live in Michigan. Would love to speak with anyone who were related or knew the Hatfield’s or McCoy’s.

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