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

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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12 Replies to “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.

  3. Looking for info on Louise Hatfield-Carter (daughter of William “Cap” Hatfield son of Degil Anse)? Was wanting to know if she had a daughter named Sarah Carter who married a Johnson Hatfield.

  4. smith hatfield (one of the twins, bro to DA) was my great grandfather. DA my great great uncle. our geneology is documented back to 1000AD

  5. Have watched the Hatfield and McCoys series several times and have enjoyed it every time. They have such a fascinating history, would love to meet a real one someday.

  6. I read a fascinating account about how a man was close to freezing to death and was helped by a stranger, whom turned out to be Devil Anse.

  7. I am such a huge fan of the Hatfields & Mccoys series! I never get bored watching it. With so much history these Too families have, I really wished that it was a much longer series. Kudos to all the characters & the stories told to make such a wonderful movie!

  8. I have always been fascinated with the Hatfields and McCoys. The story and movie is absolutely amazing.

  9. I have heard two versions of how Cap Hatfield lost his eye. A wood chip got in it , A percussion cap blast. Which was it.

  10. I’ve heard both as well. I also have heard that he was called “Cap” because Devil Anse went by the unofficial title of Captain while in service. Not sure what is true concerning that.

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