Hatfield and McCoy Feud: Sam McCoy

“Big Sam” or “Squirrel-Hunting Sam” McCoy played a key role in the escalation of the violence of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud. Known locally for his prowess as a squirrel hunter (from which he received one of his nicknames), Sam was an outdoorsmen of great skill and marksmanship, claiming to have killed 38,000 squirrels with one rifle, and 40,000 with another. Locals also found Sam to be peculiar, neglecting his chores and family duties in favor of long hours of hunting. Legend has it that while Randolph McCoy would threaten the Hatfields for their theavin’ ways, it was some of his sons and nephews (the latter of which included Sam and his brother Paris) who brought brutality to the quarrel. Continue reading “Hatfield and McCoy Feud: Sam McCoy”

Hatfield and McCoy Feud: Randolph McCoy

Randolph “Ole Ran’l” McCoy was the head of the McCoy family during the Hatfield and McCoy feud; he and his wife Sarah produced 16 children. Randolph was a tall man with a stern and serious personality, befitting of a grudge. In 1878, it was Randolph McCoy who accused Floyd Hatfield, Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield’s cousin, of stealing his property, a hog which had wondered into the Hatfield’s territory. The McCoy clan claimed that the ownership was evident by the markings on the hog, so the case went before the Justice of the Peace, over which Anderson “Preacher Anse” Hatfield (not to be confused with Anderson “Devil” Anse”) presided. Continue reading “Hatfield and McCoy Feud: Randolph McCoy”