A true story of a family feud that went on for years between the Hatfield and McCoy families in the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia will be featured next week on television.
“Hatfields and McCoys” is a three-part, six-hour miniseries that airs at 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the History Channel.
The all-star cast features Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield, who sided with the Confederates, and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy, who fought on the Union side, in a story that begins during the Civil War. Hatfield and McCoy were close friends until near the end of the war, when Hatfield deserted and returned home, and McCoy was taken prisoner.
Hatfield returned to West Virginia and McCoy came home after the war to his home in Kentucky, across the Tug River from Hatfield. Both men were dedicated to their wives and families, but tensions between the two families increased. Misunderstandings and resentments exploded between the families and neighbors, and almost brought the two states to the brink of another Civil War.
The two families fought over land and timber rights, and a pig. However, it was when McCoy accused Hatfield’s cousin of stealing a pig that turbulence arose. While the fighting continues between the two families, McCoy’s young daughter Rosanna (Lindsey Pulsipher) falls in love with Hatfield’s oldest son Johnse (Matt Barr), which causes more trouble.
The series is filled with scenes of the mountains, battles along the Tug River that separated Kentucky and West Virginia, and blood and tears as more than a dozen lives were lost.
The feud that lasted a quarter of a century made international headlines and governors of the neighboring states clashed, causing the United States Supreme Court to intervene.
The feud began at the end of the Civil War and ended in 1891, but a truce between the Hatfield and McCoy families was not official until June 14, 2003, when the families signed a truce, according to a report on CBS news. The last confrontation between the families was a 2000 dispute over access to a cemetery. This led to a court battle in which both sides claimed a partial victory in 2003.
Others in the cast are Tom Berenger as Jim Vance, uncle of Anse Hatfield; Powers Booth as Wall Hatfield, Anse’s older brother; Mare Winningham as Sally, wife of Randall McCoy; Noel Fisher as Cotton Top Mount, illegitimate son of Hatfield; Body Holbrook as Hatfield’s son, Cap; Andrew Howard as Bad Frank Phillips, a private detective/killer for hire; Jean Malone as Nancy McCoy; Sarah Parish as Livicy, wife of Hatfield; and Ronan Vibert as Perry Cline, McCoy’s politically savvy attorney.
The History Channel also will air “American Feud: Hatfields & McCoys,” a two-hour documentary about the feuding families, at 9 p.m. Friday.