Devil Anse Hatfield - Patriarch of the Hatfield Clan, Family and Family

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Devil Anse Hatfield's Personal Details

Devil Anse Hatfield was the Patriarch of the Hatfield Clan

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 9, 1839
Died onJanuary 6, 1921
NationalityAmerican
FamousPatriarch of the Hatfield Clan, Miscellaneous
City/StateWest Virginia
SpousesLevisa
SiblingsEllison Hatfield, Martha Hatfield, Valentine Hatfield
Known asWilliam Anderson Hatfield
Childrens Elias M. Hatfield, Elliott Rutherford Hatfield, Emmanuel Wilson, Joseph Davis Hatfield, Mary Hatfield Hensley, Simpkins Howes
Birth PlaceLogan, West Virginia
GenderMale
FatherEphraim Hatfield
MotherNancy Vance
Sun SignVirgo
Born inLogan, West Virginia
Famous asPatriarch of the Hatfield Clan
Died at Age81

// Famous Patriarch of the Hatfield Clan

Devil Anse Hatfield's photo

Who is Devil Anse Hatfield?

William Anderson Hatfield was a Confederate soldier and the patriarch of his family during the Hatfield–McCoy feud, which has come to be known as one of the bloodiest family rivalries in the history of America. He was also referred to as Devil Anse Hatfield. A native of the Old South, he grew up deeply believing in the Southern causes and when the American Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Confederate army, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant. After the disbandment of his unit, he joined the newly formed 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry as a private. Hatfield garnered a reputation for being efficient and ruthless in the battlefield, and gradually rose through the ranks to become a captain in the unit. Later, he co-founded the infamous Logan Wildcats to wage guerrilla warfare against the Union sympathizers. During this period, he was accused of murdering Asa Harmon McCoy. This set off the almost three-decade-long feud, where both families lost several of their members. Hatfield went on to survive the bloodshed, as did his main rival, the McCoy family patriarch Randolph McCoy, and died at the ripe old age of 81. Their story has since become an important part of American folklore and a metonym for any bitter rivalry.

// Famous Miscellaneous

Childhood & Early Life

William Anderson Hatfieldwas born on September 9, 1839, in the Tug Valley of East Virginia (now Logan, West Virginia), as one of the eighteen children of Ephraim Hatfield and Nancy Vance. He was of English and Swedish descent from his father’s side and of Scottish and Irish descent from his mother’s. He had brothers named Valentine, Ellison, and Elias, and a sister named Martha.

There are several contradictory stories of how he came to be known as Devil Anse. According to one account, it was given to him by his mother. Another one states that Randolph McCoy gave him moniker. It is also possible that he got the name during his service in the Confederacy army, or maybe it was used to differentiate him from his good-tempered cousin, Anderson "Preacher Anse" Hatfield.

Family

The Hatfields were an affluent family, and prominent and politically well-connected members of the community. Even in his youth, Devil Anse was a well-respected marksman and rider. He married Levisa "Levicy" Chafin on April 18, 1861. Chafin, who was also a Virginia native, was the daughter of Nathaniel Chafin, a neighbouring farmer, and Matilda Varney.

They had 13 children together, sons Johnson "Johnse" (1862–1922), William Anderson "Cap" (1864–1930), Robert E. Lee (1866–1931), Elliott Rutherford (1872–1932), Elias M. (1878–1911), Detroit W. "Troy" (1881-1911), Joseph Davis (1883-1963), Emmanuel Wilson "Willis" (1888-1978), and Tennyson Samuel "Tennis" (1890-1953), and daughters Nancy (1869-1937), Mary (1873-1963), Elizabeth (1876-1962), and Rose Lee “Rosie” (1885-1965).

Military Career

Hatfield grew up in a turbulent period in American history. Virginia was the epicentre of the Old South, all facets of that culture—frommusic to cuisine to slavery—thrived there at the time. So when the Republicans, led by President-elect Abraham Lincoln, following the 1860 election win, gave their full support to banning slavery from all the US territories, Virginia and the rest of the Southern states saw it as an infringement of their constitutional rights and as part of the Republicans’ grander plan to abolish slavery.

Virginia wasn’t one of the earliest states to declare secession from the Union. In fact, they voted against it at the State Convention on April 4, 1861. However, war broke out later in that month and soon the public opinion shifted. There were many other causes for the Civil War besides slavery, including states’ rights; the social, political, and economic difference between the North and the South; territorial crisis; and Lincoln’s election.

The Hatfields were ardent believers in Southern causes. After his marriage, Devil Anse did not spend much time with his new bride and joined the Confederate army at the height of the Civil War. In 1862, he served in the Cavalry in the Virginia State Line as a first lieutenant, guarding the territory at the border between Kentucky and Virginia where people of loyalties to both the Union and the Confederacy resided.

When the Virginia State Line disbanded in 1863, Hatfield joined the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, a newly-formed unit. They were experts in guerrilla warfare, and spent the majority of their time either patrolling the border against the Union-sympathising bushwhackers and fighting against the Union soldiers themselves.

In time, he became a first lieutenant with this unit as well. He was later promoted to the position of captain of Company B. Hatfield distinguished himself on the battlefield by being cunning and resourceful. Sources connect him to multiple battles and killings of several prominent Union fighters, such as Ax and Fleming Hurley in 1863.

At the tail end of the Civil War, Hatfield, with the aid of his maternal uncle Jim Vance, founded the Logan Wildcats, a Confederate unit adept in guerrilla combat. They turned out to be very successful, taking out numerous Union combatants, including General Bill France, whose unit had earlier killed a member of the Wildcats.

In 1865, it was implied that he was involved in the murder of Asa Harmon McCoy, who had enlisted in the Union army, despite being at home at the time. However, in all probability, Vance was the one who orchestrated the crime.

The Feud

After the war ended, Hatfield began working as a farmer and buying real estate. He also owned a logging business, which turned to be hugely profitable. He fiercely defended what he considered was his. Hatfield successfully sued Perry Cline, a relative of Randolph "Randall" McCoy. He also had an illegal moonshine business.

The McCoys were staunch supporters of the Confederacy just like the Hatfields, with Asa being a rare exception. Compared to the Hatfields, they were a struggling middle class family, though they were early settlers in the area just as the Hatfields were. The Tug Fork, which is a tributary of the Big Sandy River and flows along the border of Kentucky and Virginia, separated their lands, with the Hatfields living on the Virginia side and the McCoys residing on the Kentucky’s.

While Asa’s murder started the animosity between the families, the feud truly began with an 1878 court case involving a hog. In the farming economy of the 19th century South, hogs were highly valued commodities and Floyd, one of Devil Anse’s cousins, was accused of stealing one from Randall. The case was presided over by Preacher Anse Hatfield and Floyd was eventually cleared of all charges. The McCoys were furious as they thought the Hatfields were the reason for the loss.

In 1880, Roseanna, Randall’s daughter, eloped with Johnse and started to live with the Hatfields in Virginia. The relationship produced a child who died soon after. She was eventually abandoned and died of a broken heart at the age of 29. In 1882, Devil Anse’s brother, Ellison, was murdered by Randall’s three sons. In retaliation, Hatfield executed all the three boys without a trial.

Cap and Jim Vance conducted a raid on the McCoys’ property on New Year’s Day 1888. While Randall and his wife survived the attack, many of their children perished. The situation was so dire that on one occasion, both the Kentucky and Virginia Governors threatened to invade the other state with their militias.

The feud came to a jarring halt following the Battle of Grapevine Creek on January 19, 1888. Jim Vance had been captured and killed by the McCoys and Devil Anse was seeking to avenge the death. Hearing of this, a posse led by deputy sheriff Frank Philipps rode out to capture the Hatfields. The opposing parties met at an area around the Grapevine Creek on the Virginia side of the Tug Fork River. The Hatfields were soundly defeated. Many of them were captured and brought to Kentucky for trial.

After the trial, the majority of the prisoners were given life sentences. Ellison Hatfield “Cotton Top” Mounts, the illegitimate son of Ellison Hatfield, was sentenced to death for the murder of Alifair McCoy. However, Devil Anse escaped capture and in 1891, agreed to end the feud.

Later Years & Death

For the major part of his life, Devil Anse Hatfield had remained agnostic or kept an anti-conformist view about religion. On September 23, 1911, at 72 years of age, he was baptized by William Dyke "Uncle Dyke" Garrett in Island Creek. He later established a Church of Christ congregation in West Virginia.

At the age of 81, he passed away due to pneumonia on January 6, 1921, in Stirrat, Logan County, West Virginia. Buried at the Hatfield Family Cemetery, his grave is marked by a life-size marble statue of him.

Legacy

Unlike Randolph, who lost six of his 17 children during the feud, all of Hatfield’s children survived the bloodshed. He was the uncle of Henry D. Hatfield (1875-1862), the 14th Governor of West Virginia. Many of his descendants still live in those parts of the state.

Devil Anse was portrayed by Kevin Costner opposite Bill Paxton’s Randall in History’s miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ (2012). Costner received both the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor for his performance. In the same year, a direct-to DVD film, ‘Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood’ was released. In it, actor Jeff Fahey was cast as Hatfield.

Trivia

In 1979, both the Hatfield and McCoy families appeared on the game show ‘Family Feud’ as contestants. The McCoys won the series that lasted a week.

// Famous American

Devil Anse Hatfield biography timelines

  • // 9th Sep 1839
    William Anderson Hatfieldwas born on September 9, 1839, in the Tug Valley of East Virginia (now Logan, West Virginia), as one of the eighteen children of Ephraim Hatfield and Nancy Vance. He was of English and Swedish descent from his father’s side and of Scottish and Irish descent from his mother’s. He had brothers named Valentine, Ellison, and Elias, and a sister named Martha.
  • // 1860
    Hatfield grew up in a turbulent period in American history. Virginia was the epicentre of the Old South, all facets of that culture—frommusic to cuisine to slavery—thrived there at the time. So when the Republicans, led by President-elect Abraham Lincoln, following the 1860 election win, gave their full support to banning slavery from all the US territories, Virginia and the rest of the Southern states saw it as an infringement of their constitutional rights and as part of the Republicans’ grander plan to abolish slavery.
  • // 4th Apr 1861
    Virginia wasn’t one of the earliest states to declare secession from the Union. In fact, they voted against it at the State Convention on April 4, 1861. However, war broke out later in that month and soon the public opinion shifted. There were many other causes for the Civil War besides slavery, including states’ rights; the social, political, and economic difference between the North and the South; territorial crisis; and Lincoln’s election.
  • // 18th Apr 1861
    The Hatfields were an affluent family, and prominent and politically well-connected members of the community. Even in his youth, Devil Anse was a well-respected marksman and rider. He married Levisa "Levicy" Chafin on April 18, 1861. Chafin, who was also a Virginia native, was the daughter of Nathaniel Chafin, a neighbouring farmer, and Matilda Varney.
  • // 1862
    The Hatfields were ardent believers in Southern causes. After his marriage, Devil Anse did not spend much time with his new bride and joined the Confederate army at the height of the Civil War. In 1862, he served in the Cavalry in the Virginia State Line as a first lieutenant, guarding the territory at the border between Kentucky and Virginia where people of loyalties to both the Union and the Confederacy resided.
  • // 1863
    When the Virginia State Line disbanded in 1863, Hatfield joined the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, a newly-formed unit. They were experts in guerrilla warfare, and spent the majority of their time either patrolling the border against the Union-sympathising bushwhackers and fighting against the Union soldiers themselves.
  • // 1863
    In time, he became a first lieutenant with this unit as well. He was later promoted to the position of captain of Company B. Hatfield distinguished himself on the battlefield by being cunning and resourceful. Sources connect him to multiple battles and killings of several prominent Union fighters, such as Ax and Fleming Hurley in 1863.
  • // 1865
    In 1865, it was implied that he was involved in the murder of Asa Harmon McCoy, who had enlisted in the Union army, despite being at home at the time. However, in all probability, Vance was the one who orchestrated the crime.
  • // 1875
    Unlike Randolph, who lost six of his 17 children during the feud, all of Hatfield’s children survived the bloodshed. He was the uncle of Henry D. Hatfield (1875-1862), the 14th Governor of West Virginia. Many of his descendants still live in those parts of the state.
  • // 1878
    While Asa’s murder started the animosity between the families, the feud truly began with an 1878 court case involving a hog. In the farming economy of the 19th century South, hogs were highly valued commodities and Floyd, one of Devil Anse’s cousins, was accused of stealing one from Randall. The case was presided over by Preacher Anse Hatfield and Floyd was eventually cleared of all charges. The McCoys were furious as they thought the Hatfields were the reason for the loss.
  • // 1880 To 1882
    In 1880, Roseanna, Randall’s daughter, eloped with Johnse and started to live with the Hatfields in Virginia. The relationship produced a child who died soon after. She was eventually abandoned and died of a broken heart at the age of 29. In 1882, Devil Anse’s brother, Ellison, was murdered by Randall’s three sons. In retaliation, Hatfield executed all the three boys without a trial.
  • // 1888
    Cap and Jim Vance conducted a raid on the McCoys’ property on New Year’s Day 1888. While Randall and his wife survived the attack, many of their children perished. The situation was so dire that on one occasion, both the Kentucky and Virginia Governors threatened to invade the other state with their militias.
  • // 19th Jan 1888
    The feud came to a jarring halt following the Battle of Grapevine Creek on January 19, 1888. Jim Vance had been captured and killed by the McCoys and Devil Anse was seeking to avenge the death. Hearing of this, a posse led by deputy sheriff Frank Philipps rode out to capture the Hatfields. The opposing parties met at an area around the Grapevine Creek on the Virginia side of the Tug Fork River. The Hatfields were soundly defeated. Many of them were captured and brought to Kentucky for trial.
  • // 1891
    After the trial, the majority of the prisoners were given life sentences. Ellison Hatfield “Cotton Top” Mounts, the illegitimate son of Ellison Hatfield, was sentenced to death for the murder of Alifair McCoy. However, Devil Anse escaped capture and in 1891, agreed to end the feud.
  • // 23rd Sep 1911
    For the major part of his life, Devil Anse Hatfield had remained agnostic or kept an anti-conformist view about religion. On September 23, 1911, at 72 years of age, he was baptized by William Dyke "Uncle Dyke" Garrett in Island Creek. He later established a Church of Christ congregation in West Virginia.
  • // 6th Jan 1921
    At the age of 81, he passed away due to pneumonia on January 6, 1921, in Stirrat, Logan County, West Virginia. Buried at the Hatfield Family Cemetery, his grave is marked by a life-size marble statue of him.
  • // 1979
    In 1979, both the Hatfield and McCoy families appeared on the game show ‘Family Feud’ as contestants. The McCoys won the series that lasted a week.
  • // 2012
    Devil Anse was portrayed by Kevin Costner opposite Bill Paxton’s Randall in History’s miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ (2012). Costner received both the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor for his performance. In the same year, a direct-to DVD film, ‘Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood’ was released. In it, actor Jeff Fahey was cast as Hatfield.

// Virgo Celebrities

Devil Anse Hatfield's FAQ

  • What is Devil Anse Hatfield birthday?

    Devil Anse Hatfield was born at 1839-09-09

  • When was Devil Anse Hatfield died?

    Devil Anse Hatfield was died at 1921-01-06

  • Which age was Devil Anse Hatfield died?

    Devil Anse Hatfield was died at age 81

  • Where is Devil Anse Hatfield's birth place?

    Devil Anse Hatfield was born in Logan, West Virginia

  • What is Devil Anse Hatfield nationalities?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's nationalities is American

  • Who is Devil Anse Hatfield spouses?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's spouses is Levisa

  • Who is Devil Anse Hatfield siblings?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's siblings is Ellison Hatfield, Martha Hatfield, Valentine Hatfield

  • Who is Devil Anse Hatfield childrens?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's childrens is Elias M. Hatfield, Elliott Rutherford Hatfield, Emmanuel Wilson, Joseph Davis Hatfield, Mary Hatfield Hensley, Simpkins Howes

  • Who is Devil Anse Hatfield's father?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's father is Ephraim Hatfield

  • Who is Devil Anse Hatfield's mother?

    Devil Anse Hatfield's mother is Nancy Vance

  • What is Devil Anse Hatfield's sun sign?

    Devil Anse Hatfield is Virgo

  • How famous is Devil Anse Hatfield?

    Devil Anse Hatfield is famouse as Patriarch of the Hatfield Clan