Mini-series: The 'Hatfields & McCoys'
The History Channel has put together a star-studded, six hour mini-series chronicling the life and times of the legendary feud between the "Hatfields & McCoys."
The three-part History Channel
series is slatted to air this Memorial Day and will feature some big-time hitters such as Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe and "True Blood" alumni Lindsay Pulsipher as a young Roseanna McCoy.
The saga begins with two civil war comrades and close friends Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy (played by Costner and Paxton) returning home at the end of the war to find tensions and misunderstandings between the two families rapidly escalating and eventually erupting into an all-out war.
Brief history of the two families and the feud:
The Hatfields, led by William Anderson Hatfield (aka "Devil Anse") hailed from West Virginia's Logan (now Mingo) County and were part of the original wave of pioneers, along with the McCoys, to settle the Tug Valley area. The McCoys, led by Randall McCoy (aka "Ole Ran'I') settled in the Kentucky side of the Tug river.
The Hatfields were more politically connected and more affluent than the McCoys with many of the two families on opposite sides during the American Civil War. The majority of the Hatfields fought for the south while the majority of the McCoys fought for the north.
Violence first broke out between the families after Asa Harmon McCoy was murdered on January 7, 1865. At first Devil Anse Hatfield was suspected of committing the murder but later it was determined that Harmon was killed by a gang of ex-Confederates known as the "Logan Wildcats."
However, even though Devil Anse had been confirmed to be at home sick and confined to bed at the time of the murder, it was widely believed that Devil Anse's uncle, Jim Vance, was part of the group that committed the gruesome deed.
The feud escalated even further with the news of a romantic relationship between Ole Ran'l's daughter Roseanna McCoy, and Devil Anse's son Johnson "Johnse" Hatfield. Roseanna left her family in Kentucky to live with the Hatfields in West Virginia for a short time, later to return pregnant to her family across the river.
Hostilities reached its peak between the two families in 1888, when several members of the "Hatfield Clan" surrounded the McCoy home New Year's night, opened fire and set ablaze the cabin while the family was sleeping. Randolph McCoy managed to escape that evening, however, the rest of the family was not so lucky. Two of his children were killed in the attack and his wife was severely beaten and left for dead.
During the course of the feud, violence and public hangings claimed more than a dozen lives from both sides and made for sensational headlines all across the country. To this day, over a century later the Hatfield-McCoy feud still remains an intriguing part of American folklore.
Cast summary of Hatfields & McCoys:
Kevin Costner ~ 'Devil' Anse Hatfield
Bill Paxton ~ Randall McCoy
Tom Berenger ~ Jim Vance
Matt Barr ~ Johnse Hatfield
Lindsay Pulsipher ~ Roseanna McCoy
Powers Boothe ~ Judge Valentine 'Wall' Hatfield
Sarah Parish ~ Levicy Hatfield
Andrew Howard ~ 'Bad' Frank Phillips
Jena Malone ~ Nancy McCoy
Full cast and crew
Hatfields & McCoys - Premieres (Memorial Day) May 28, at 9/8c