Hatfields and McCoysSubmitted by jruss133 on Thu, 07/18/2013 - 20:23
A crucial moment in the feud came in 1882 when three of Ran'l McCoy's teenage sons brutally murder Devil Anse's brother, Ellison, during a fight at an election day gathering in Pike County; they reportedly stabbed him 26 times, then shot him. The three McCoys fled the scene but were quickly captured by a Kentucky sheriff.
But skeptical of getting the justice he wants from a Kentucky court, Devil Anse led a heavily armed contingent of Hatfields, cut off the sheriff and forced him to surrender the three prisoners, who were taken to Hatfield territory in West Virginia, where the powerful but mortally wounded Ellison clung improbably to life at his brother's home
As portrayed in The History Channel miniseries, Ran'l McCoy learns of the incident from another son; realizing that his boys' lives are at the brink, the troubled father rides alone across the Tug Fork and stands contritely outside the Hatfield home. Anse stands silently on the porch.
"I come unarmed," McCoy declares, "to ask you for my boys. You've got my word I'll turn 'em over to the law in Pikeville."
"Your boys stabbed my brother," Hatfield replies evenly. "They stabbed him over and over again, then shot him."
"The penalty for that is the same in Kentucky as it is West Virginia," McCoy answers. He pauses, then asks: "How is Ellison?"
Hatfield stares but doesn't answer.
"I pray he recovers," McCoy says at last.
"Do you still believe in prayin'?"
"Then we'll leave it to the almighty. If my brother survives, you can have your boys and we'll let Kentucky law take its course. If he dies — if my brother dies — your boys will stay here, not long before justice will be done on 'em."
Distress in his eyes, McCoy asks softly, "Is there anything that I can say or give you that will move you from that?"
"No," Devil Anse Hatfield replies, refusing even to allow McCoy to see his boys.
Exodus 21:18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:
19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.