William Hatfield  was born in Logan County, Virginia, on September 9, 1839. He was the son of Ephraim "Big Eaf" Hatfield and Nancy "Bettie" Vance. He was given the nickname "Devil Anse" by his mother or by Randolph McCoy, or earned from his bravery during battle in the American Civil War. He married Levisa Chafin on 18 April 1861 in Logan County, West Virginia, and they had 13 children.
William Hatfield sympathized with the south, and during the Civil War he formed a fighting unit that he called  "The Logan Wildcats." In 1865, Asa Harmon McCoy, on his way home from fighting for the Union Army was killed by The Wildcats . William Hatfield was thought to have been involved, but had been home ill at the time of the killing. Asa Harmon McCoy murder was most likely committed on the say so of William Hatfield's uncle, Jim Vance. This is believed to have started the beginning of the Hatfield and McCoy feud, between the two families that claimed many lives on both sides.
The second recorded instance of violence in the feud, occurred 13 years later with a court case. In 1878, Hatfield's cousin Floyd was accused of stealing a hog from Randall McCoy. Another cousin, Preacher Anse Hatfield, the local justice of the peace, presided over the trial. In the interest of fairness, he created a jury of six Hatfields and six McCoys. The jury found Floyd Hatfield not guilty, and Randall McCoy and some of his family blamed the Hatfields for this defeat.
William Hatfield died of pneumonia on January 6, 1921 in Stirrat, Logan County, West Virginia he was 81 years old. He is buried in the Hatfield Family Cemetery .William Hatfield was an uncle to Governor of West Virginia, and United States Senator, Henry D. Hatfield.
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZ4G-71P : 12 April 2016), Anderson Hatfield, West Virginia, United States; citing p. 5, family 42, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Arc...
"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6RY-M1S : 15 July 2017), Anderson Hatfield, Magnolia, Logan, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district ED 75, sheet 295A, NARA microfilm publicat...
"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9CT-DS3 : accessed 29 January 2019), Hatfield, Logan district (west side), Logan, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 66, sheet 2A, fa...
"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPNY-B8G : accessed 29 January 2019), Ause Hatfield, Logan, Logan, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 64, sheet 47B, family 35, NAR...
"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN2X-GFR : accessed 29 January 2019), Anderson Hatfield, Logan, Logan, West Virginia, United States; citing ED 22, sheet 15B, line 76, family 250, NARA microfilm...
Find A Grave: Memorial #3061 memorial page for William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield (9 Sep 1839–7 Jan 1921), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3061, citing Hatfield Family Cemetery, Sarah Ann, Logan County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .
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