On this day, Jan. 7, in 1865, Asa Harmon McCoy was killed in West Virginia in the oldest-known violence in the legendary feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.
The families generally lived on opposite sides of the Tug Fork, the McCoys in Kentucky and the Hatfields in West Virginia.
During the Civil War, wounded Union soldier McCoy returned home to a chilly reception and was told that the a pro-Confderate group, led by William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, planned to kill him.
Harmon hid in a cave, but he was tracked and shot dead.
The second known instance of violence occurred 13 years later, over a stolen hog.
The fighting lasted for decades, resulting in numerous killings, a Romeo-and-Juliet-like love affair and a near war between Kentucky and West Virginia.
- Scott McCabe