the Hatfields and the McCoys(redirected from Hatfields)
the Hatfields and the McCoys
A long-lasting and bloody feud. The Hatfields and the McCoys were two warring families who lived along the West Virginia-Kentucky border. The 1865 murder of a McCoy, a returning Union soldier, allegedly by a band of Confederate sympathizers was attributed to a member of the Hatfield family. The death sparked some thirty years of hatred and much bloodshed between the two clans, a situation that was hardly improved when a McCoy woman ran off to live with a Hatfield who ultimately abandoned her. As word of the lengthy feud spread across the country and for years after it was settled, the two sides became a metaphor for neighborly bad blood. When, for example, two families stopped talking when one chopped down a tree on the property line between them, others in the neighborhood were likely to refer to the situation as “the Hatfields and the McCoys going at it."