In the article, one doctor originally reported in a 1998 medical journal that he researched and traced the disease through four McCoy generations. Since then, according to other medical specialists, dozens of descendants of patriarch Randall “Ran’l” McCoy have been found with the rare disease, which causes high blood pressure, severe headaches and racing hearts, too much adrenaline and other stress hormones.
"This condition can certainly make anybody short-tempered, and if they are prone because of their personality, it can add fuel to the fire," said Vanderbilt University endocrinologist Dr. Revi Mathew in
an AP story written by Marilynn Marchione.
Local historian and great-grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield, Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield, of Stollings, says that the medical conclusions set forth in the article could better explain some things when looking back at the history of the feud. “Some particulars surrounding the feud have always puzzled me,” he said this week from his home.
“Although shotgun-tempers were involved on both sides of the family ruckus, I always thought it odd how Ran’l McCoy could so easily go into a rage over seemingly inconsequential incidents. Perhaps his temper concerning ‘that damnable pig’ could better be explained partly due to a disorder or disease. His volatile mannerisms, and his inability to let go of his anger, didn’t always seem rational or reasonable.
“During the Civil War Devil Anse and Ran’l served together and had been involved in several incidents in the war, and were far from mortal enemies. I always thought the turn of events after the war were peculiar at best. Ran’ll Mccoy and his reaction to a Hatfield courting his daughter, or to the killing of Alison Hatfield, was always troubling to me. The McCoy patriarch has been described as an explosive individual, and now there may be a medical reason behind his personality or temperament.
“To explain away all the actions surrounding the feud to the so-called ‘McC kindred’ disorder may grossly misinterpret times, too. However, this genetic disease could have been involved to some degree. I can imagine how this ailment could be weaved into the feud
Perhaps Hatfield, more than any living person, is most qualified to speak on behalf of the Hatfield family and the feud, being that he has spent the greater part of his life researching Hatfield history. This unquenchable passion for research was handed down to him from his father, Coleman A. Hatfield, once a City of Logan attorney as well as historian. Throughout his life, Coleman A. wrote and collected journals of first-hand accounts from his grandfather Devil Anse and other family members. At his death in 1972, his son picked up the mantle and continued the investigation.
Case in point: Tale of the Devil: The Biography of Devil Anse Hatfield was the first and only biography of the patriarch of the famous feud family. Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield and the late Robert Y. Spence wrote the bestselling book, using the original research of Coleman’s father. Since 2003, the title has garnered attention and admiration from historians and reviewers across the Mountain State, and from readers of history from around the United States. Due to its impact, Dr. Hatfield was even named Tamarack Author of the Year in 2005.
Now, after being unavailable for the last six months, the third printing of this literary work has been released this week. According to Tim Fortune, CFO of the Chapmanville, WV based book-publishing firm, Woodland Press LLC, this third printing includes new photos and several additional features. “Again, we have made the book available in its original format, in a keepsake handsome hardback; and, for the first time, it is also available in a paperback version. By a special
collaboration with West Virginia Book Company, in Charleston, the soft-cover is now available throughout the state.“This work has solid credibility due to Coleman A. Hatfield and Dr.Hatfield’s life-long examination of the details surrounding this captivating story,” said Fortune.
Tale of the Devil spans the life of the Hatfield patriarch, including coverage of his Civil War days as a Confederate soldier. The 328-page book also chronicles the feud and the post-feud years. Coleman A. Hatfield’s father was Cap Hatfield, considered the most violent of the feud participants. So, the biography emphasizes Cap’s participation in the bitter family quarrel.
“Hopefully, this biography gives an in-depth description of the details and motivations behind the feud,” Dr. Hatfield said. “I think the conclusions drawn from the book will demonstrate the violent actions of those men and women who were involved. The true account, without embellishments, is a fascinating part of American history. Now, with this new information, we can only wonder the role this McCoy family illness may have played in the tragedies. If this colorful story had happened in Arizona or anywhere else in the Wild West, it would have compared with such stories as the OK Corral with
Woodland Press is also the publisher of the well-received 2006 title, Arch, The Life of Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., written by Charleston attorney Brad Crouser. The publishing firm receive the assistance of
the former Governor at certain book events when first released. Crouser and Moore’s participation created a great deal of media
excitement for the title. For more information about Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield, or any of Woodland Press titles, see WoodlandPress.com; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or see www.wvbookco.com.