by Coleman C. Hatfield and Robert Y. Spence
The Tale of the Devil is the story of the legendary Devil Anse Hatfield, beginning with his childhood in frontier Appalachia, describing his Civil War days as a noted Confederate soldier, giving a richly detailed background into just who this man was and from where he came. Then this handsome edition gives readers a captivating and enlightening birdâ€™s-eye view of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, the killings, and the post-feud years when the shooting subsided.
"Now the story, the real account, of my great-grandfather, Devil Anse Hatfield, can be told, without exaggeration or fable," Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield said recently from his home in Stollings, West Virginia. "My father, Coleman A. Hatfield, the son of Cap Hatfield, spent the majority of his adult life researching Hatfield and McCoy feud history. Besides being a Logan attorney, he was a gifted writer and researcher in his own right. He kept meticulous journals and audiotapes throughout his life about his historical findings, before passing away in 1970. In addition to his research, Dad remembered and recounted many of the stories and tall tales that he personally heard Devil Anse and his wife, Levicy, tell the grandchildren through the years.
"Unfortunately, my father never got to see his dream, that of publishing his own scholarly account of Hatfield and McCoy history, fulfilled. But now, after all these years, this volume, The Tale Of The Devil, reflects my father's findings, my own lifelong research of Hatfield facts, and the exhaustive work of journalist and historian Robert Y. Spence. It was quite an undertaking and the 320 pages represent many years of investigation and hard work.
"I am especially pleased to be able to finally fulfill Dad's dream and a personal goal of my own, as well. As far as I am concerned, this biography is important for a number of reasons, most significantly, it's important for my Hatfield family, the people of the great State of West Virginia, and for all readers of American history to have a balanced and factual record of the life of our family patriarch, Devil Anse. The true story of 'The Boogerman' is an exciting and stirring story."
Because this manuscript gleans much of its information from grandson Coleman A. Hatfieldâ€™s exhaustive manuscripts, journals, and audiotapes, which were compiled and collected over a lifetime, the story is fresh and entertaining to read and offers additional â€œinsiderâ€ information, which has never before been published. Finally, the book features an index, bibliography, end notes, and thirty pages of photographs - many rare, including one particular photo of Devil Anse never before published, taken when he was about 35-years-old.
New book focuses on famous family feud;
Dr. Hatfield to be recognized by Gov. Manchin and First Lady
LOGAN, WV - It is the research and writings of a local historian that is highlighted in a brand new book by independent book publisher, Woodland Press, LLC, of Chapmanville. The new title, The Feuding Hatfields and McCoys, represents one of the last writing projects of the late Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield, great-grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield.
Dr. Hatfield, who unexpectedly passed away in January, authored the book in collaboration with F. Keith Davis, of Chapmanville, and it includes a comprehensive timeline of the Hatfield family migration westward, documenting history before, during and following the violent Hatfield and McCoy feud era.
Interwoven in this manuscript are new stories gleaned from Dr. Hatfield's own research and the lifelong work of his father, the late Coleman A. Hatfield, an attorney in the City of Logan, who was also considered the family's historian.
Bill Clements, owner of West Virginia Book Company, the in-state distributor for the work, says the content adds new color and clarity to this famous American story. "Dr. Hatfield's storytelling abilities are clearly seen in this work. With the rare photographs, the timeline format and the new stories, this is destined to be a statewide classic."
Many of the photographs in the work are extremely rare and have been submitted by members of the McCoy and Hatfield families, including ones that were originally published in Life Magazine in 1944. Still others are from the extensive collection of the WV Department of Culture and History.
"It is fascinating to me that the core of this project was written by Coleman way back in 1978," said co-author Keith Davis. "It was originally intended for a television documentary on the feud. For one reason or another, the project never materialized.
"Coleman and I took another look at the draft in early 2007. With that nucleus of material, we developed a manuscript. It was a great honor to work with him. He was truly a gifted story-teller and writer," he added.
For many, the 192-page book is a much-anticipated companion to Dr. Hatfield's first statewide bestseller, the biography of his Great-Grandfather Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, entitled, The Tale Of The Devil, which is currently in its third printing. According to a spokesperson for Woodland Press, besides being historically significant, this volume is a keepsake for those who call the Appalachian Mountains home, or for those traveling the rugged roadways of West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.
Also, in addition to the book's release, and in recognition of a lifelong commitment to Mountain State history, Dr. Hatfield will be posthumously recognized at a special book presentation and meeting with Governor Joe Manchin and the First Lady, at 9:00 a.m., on April 3rd, in the Governor's reception room at the Capitol. "It will be a great honor for me to present a copy of The Feuding Hatfields & McCoys to the governor in honor of Coleman C. Hatfield and his contribution to state history," Davis said.
About the author:
Dr. Coleman C. was the great-grandson of Devil Anse and an accomplished historian; however, much of the information in the book was gleaned from his father, a Logan County attorney, Coleman A. Hatfield, who was considered the chief family historian for many years. Coleman A., a gifted researcher and scholar, kept exhaustive manuscripts, journals, and audiotapes on the subject throughout his lifetime, passing away in 1970. Robert Spence is a noted journalist and historian in Logan County.