EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHATFIELD MCCOY ARTIFACTS
from Eyewitness News Online
Hatfield McCoy Feud Artifacts Discovered
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Dec. 31, 2012 1:09 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 1, 2013 11:04 AM EST
Hardy , Pike County , Kentucky
Artifacts from the Hatfield McCoy Feud, including bullets that were fired during the feud, have been found.
During filming of the new National Geographic TV show “Diggers,” the first ever archeological artifacts from the feud were found in rural Kentucky, according to a news release from West Virginia University. The artifacts discovered in Hardy include bullets fired during a key battle in the feud. Other items discovered include pieces of the McCoy cabin which was burned when the Hatfields attacked it on New Year's Day 1888.
WVU Extension Professor Bill Richardson was part of the discovery. "I cannot overstate how amazing this find is,” Richardson said. “We uncovered actual bullets that were fired 125 years ago during the feud. It is incredible to hold something like that in your hand."
The show “Diggers” is about two men who search for historic artifacts using metal detectors. Richardson brought the show here as part of his work to promote tourism. There had never been any archeology done on the Hatfield McCoy Feud and this was an opportunity to do some preliminary work and get national TV exposure at the same time.
The new National Geographic Channel series “Diggers” premieres Tuesday, Jan. 1, with back-to-back episodes at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The episode detailing the McCoy homestead discovery airs on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 10 p.m.
The raid on the McCoy cabin on Jan. 1, 1888, was a turning point in the Hatfield McCoy Feud. The conflict had lasted 23 years by that point but 20 days after it the Hatfields were in jail. To find artifacts from an event of this importance makes them even more significant.
"These items are going to be great for tourism in the region," said Bob Scott, owner of the property where the artifacts were found. "We are so excited about this discovery."
The episode of the television show “Diggers” that features the uncovering of the artifacts will air at 10 p.m. Jan. 29 on the National Geographic Channel.
"We are thrilled to be able to share this with the world," Richardson said. "No one has discovered bullets that were fired by Jesse James or from the OK Corral. It is so rare to find something so significant from such an iconic event in American history."
There were three different calibers of bullets uncovered including shotgun pellets. The bullets were 4-6 inches underground and spread out over an area of about 30 feet wide by 20 feet high.
This is the first ever science that has been done on the feud. Before this most of what was known came from oral histories, wildly exaggerated newspaper accounts and a few trial transcripts. Many of the facts of the story have been under debate for 125 years. Now for the first time there is hard evidence that can be used to understand these events.
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