The killing of Tolbert, Pharmer, and Bud McCoy by a Hatfield-led gang on August 8, 1882 represented one of the most sensational events of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. What follows is Randolph McCoy’s deposition regarding the affair:
The Court of Ky
Anderson Hatfield & other Defts.
Pltffs Bill of Exceptions
Be it remembered that on the trial of Doc Mayhorn and Plyant Mahon under the above styled prosecution the following proceedings was had.
The Commonwealth introduced and has worn as a witness Randolp McCoy, who proves that he is 63 years old that he is the father of Tolbert, Pharmer, and Randolp McCoy, they are now dead, was on Blackberry Creek in Pike County Ky at the August Election 1882 says that the boys in custody about 2 oclock on that day staid on the Election grounds about two hours they then went up to Floyd McCoys and staid until nearly night and then went to John Hatfields house and staid all night. They were in custody of Tolbert Hatfield a Justice of the Peace and Floyd Hatfield special Constable. Defents Doc and Plyant Mayhon are sons in law of Wall Hatfield. My boys was next morning started toward Pikeville in Pike County under a guard of six or seven men and was taken by Wall and Elias Hatfield and then turned back down [page torn] stopped at the mouth of Dial [page torn] his boys was then placed in a large corn sled while there. Anse Hatfield and his squad come up. Defendants was with them when they come up. they had with them country Rifle guns. Dials branch is from a ¼ to ½ miles from where Wall Hatfield came to them. Defendants were there all the time from the time they come to the corn sled. the crowd stopped at old Jerry Hatfield and Charley Carpenter got a rope and tied my three boys together. then went down the creek to Rev. Anderson Hatfields and defendants and all stopped there and got dinner. Knows Ance, Cap & Johnson Hatfield. they was there. Alex Messer was there. After Dinner Devil Ance stepped out and said “all of Hatfields frirends form a line” Ance Cap Jonce two Defts. Alex Messer Chuck Murphy was all in the line. Defts had arms (Guns I think). this was Aug 8 1882. My boys was then by this squad marched down the creek toward the river. This is the last time I ever saw them alive. I was on the road from Pikeville home they day my boys was buried. There was quite a crowd at the corn sled. There were a great many persons who were not interested several had guns. If I am not mistaken the first time I saw defendants was at the mouth of Dials branch. I may be mistaken but do not think I am. I saw no one catching horses in pasture at Rev. Anderson Hatfield’s. If I did I do not know who they were. The defts. were present when my boys were tied at Jerry Hatfield’s above Rev. Anderson Hatfield’s. When Devil Ance at the Rev. Anderson Hatfield’s called for the Hatfield friends to fall into the line the defts. went into the line and they were I think both armed with rifles and guns. The boys were then taken down the creek toward Tug river still tied together. I never saw them alive again.