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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 Sarah McCoy’s deposition regarding the affair:


The Commonwealth then introduced Sarah McCoy who proves that she is the mother of Tolbert, Pharmur and Randolp (sic) McCoy, that she and Tolbert’s wife went to where her boys was in a school house on Mate Creek in West Va. On the night they (sic) boys were taken there it was after dark when she got there she found the boys all tied together and on the floor in the school house. Saw Defendants there. They had guns. It was raining. And after she had been there some time she was begging praying and crying for her boys and Charley Carpenter told her to hush up, was not going to have any more of it and to get out. They made her Leave. It was dark and she went to Doc Rutherford’s in the dark and through the water. It was about 10 or 11 o’clock when she got there she came back to the school house next morning and staid around there until two or three o’clock. When I left them at school house there was a great many persons there at the time. Can’t tell the names of all. Was greatly excited. Saw the defendants with guns and Pistols. Saw Doc Mayhorn ask Tolbert for some tobacco and he give it to him. Cannot say whether Deft. was around at the time I left or not. Next time I saw my boys they were dead, hauled home on a sled. Randal’s head top was shot off. Tolbert’s arm was up before his head was shot _____ it and through the head. The other boy was bad shot. Was at the school house when the news came that Ellison Hatfield was dead. Heard nothing said about what would be done with my boys if Ellison died. They were making a coffin for Ellison Hatfield at Sam Simpkins as I came by. The defendants objected to and moved to exclude all the evidence of witness to acts done in the state of West Va. The Court overruled the objections and motion. Defts. al the time excepted.