Posts Tagged ‘Morgan-Chadwell Feud’

Bloody Battle at the Big Springs Union Church

August 26, 2011

Image from the Chaparral Arms website

Another Kentucky Affray.

Middleboro, Ky., Dec. 27. — Frank Davis, Buck Chadwell, Estepp Morgan and Richard Davis fell out at a dance at Walnut Hill, 15 miles from here, and a pitched battle ensued. Fifty shots were fired. Frank Davis was killed, Morgan and Dick Davis mortally wounded, and Chadwell slightly wounded.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Dec 27, 1900

MIDDLEBORO, Ky., Oct. 7 — One of the bloodiest battles that ever occurred among the feudists of the mountains was fought at the Big Springs Union meeting house, twenty miles from here, at noon Sunday. The Morgans, of Vogie, and the Chadwells of Tennessee, were the participants. Two were killed and two wounded on each side. Those killed are: Tip and James Chadwell and Rush and Henry Morgan. Mortally wounded: Henry Overstreet and James Jones. Tom Morgan had a leg broken and Joe Moberly received a flesh wound. The feud between the Morgans and the Chadwells has existed since the civil war, and more than thirty of each family have been killed during that time.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 7, 1901

Image from the Cumberland Gap Baptist Association website

Kentucky Feudists Again At War.




Four Men Killed, Two Fatally Wounded and Three Others Injured — Chadwell-Morgan Clans.


Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 8. — In a bloody fight at the Union Baptist church at Big Springs, ten miles from Tazewell, Tenn., on Sunday, four men were killed, two mortally wounded and three wounded less seriously.

The killed are:

Tip Chadwell.
John F. Chadwell.
Rush Morgan.
Henry Morgan.

Mortally wounded: John Morgan and Asa Chadwell.

Wounded: —  Jones, leg broken; — Neabley, flesh wound; Sheriff Brook, slight.

There was preaching at the church and about 600 people gathered. Just before 11 o’clock service, Tip Chadwell went to the spring, 50 years from the church. Rush Morgan was at the spring and began firing at Chadwell. Both factions immediately gathered and the fight lasted half an hour.

Sheriff James Brook attempted to arrest Asa Chadwell, who resisted. Both Brook and Asa Chadwell were wounded.

The feud between the Morgans and the Chadwells has existed a long time. They met at Walnut Hills, Va., last Christmas, when a pitched battle ensued, in which several were killed.

Eighteen months ago they met near the Hancock county line. Fighting followed and one was killed. Both the Chadwells and Morgans are prosperous and influential and have large families. All their members are fearless.

Middlesboro, Ky., Oct. 8. — The situation at Big Springs, Tenn., where four members of the Chadwell and the Morgan factions were killed and five wounded, is gloomy and it is the general opinion that more bloodshed is certain to follow.

A report reached here last night by way of Tazewell, Tenn., that a second clash between the factions had occurred late Monday afternoon, but the story is as yet unconfirmed. At noon, when a horseman arrived here from Ewing, Va., five miles from Big Springs, no more trouble had occurred, although the feeling was at high tension. Both factions were barricaded in their homes and were armed to the teeth. Two members of each faction came to Cumberland Gap yesterday and secured large supplies of ammunition.

The Daily Chronicle (Elyria, Ohio) Oct 8, 1901

Knoxville, Tenn., October 7. — (Special.) — A fatal shooting occurred near Tazewell Sunday night, in which four men were killed and five wounded. It was at Big Spring Union Church.

The dead are:


The wounded are: Ross Chadwell, shot twice and not expected to live; Constable Brooks, wounded in the hands; Henry Overstreet, mortally hurt; Toe Moberly, a flesh wound; Tom Jones, dangerously injured, and Frank Morgan, leg broken.

The shooting was the sequence of an old feud — a quarrel between the Virginia Morgans and the Tennessee Chadwells, which began in 1864 — during the civil war. Since the war between the families began thirty Morgans and forty Chadwells have been killed. Between the two factions many encounters, a number of them being equal to pitched battles between organized armies, have taken place. No arrests so far have been made.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Oct 8, 1901

Settling the Morgan-Chadwell Feud.

Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 9. — A delegation of prominent citizens of Lee county, Va., and Claiborne county, Tenn., have gone to the scene of the Morgan-Chadwell encounter, Sunday, in the hope of securing peace. It is stated that members of both families has expressed a willingness to leave the settlement of their troubles in the hands of the law.

Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) Oct 9, 1901


Morgans and Chadwells Preparing for Another Season of Shooting.

Middlesboro, Ky., Oct. 9. — Two of the feud fighters wounded in the battle Sunday at Union Church, Big Springs, Tenn., have died, making a total of six dead as a result of the fight. These two are Ross Chadwell, who died yesterday morning, and William Morgan, who died late last night.

Reports from the feud districts say that both sides are gathering and further trouble is expected. Sunday’s battle revived a feud which has existed since the Civil war, but of late peace had reigned among both factions. Each side seems now to be thinking only of vengeance, and blood will be the price.

Relatives of the feudists are hastening to their aid and all are heavily armed. Len Chadwell, Bud Chadwell, Joe Dooley, Henry Lynch and seven others have left Middlesboro, armed with rifles, to join the Chadwell forces.

Naugatuck Daily News (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Oct 9, 1901

Feudists Released.

Tazewell, Tenn., Oct. 16. — John Morgan, James Estep and Robert Brooks were arrested and arraigned for trial on the charge of killing Alwaine and Tipton Chadwell in the Chadwell-Morgan feud Sunday of last week. The trial, however, failed to materialize, as Isaac Chadwell, brother of the dead men, who was prosecutor in the case, appeared and withdrew the warrants. This ended the proceeding.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Oct 16, 1901