History Friday:The Sutton-Taylor Feud

The feud between the Suttons and the Taylors was one of those epic Texas feuds which convulsed DeWitt County in the decade following the Civil War. It might even have begun earlier in a somewhat more restrained way, but there is nothing besides speculation on the part of contemporary journalists by way of evidence. Both families originated in South Carolina, both settled in DeWitt County … and in the hard times which followed on the humiliating defeat of the South and the even more humiliating Reconstruction, they squared off against each other. The feud lasted nearly a decade, at a cost of at least 35 lives. Participants in it included the notorious John Wesley Hardin, who was related by marriage to the Taylors. Some historians have described the feud as a bitter continuation of the Civil War, between die-hard Confederate partisans and those roughly aligned with the forces of Reconstruction law and order.

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