Black Fowl

From Ultimatefowl

Jump to: navigation, search



by Col. Alfred Aldrich (1919)

Referring to the orgin of the Mugwump strain of game fowl, I will say that back in the distant past there was a turfman and cock fighter of this state by the name of Col. Thomas G. Bacon who bred and pitted the most successful cocks of that age. His original stock came from John Stone, of Massachusetts. About the same time Major Burnett Rhett, of Charleston, S.C. bred and fought a strain B.B. Reds woh cocks' had the reputation, deservedly, of being the gamest cocks of their age. I got a pair of Bacon fowl and a trio of Rhett's and crossed them and by selection produced a strain which I maned Mugwump. Mugwump is an Indian name and in the Algonquin language it means Big Chief. About the year 1890 I crossed into my strain a B.B. red cock with yellow legs that I got from Baltimore. I do not know who bred this cock or what strain he came from. This cock was a spangle in his third year, a white at the fourht molting and remained white until his death. Before I bred any of his sons to a yard of my mugwump hens, I satisfied myself that he was a game cock. The first and only one of his sons that I used as a brood cock was a black with yellow legs and beak, had a few white feathers in his tail and wings. I fount him in a main at Hibernia Park, Charleston, S.C., where a number of fine cocks fought in the two days of a main and the concensus of opinion was that he outclassed any cock shown on either side. He was a high flying cock and never tried to bill as long as his adversary could stand on his feet. In several of his fights, he killed opponents without ever touching hom with his mouth. It was invariably my practice to breed from the best fighter of his year and never to breed from any cock until he had fought several battles, in order that I might determine his quality. I bred this black cock to a yard of my choicest pure Mugwumps hens and he sired several black stags and occasionally a white stag or pullet. From him I got my white and Black Mugwumps.Always the White and Black Mugwumps were bred exactly alike. Note the staement that I ama bout to make, namely: that no Mugwump of the present day, no matter where he or she may be found, has any blood in its composition save what came from that black cock. He was the only son of the Baltimore cock that I bred from and I never used any of the daughters of the Baltimore cock for breeding purposes. If I used a son of the black cock he was invariably mated to pure Mugwump hens. I once shipped a coop of five cocks to Sr. Bustamente, three reds, 1 black and 1 white, all brothers, and all acted alike in the pit. In the foregoing I have given the orgin of the Mugwumps, as many of the cock fighters in the South know it be. In conclusion I will say my main reason in giving you the foregoing information is that I have replied to many letters asking to find the purest Mugwump, to the effect that, in my judgment, your yards will come nearest filling the bill. I also found an article adding a little more information to the one above. Gus Frithiof, Sr. Breeders of the "Old School" know that the Mugwumps were originated by Col. Alfred Aldrich about 90 or more years ago. They also knew that from time to time some whites would appear in the strain after Aldrich bred from s ason of the Baltimore cock. Andrew P. O'Connor of Baltimre, Maryland gave Aldrich this cock. The Baltimore cocks contained white bloodlines in his pedigree and eventually it shows up in the strain. Aldrich had his own reason for denying he knew where the cock came from (the breeder) or had forgotten when he wrote about their bloodlines in 1919. I hope that this helps clear up the pedigree of the Mugwumps and why some of them can throw - back to the white color in them. Gus Frithiof, Sr. Austin, Texas

Black Mcraes

By Bluff Creek William Macrae

The black macraes were bred from Jack Wactor of nigger trotter and Calvin Hux kelso..they come several; different colors from black reds to black,to light reds to dark light reds with red or black eyes.....William has known the Wactor family for almost 1/2 a century.,and got 100 baby stags every other year..William started buyin them from Sam and later JACK and sold them soley to fight in the Philipines,after the vietnam controversy he started sellin' to the Hawaiian islands and all acrosss the US because of the popularity of the long knife.......William McRae also had put some griffen clarret in his blacks at one time along with some democrat from Blondy........the black macraes are strongly infused of nigger round head and hux up to the year 2000......they can fight and born to boogie ..William macrae was on one of the 1st long knife men to ship from the states to the Philipines and was around about the Korean war to my knowledge... AND started sending the blacks after the vietnam contoversy....he has been a supplier well over 3 0r 4 decades..... A very nice gentlemen indeed-he also stated that the lk birds had to be deep game to compete in compitition,not like you hear today that they dont........i agree with William,game chickens that can fight like hell ,and fly in a fight can deliver and get out of the way is best for this type of fighting....he was one of the first legends to supply and dominate the long knife in the 60s , 70s and early 80s...then he became a supplier...but he had an eye for chickens if that makes any sense... William was a breeder and produced fowl that he had acquired... to my understanding he had got some clarets from griffen along with some round heads from Blondy Roland along time back...they were pretty decent fowl and macrae fought them and i can't say how he bred them..but i do know its true about his black fowl that made him a reputable breeder for long k to be honest -i believe the yellow legged pea comb democrats from the Paytons to be bred similar to the red macres that they inherited-or recieved from Blondy while he was in the hospital of the last round head infusion- Blondy liked the green legged straight comb ones best.... macraes reds were very reputable fowl...and looked like the democrats of the Paytons.....macrae got 'em from Blondy and griffen long before Bobby and Buddy Payton had 'em.... hope ya can find more about them red mcraes......

Black and Tans

by J.C. Miller (1969)

Since I frequently get requests for the breeding of my Black and Tans, I will try to comply to the best of my ability. The Back and Tan strain was originated by George S. Smith in Washington, D.C. just about 100 years ago. He was a friend of the Eslin Brothers and a few other men that combined to fight many mains along the east coast. At that time mains were very popular and most cocks were fought that way. Smith did most of the walking of the cocks and was interested in the mains. In that way, he had the use of any of the fowl belonging to the Eslins. In making the Black and Tans he bred a Redhorse cock over Redquill hens and also a Redquill cock over redhorse hens. Both crosses proved to be extra good so he continued to hold the blood at about 50/50. The Redhorse blood came from what was supposed to be a strain of cocks from Lord Derby in England. These were black-red and brown-red with dark legs and large, dark eyes and long, tough plumage. They were powerful built cocks and wicked cutters. The Redquills were a cross of Redhorse and a strain of light red cocks with dark eyes and mostly green legs and bred very true to color. In build they were very similar to the Redhorse. A saloon man in Washington, Harry Midleton made the same cross and fought them very successfully and advertised them for many years as Middleton Rusty Reds. In reality the Black and tans resulting from this cross was actually 3/4 Redhorse and 1/4 Redquill which left them showing plainly both sides of the cross. In color they came very few black-red, mostly brown-red with few gingers and a very few that came true Quill color. An interesting feature, if two quill colored fowl were bred together their get would nearly all look like pure quills. The hens are a solid rusty black, some with straw neck, some whipoorwill ginger and quill color. The cocks are well built, broad backs, long thighs and low set spurs. They have long, tough feathers and a very proud carriage. They are rather nervous, high strung cocks and I never liked to sell them to a beginner as they could be made bad man-fighters. For me they seldom went to the drag as they always tried for a quick kill. They could cut well in most any length or style of heel except the extremely curved blades. Most cockers will look at their color and quickly reach the conclusion that they are "speed" cocks but in checking their breeding it is easy to see that they are pure "power" cocks. The Black and Tans had the enviable reputation in the east of winning many mains and losing very few. Smith and the Elsins took their cocks thru the south and won practically every main. Then to Mexico with about the same results in both gaffs and slashers. When I was a boy I lived near a man that ran a saloon and was a very enthusiastic cocker. He was not in a position to breed any cocks but bought all that he used. He always fought mains, hacked only the ones left over from the mains. He bought most of his cocks from George Smith and did well with them. In each shipment he got several brown-red cocks that seemed to be extra good and asked what they were and was informed that they were Black and Tans. About that time he found that I was crazy about game cocks and I became welcome to his cock house at any time. He asked how I would like to raise some Black and Tans and when I agreed he sent to Smith and got two hens. He mated them with a 6.0 cock that had won several times for him and gave them to me. For several years I raised them and let him fight the stags. Several years past and this saloon man contracted TB and sold out and moved to Arizona where he did not live too long. When he left, he gave me the few Black and Tans that he had left. About that time I became aware of the advantages of single mating and from then until I retired single mated my fowl. For the big breeder that makes a business of selling fowl this practice is too slow to produce many fowl so they flock mate and depend on artificial incubating and brooding. I bought a farm with timber, grain fields, running water and kept many cattle and horses which made an ideal range for game fowl. This farm was also over half a mile from any other farm buildings. Around here there are many canning factories and they use many migrant workers of mostly Mexican birth and they are great on cock fighting. Some of them came to me to buy cocks and I found that they were fighting in slashers. After they went home they still sent for cocks. That was my introduction to slasher fighting and that was several years before shipping slasher cocks became a big business here in the U.S. I think it was in 1955 that I sent Maynard Mann and the late Jim Gooch several Black and Tan cocks and hens. I did not hear from them for several years, when a letter came from Mann saying that he was winning with what cocks he could match but that they were coming so big that he could not get them matched. He said that he had over 40 stags that were already shakes and too young to pen. He wanted to know if I could use them. It happened that at that time I had customers to take every cock or stags that I could raise and would take light weights. I showed Mr. Mann where to place his cocks and stags and I think he has still never caught up with his orders. Don't take this as a free plug for Mr. Mann as he has an ad every month in Grit and Steel. In the spring of 1945, a group of local cockers came to me and asked me to build a pit knowing that I had an ideal location for a pit less than a mile off a state road and a quarter mile from the road in the edge of a woods. The pit was ready for the 1946-1946 season and for 20 years it was operated with no trouble or interference. I don't think a man ever came that failed to get a cock matched or his money covered. After listing the good qualities of the Black and Tans the reader may wonder why they are not so popular as some other strains. One is as I mentioned before is their disposition. The cocks are hard to handle and are easily made manfighters. The hens are exceptionally mean when brooding chix. and are apt to kill several while trying to protect them. Also the hens even while on a walk will start fighting and one or both will be dead if not found in time. Chix with the hen will start fighting and practically eat each others head off. The light reds and greys that are so popular now are easier to condition, stand confinement better and the hens and chix are easier to handle. Many of my customers were experienced cockers and fought for high stakes. When they got good cocks they hesitated to tell where they got them. They simply fight them as Brown-Reds. I also feel that several well known cockers have incorporated more or less Black and Tan blood into their strains. Smith Black and Tans should not be confused with another strain originated quite a few years after the Smith strain gained their well deserved popularity. This strain started by an eccentric cocker in Maryland, faded after a few years. In giving the history of a strain quite often after it is published one or more persons will appear with a very much different version. To this I will say that what I have written is what George Smith personally wrote me.


By: Terry Roberts

The Gordon's was made from 2 well know strains of fowl. The first line was Warhorses. In Augusta GA, a man by the name Barney Dunbar was the wealthiest man in that part of the south. He loved game fowl very much an in bout 1850 he sent John Stone a trail of a few seasons. These gilders proved to be very game. In the meantime Col. Thos. G. Bacon of Edgefield S.C. found some wonderful fighting cocks in Baltimore, MD. Col. Bacon brought of Marblehead, Massach. an purchased a trio of stones Irish Gilders. This trio was placed on the yard of Mr. Tom Wilson of beech S.C. Where they was to be breed by Mr. Dunbar. After some of these was to be cocks they were the best cocks up until that time. They was wonderful fighting a cutting cocks. Col. Bacon decided to try to cross some with some fowl called Baltimore fowl of the Irish Gilders. Because some of the Warhorses would run they hoped that the Gilders would make them better fighters. So he took a cock called BURNT EYES a breed them a there by produce a great strain of fowl. So the old burnt-eye cock was put over hens of the Irish-Gilderhens that came from Mass. A number of stags was raised. Now remember the Gilder hens was put on the yard of Mr.Tom Wilson so he raised the stags from branny cock to gilder hens. It so happen that Tom was wanting a saddle so one day one policeman of Augusta GA his name was Peter Sherron had one he didn't need so he made a A trade with Tom Wilson. The saddle for one of the stag cross of burnt-gilder. In 1856 in Aug. GA Bacon & Bohler fought a main against Franklin of Columbia S.C. Bacon an Bohler used a number of these stags along with the stag that was a cock by now of sherron. This cock made top weight at 6-04. This cock meet his opponent in the air both came down to ground a both shuffling a fell apart in dying condt. The policeman cockvomited a mouthful of blood staggered over the Columbia cock a made a hard shuffled the sherron cock killed the other cock. Peter Sherron the proud owner jump into the pit a grabbed the cock up a yelled be faither-rs but ain't he a war-horse. This cock of sherron was typical burnt eye in appear. Black body, dark legs, black eye, lemon neck. So this is the make up of the old warhorses. Col. Bacon like the brownred fowl. Old Col. John Fair also faced this type of fowl. Hopkinson like the dark colors of these hens was all black the cocks the type of the original warhorse type found. The Baltimore burnt eye cock. As to the fighting qualities of this fowl Bacon & Bohler fought 42 mains a won 40 of them. 41 of these wins was fouth by Bacon an won 40 of the 1 main was fought by Bacon handler an the handler lost by the odd fight. the other side of the gordons is Col. Alferd Aldrichs Mugwumps. Will tell later what the mugwumps made from. thanks hope you all read an like this as much as i have.

Dehner Racey Mugs

Dehner Racey of Mo., got Mugs from Earl Bigger of York, S.C. in 1935, All came dark. In 1939 he bought a pure O.C. Wilson White Mug cock and crossed him over the black Bigger Mugs. From this cross came several dark blue pullets and several spangle stags, but no whites. He bred one of the spangle stags over the black hens and got about 50 per cent dark blues with lemon hackles, dark eyes and legs but still no pure Whites. These mugs are high breaking, fast shuffling cocks and Racey has won several large derbies with them.

Dehner Racey Mugs

From the Gamecock, July 1998 By: Walter Hall, James River Farm.

This came from the July 1998 gamecock. History of the Racey Mugwumps, The Racey fowl started when Otto Morris, 83-years old of Springfield, Mo.He purchased from Earl Bigger of South Carolina in 1935, some of his dark type mugs and with these fowl Racey and Morris won a good majority. In 1939 a pure white Mugwump cock was purchased from O.K. Wilson of Allendale, SC and mated to the six black hens, full sisters, from the original Earl Bigger stock. The offspring of this mating produced blues, black reds, brown red and one spangle stag, This new blood produced exceptional cutting fowl and a great improvement was noted in speed, disposition and feathering. Being all of mug blood, no difference was noted in conformation. The following year the same black hens were mated back to the spangle stag. A son to mother and aunt mating. This is the breeding that produces 50% dark blues with the rest being brown red, black red, and blacks. It was not until this breeding that they were given the name Racey Mugs. A few years later,and still sticking to speed type cutting Mugwumps a white Mug brood cock was purchased from Frederick of Allendale S.C., and a black Mug with lemon hackles from Earl bigger. These 2 cocks were used over Racey Mug hens and in this way it is now possible for Racey to add desired pit qualities to his fowl without going out of the Mugwump family. The last 2 crosses produced high breaking, shuffling type of cocks. Racey tried a number of crosses on his Mugs, but none were as good as the straight Mugwump family. Thus, all of these trial crosses were discarded. Most people in ordering Racey mugs ask for the blue color, but the brown reds and blacks have just as high a winning percentage in the pit. When being conditioned for the pit, these fowl do better when handled gently, and are at their best fighting in good flesh. Racey got many shake cocks, but prefers smaller ones that fit well into derby.

Eslin Redquills

by Redquill Rooster

Long ago and far away, in England, there lived a family of cockfighters The Elsins or Eslins, which ever you prefer. This family owned a strain of terrific leg fighting fowl with unexcelled speed, topping, and cutting ability. By topping I mean that they were very seldom if ever topped. They always started fast and ferocious, shuffling and cutting their opponent to pieces. If they did not win quickly they usually did not win at all. The fowl came to a bright red-orange in color, with black over brown spangles on their chests. One other mark that will come out in greater detail later in this history is their large jet black eyes. Anyway, the Eslin fowl, Redhorse, were starting to come smaller and more nervous as inbreeding went on. Obviously what was needed was a cross of a different blood. The Eslins procured a power strain of fowl called Redquills from a family named Winans, who lived in Baltimore. They crossed this strain on their Redhorses. Incidentally, the Redquills had red eyes and usually came yellow legged. They were long winged and had lots of stamina. Their tails were jet black (the Redhorse had bronze tails). However, it should be noted that this first cross (1/2 Quill - 1/2 Redhorse) was not, repeat, NOT very good. So they crossed the Redquill blood down to a quarter or less, and came up with the Eslin Redquills. Today, pure Eslin blood is hard to find, and also it should be known that the pure Winan blood is GONE. So, anybody who claims to have pure Redquill, and their fowl are red eyed and just red or brown-red in color, does not, repeat DOES NOT have pure Redquill. It just is not so. I hope this will answer questions and also shed light on the grand old strain of Eslin Redquills.


by W.T. Johnson & Frank Holcomb

James Eslin bred a red eyed, yellow- legged , blue-red, topknot cock from his friend Winan over his Brown/red hens, which carried the blood of the original fowl Mr. Eslin's father had fotten from Lord Fairfax (Fairfax was a friend of George Washington and imported game fowl from Lord Derby). These were duckwings, pyles and white-legged light reds. These fowl had many fresh infusions of Irish blood. They carried the "Old Hickory" blood of General Andrew Jackson's, Blackhackle from Jarvis Elise and several infusions of Hansbrough's Meyell greys, and the blood of the Mexican cock "General Santa Anna" and blood from Thomas O'Neil. The produce were first called YellowJackets and later Redquills. The Wellslager rose comb Brown/Red from Ohlenschlager was later added, as well as a Brown/Red Tasseled "Counterfeit" cock from John Goss of Maryland. From History of Game Strains by W.T. Johnson & Frank Holcomb


by Ole Lunchbox (1976)

Mr. A.W. Starnes of Konawa, Oklahoma was a mature hand at every phase of the game fowl sport when Ole Lunch got out of the service in 1946. We met a couple of years later. We were never close friends but I always have had, and still do have, a great respect for Mr. Starnes. He is the kind of man whose reputation has been built and well established on performance. Now, at 86, he is mentally alert, remarkably healthy and his memory fails him not. On June 19, 1976, it was my good fortune to be driving through Konawa and never having visited Mr. Starnes, I gave in to a personal desire to visit him, renew our acquaintance and to discuss, in particular, his "Starnes Shufflers" of which he has not a feather remaining. For a number of years, I had heard many stories about his fowl and their bloodlines and since A.W. no longer has any, I thought he might divulge their true breeding. Reluctantly, at first, then willingly, with the urging of Mrs. Starnes, A.W. told me from whom they came and what change he had made in their bloodlines. Mr. Starnes stated that they were Shufflers. He obtained his first ones from our mutual friend, Karl Bashara. The Bashara Shufflers were obtained by Karl directly from the originator, Mr. Dudley Pierce. To the Karl Bashara Shufflers, Mr. Starnes introduced some of the old slate legged Madigin Grey blood and reduced the Madigin blood to about 1/8th. This was the breeding of the Starnes Shufflers. Curiosity bettered me at this point and I had to ask from what source came the Magigin Grey blood. Mr. Starnes told me they came from Mr. Madigin. He went on to say that J.H.M. told him to never take one out until he was counted out - and they would pull together and deliver a killing blow leaving their opponent dead. Mr. Starnes said that he, also, had this to happen many times, and that Mr. Madigin had told him the truth about the grey fowl. A.W. told me that on several occasions Mr. Madigin had obtained his services for feeding cocks for J.H.M. As to whether or not the old Vibrator fowl contained any of the Starnes Shuffler blood, I am not prepared to say, but will state, as Mr. Starnes told me, that the old Manziel cock that Max Thaggard had was bred to a Starnes Shuffler hen and some of these were fought. I believe, if memory erreth not, that Max stated in his article that he bred a pure Pierce Shuffler cock to some hens whose breeding I've forgotten if I ever heard. Whether these contained Starnes blood I do not know. It just may be possible that some of the Starnes blood-lines. There are other possibilities that are probably not generally known about the Starnes Shufflers - One is that the late "Sweater" McGinnis obtained fowl from A.W. Starnes. Some maintain that the Starnes blood was introduced into the magnificent "Blue Face" fowl that have been popular now for many years and which, "if you ain't got some, you ain't hardly got nothing anybody wants some of!" Whether the Blue Face actually contain any of the Starnes Shuffler blood, this writer cannot say. Ole Lunch will go so far as to say that from the Blue Face fowls appearance, they look as though they might well be related. For sure it is that "Sweater" McGinnis bought cocks from A.W. Starnes to fight and certainly had the opportunity to put some into his Hatch fowl if he felt the inclination. What does A.W. say about this? He only says that he has heard this rumored but that he does not know whether any of the blood was crosed into Sweater fowl. Well, rooster lovers, that's the story. Hope you liked it. That's about the way A.W. Starnes told it to me, as near as I can remember. Oh! Yes! Let me add this one item - Back in those days, Mr. Starnes was selling cocks for about $50 - not a bad price. One gentleman up north, a repeat customer, had had trouble beating a certain grey cock. In fact, the grey cock had beaten him three times in hack fights. He wrote A.W. to see if he had anything of that weight that was anything like an ace. Mr. Starnes had one that he had just fought in a couple mains or a derby and a main, can't remember which. Mr. Starnes sent him the cock with instructions to fight him and to send him what he felt like he was worth. Mr. Starnes said it was not too many days before he received a letter with $100 for the cock along with the word that he did not have too much trouble whipping the grey. There never are enough fellows around like Mr. A.W. Starnes. May he live to 150. Thanks for the story Mr. Starnes.

West Virginia shufflers

By: W.T. Howard there orignator.

Year 1901, I was breeding Hopkinson Warhorse an Shawineck. My stock came from William Kezee of Tazewell Va. I wanted a line of fowl I could call me own. I crossed the 2 lines together an the next infusion in this cross was a Mugwump from R.J. Bartley of Suffolk Va. This infusion made great cocks, big bone an muscle, heavy plumage an strong as a mules. Next I used a Allen Roundhend from a Mr. Harry Hamner, chief of police of Kimball Va. Then I breed a Red Quill cock into them From Mr. Thomas Hogahead of Staunton Va. This stag was a 2 time winner in the hand of Charlie Peters. Next I used a Stonewell cock from a Mr. J.B. Cummingham OF Youngstown Pa. Then a pure Mountain Eagle cock from W.S. Church. Then the last infusion I ever put into them was a pure Arkansas Traveler. A blue-red an 2 time winner in great comp. This is all in the West Virginia shufflers. They will come blackred, bluered, an brownred in color. Hen are blackred, black, darkblue, and sometime a light blue or a pyle. Great moms with babys. So this is were they was made up was in West Virginia. Terry Roberts

Pierce Wisconsin Red Shufflers

In 1887 Dudley Pierce bought a stag and two pullets from Mr. F. W. McDougall of Indianapolis, Ind., McDougal wrote Dudley when shipping the trio saying that they were his strain of New Macks. The stag was a deep red with a very dark face, the pullets very dark brown bodies with red hackles. In 1889, Dudley decided to purchase more chickens and chose Col. G. Perk Huddleston, of Lebanon, Tenn. He purchased three stags, a dominique, a blue-red Gladiator and a red, a half cork Irish and half Seven Strain Inside Red. Dudley did well with these birds and decided to visit the Colonel and stayed there two weeks talking chickens and learning all he could from the old gentleman. Dudley was very keen on Huddleston's Cork Irish, especially a little cock Huddleston had over one of his brood yards. Dudley wanted this cock badly and finally persuaded the old gentleman to let him have the cock for thirty dollars which was a pile of money in those days to pay for a chicken. Dudley brought this cock home with several others and mated him with the two McDougal New Mack hens. From this mating Dudley raised a nice bunch of stags which he placed on walks and then as cocks in 1890 Dudley fought them in his first main against a combination of local parties and won easily. This particular mating was the original foundation of Wisconsin Red Shufflers. The following season Dudley bred the New Mack stag that he purchased from McDougal over the three half Seven Strain Inside Red, half Cork Irish hens from Huddleston and again was rewarded with good offspring. At that particular time Dudley was looking for a name to call his birds. He asked Mr. Charles Fose, whose stable was used to condition Dudley's birds, what he should call them to which Mr. Fose replied, "Call them Wisconsin Red Shufflers," and right then and there the name was definitely decided upon. Then in 1892 Dudley purchased a Denny Mahoney Gull cock. He was a black breasted red with red eyes and a willow green leg, and this cock was used to breed a yard of hens which Dudley had raised from the McDougal-Cork Irish mating. Dudley lost the Mahoney Gull cock after breeding him the first year but later on used two of his sons as brood cocks over some of his older hens and from those crosses there came some wheaten colored pullets and some stags that were black-reds and looked very much like the old original Mahoney Gull cock. Dudley figured he had made a mistake in making the cross because so many of the yougsters came lighter colored than either the Huddleston or McDougal fowl, and from the very beginning Dudley admired these birds that came of even color, then on the other hand whenever Dudley fought one of the lighter colored stags which now onley contained 1/4 of the Mahoney Gull blood, they always proved terrific hitters and hard fighters so Dudley bred them and kept them in with the rest. Only a small amount of the Gull blood was in Pierce's fowl, nevertheless, it was sufficient and strong enough to produce many throwbacks, like or very near like the old Mahoney Gull cock, and these throwbacks are the fowl Pierce call his "Cottontails" because the stags are black-reds in color, usually having red eyes and green or bluish colored legs and show a large tuft of soft, fluffy white feathers at the base of their tail, while the pullets and hens are sort of dark black-reds usually showing brown or what Dudley called robin breasts.

Log Cabin Sid Taylors

by : Fulldrop

The original strain of the chickens from which the Sid Taylor's of today were made goes back many years before the civil war of 1861. these chickens were bred by Jim shy of lexington,ky..shy lived near the racetrack at Lexington and bred his chickens on the farm of Jim price, who lived near pinegrove,ky.. their farm join the land owned by on which he lived and bred his chickens. price was interested in all kinds of sports events and he backed shy `s cocks heavily shy fought his cocks in Lexington and other places very successfully no one seems to know what these chickens were. the cocks came red, brown red ,pyle and blue red. with many of them having white feathers in there wings and tails. had an uncle who lived near pinegrove who remember walking cocks for prive and shy in the fifties. soon after the war of the sixties Sid Taylor got chickens from shy. he told that they were the first real good , dependable winning cocks he has ever had . although he had been breeding and fighting cocks before that time. mr.taylor was closely associated with shy until his death in 1892.shy was said to be nighty years old when he died. he became blind eight or ten years before his death. when his eye sight became very bad he gave mr.taylor all of his gaffs and all his chickens. the fist cross mr.taylor made on the shy chickens was in the early sevenies. in 1869, George cadwallader gave Taylor 6 black importer Irish hens. of the 6 black Irish hens Taylor put a blue cock that came from shy.. Mr. Taylor was supplying cocks to tom o`neal and wadle,he crosses the wadle Irish [ black cock with black eyes know as the blackberry eyes] into his chickens . the wadle Irish came dark or mulbery color faces the hens were black cocks being dark red. this was about 1880 he also made a cross with o`neal doms and established a yard of doms. since that time mr.taylor had one yard of his chickens that showed dom color, and had done the same thing since. the dom blood has never been bred into the other families and they never showed dom markings..the other families were bred into the dom family from time to time,. the dom color had been kept up, but they do not always bred for color. mr.taylor`s cocks were dom,and with a brown red some of them showed white feathers in the tail and wings. the brown red family developed himself. in 1912 fought brow red stag from the red family.that he liked so much that he bred to him and contented to breed to him until 1920 when he died. this cock was kept at a log cabin on the farm and he came to be know as log cabin and the children from him called log cabin. today the log cabin family are largely the blood of this first cock. log cabin had 21 full brothers nineteen of them won their first fights. many won more. log cabin was a 6 time winner. the progeny of log cabin have been largely responsible for the Sid taylor winning the national tournament at Orlando in 1922 and again in 1924 tourament. there was one log cabin `s sons that won the 6ths fight in 1922 and the shake battle in 1924 tourament. has used this cock for two seasons as a brood cock. the sid taylors are purely a KY product the foundation stock being old shy chickens into the chickens mr.taylor put import Irish blood from hudderson in the early seventies. in the early eighties Taylor again crossed import Irish blood from wadle. these two infusions of imported Irish blood into shy chickens made all the families of the Sid taylors except the doom family which has the addition of o`neal dom blood about 1870. there has been no other blood put into the Sid taylors since these crosses where made by Taylor a period of over forty years. they have only been in the hands of two men Taylor and gay.

Sid Taylors

by P.P. Johnston This is straight out of the Gamecock (1946)

The original strain of chickens from which the Sid Taylors of today were made goes back many years before the Civil War of 1861. These chickens were bred by Jim Shy of Lexington, Ky. Mr. Shy's names has been spelled in several ways- Shigh and Shei, Shy seems to be correct, as it is spelled Shy in the Turf Guide and in accounts of races, in which his horses ran, in old copies of "The Spirit of the Times." He is remembered today by some of the oldtimers round Lexington, who speak of him as a sporting man of the highest honor. Shy lived near the racetrack at Lexington and bred his chickens on the farm of Jim Price, who lived near Pinegrove, Ky. Their farm joins the land owned by Mr. Gay on which he lives and breeds his chickens. Price was interested in all kinds of sporting events and he backed Shy's cocks heavily. Shy fought his cocks in Lexington and other places very sucessfully. The cocks came red, brown-red,pyle and bluereds, many of them having white feathers in their tails and wings. Mr. Gay had an uncle who lived near Pinegrove who remembered walking cocks for Price and Shy in the fifties. Soon after the war of the sixties, Sid Taylor got the chickens from Shy. Mr Taylor was closely associated with Shy until his death in 1892. When his eyesight began to fail he gave Mr. Taylor his gaffs and all his chickens. First Cross The first cross that Mr. Taylor made on the Shy chickens was in the early seventies. In 1869 George Cadwallader, who had been a jockey and was at that time a race horse trainer, sold a horse named Pompey Payne to W.R. Babcock, and Easter turf man, for $15,000, and as a further consideration he was to get six black imported Irish hens that Mr. Babcock was to procure from a man named Hudderson, of Rhode Island. Cadwallader then gave his chickens to Mr. Taylor. I have seen a letter written a few years ago to Mr. Gay by George Cadwallader verifying these statements. On these six Irish hens, Mr. Taylor put a blue cock that came from Shy. Noone knows the proportion of this blood Mr. Taylor put into his chickens, but with them hw suceeded in winning the respect of Tom O'Neal, the great Dom breeder and cocker of Louisville, Ky. Tom O'Neal was associated with Waddle, who controlled most of the gambling houses in Louisville at the time. Mr. Taylor furnished a great many cocks to O'Neal and Wadle. Mr. W. Pragnoff, of Louisville, Ky and Wadle imported from Vinegar Hill, Ireland, some game chickens. These chickens were called Waddle Irish. They had black eyes and dark or mulberry colored faces. The hens are black, the cocks very dark red, and dark brown red. Mr Pragnoff has talked of the importance of these chickens with Mr. Gay many times. During the time that Mr. Taylor was furnishing cocks to Tom O'Neal and Wadle, he crossed the Wadle Irish into his chickens. This was about 1880. He also made a cross with the O'Neal Doms and established a yard of Doms. Since that time Mr. Taylor had one yard that showed the Dom color and Mr. Gay has done the same since. The Dom blood has never been bred into the other families and they never show Dom markings. The other families were bred into the Dom family from time to time and the Dom color has been kept up but they do not always breed to color. Mr. Taylors cocks were Doms, Blues, Brown Blacks, Reds and Gray Reds, with a few Brown Reds. Some of them showed white feathers in the tail and wings. The Origin of the Log Cabins The Brown Red family Mr. Gay has developed himself. In 1912 Mr Gay fought a Brown Red stag from the red family that he like so much that he bred to him and continued to breed him until 1920, when he died. This cock was kept at a log cabin on the farm and he came to be known as Log Cabin and the chickens from him were called Log Cabins. Today the Log Cabin families are largely the blood of theis one cock. Log Cabin had 21 full brothers. The Sid Taylors are purely a Ky. product, the foundation stock being the old Shy chickens. Into the Shy chickens, Mr. Taylor put the imported Irish blood from Hudderson in the early seventies. In the early eighties, Mr. Taylor again crossed in Irish blood, named the Wadle Irish. These two infusions of imported Irish blood into the Shy chickens made all the families of the Sid Taylors, except the Dom family, which has the addition of O'Neal Dom blood about 1870. There has been no other blood put into the Sid Taylor since these crosses were made by Mr. Taylor-a period of over 40 years. The Sid Taylors have the right to be classed as a pure and distinct strain and for over 40 years they had been in the hands of only two men, their originators, Mr. Sid Taylor and Mr. J.D. Gay.


by McK. Albergotti (1927)

Just after the close of the Civil War, 1865, Mr. T. C. Albergotti, my father, began raising game fowl, procuring his original stock from Col. Morgan, Col. Tom Bacon and Mr. Cephus McMichel. After breeding these fowl strictly pure and breeding them very close for eight or ten years he found they needed an out-cross. At this time Baltimore cocks were great favorites in Charleston, S.C., and a great many of them were being fought very successfully. We crossed with these cocks for about four years, and the result was magnificent game fowl - rapid, game, savage and beautiful, all that could be desired. We then bred them pure until in the 80's. Finding that their size and strength were again diminishing, we prospected for an outcross and finally procured a blue-red cock and two hens from Baltimore. As to the result I can only say that they not only never lost a main, but it was a rare ocasion for them to loose a single battle. These fowl were only fought locally in South Carolina. When another out-cross was needed we got a Grist Champion cock, direct from Col. Grist. This cock was an excellent specimen and Col. Grist regarded him very highly. A Dunbar cock from Beech Island, S.C., was bred over one of my yards and over another a cock direct from Col. R. F. Johnson, of Union, S.C. My cocks at this time were making splendid records whosoever they fought. Mr. H. M. Kent, of Lenoir, N.C., was breeding excellent cocks and having wonderful success with them at this time and I secured a brood cock from him. Up to this time, Jamuary 19000, when we commenced to advertise in Grit and Steel our fowl had no name. We selected the name Stonewall, in memory and honor of the great Confederate chieftain, Stonewall Jackson, whom we all loved. Since 1900 I have made several crosses, always buying my stock direct from the originator, some of the crosses are as follows: Grist Gradys, Redquills, from Col. Grist, Huddleston's Inside Reds, from Huddleston; Rood's Brown Reds, from J.E. Carter, and especially good cross from a cock that I went to Washington, D.C., and selected from the yards of George Smith, a Black and Tan. I have also used Mug cocks and Granger's Irish cocks. This covers the crosses I have made, in a lifetime. I have ten or twelve yards and I always put this new blood in quarters into my old fowl. My fowl are strictly American, no importations. They have straight, small combs, no Oriental blod whatsoever. We have infused new blood whenever we thought it necessary, according to our own ideas. My Stonewall fowl, altho not bred for color, are generally brown-reds or black-reds with dark legs and red or black eyes.

Bacon Warhorses

This grand old strain was originated in the 1850's by Col. Thomas Bacon, o fEdgefield, S.C. by breeding a Baltimore Cock (known as Burnt Eyes) over a yard of Irish Gilder hens direct from John Stone, of Marblehead, Mass. The cross procuced wonderful fighting cocks with a savage rushing style of fighting that was then unknown in the south, and proved to be absolutely game, although the "Burnt Eye" cock had produced offsprings from other matings that were considered short on gameness. Col. Bacon bred and fought these fowl for a number of years with marked success as "Burnt Eye-Gilder crosses, " and it was at a main at Augusta, Georgia, in 1856 between Bacon and Bohler against a Mr. Franklin, of Columbia, S.C. that they were given the name of Warhorse by one Peter Sherron, who owned one of the cocks being fought by Bacon, and which won a sensational battle. Cocks run in weight 4:06 to shakes, and are black or black with lemon hackle and saddle. Hens are black to whipporwill brown, and both have dark legs and daw or hazel eyes. They are among one of our oldest strains, and still extensively bred.


By: Peter Sherron

Please notice that there is no mention of any black fowl in this history of the Warhorse breed nor any mention of a "Fardown blood (which is black)" either. IN 1855 John Sherron, of Marblehead, Mass., defeated Col. Tom Bacon in a main at Columbia, S.C. He showed two different strains of cocks in the main both were imported from Ireland and were reputable originally stolen by the warden of a vast estate to exchange them for a coon and opossum that came from America. Here they had been carefully bred and guarded for over a century by a line of Irish Earls. One strain, which he called "Gilders" or "Claibornes", came a bright red color with black or mottled breasts, orange hackle, yellow beak and moccasin legs. The other strain called "Irish Brown Reds: were brown reds or mahogany reds. All straight combed, with black faces and combs, eyes, dark red or hazel brown (not black) with lead or dark legs. After the main Col. Bacon purchased a Gilder cock and an Irish Brown Red cock from Stone and later received a shipment form Stone of them wheaten- colored Gilder hens and three Whippoorwill Irish Brown Red hens. Major Burnett Rhett, of Chareleston, S.C. purchased the finest cock Stone showed in the main, a 6-lb. mottled breasted brown red, one-half Gilder, one-half Irish Brown Red. Later Barney Dunbar, a wealthy game fowl fancier (but not a breeder), of Augusta, Ga., went personally to see Stone and got a trio of each family. Dunbar gave the Gilders to Tom Wilson, at Beach Island to breed and these later became famous under the name of "Gaitor Legs". Dr. Morgan got some of them from Wilson and these were later known as Morgans. Major Rhett also got some hens from Tom (Fowl) Wilson and bred his great Stone cock over them, producing the famous Rhett fowl. These Rhett fowl were three- quarter Gilder, one quarter Irish Brown Red. Dunbar let Tom Seily keep the trio of "Irish Brown Reds" a year, then carried them to old man Baldwin's place on Horse Creek where they were bred until Dunbar quit the game and gave them to John Foster. Later Foster quit pitting cocks due to overweight and gave them to an Irishman Peter Sherron on the condition that he be a partner in all mains fought with these cocks. They had by devious methods finally found their true home for Sherron dearly loved them saying he knew of these fowl in Ireland, and that they were both invincible and unobtainable in the old country. Sherron, who was very impulsive, named a great cock "Warhorse" after a sensational battle and then again the next year after this same cock, here tofore called "Store Keeper", won the deciding fight in a $3,000.00 main in one of the greatest battles known to cock fighting. After that the family was called "Warhorses". After Sherron's death, Jack Allen bought the fowl and he and his brother in law, Henry Hicks, fought them together until Allen got angry one day because of a sick Warhorse being given away after the main and swore he'd kill or sell every game chicken he owned. On the way home he met Harrison Butler and Jim Clark and told them his intentions. Butler bought all the fowl and the next day he gave a trio of Warhorses to Jim Clark, of Dawson, Ga., a trio to Col. John Fair and a trio to his nephew, Dr. Pierce Butler. Source: Johnson's Breeders' and Cockers' Guide


by Dal Johnson (1917)

Fashion is a eccentric in the course it takes and goes chasing through a labyrinth of paths most unheard of and ridiculous, but once steadied and on the serving back to reason ever turns first to some past object of popular and meritorious favoritism, hence it is not surprising that the fancy of game chicken men is turning just now to the two greatest families if fighting fowl ever sent ot America from the British Isles. Manifestly the reference is to the Whitehackles of North Briton and the Stone Irish or Warhorses of Ireland. Of the former there are others much better qualified to speak, nor do I pose as an authority on the Warhorse, or claim to know their history better than many, but I do know the facts regarding their name, their ancestry, and the only known true source from which the pure stock could have been obtained. To begin, I will go back to the year 1855, when John Stone of Marblehead, Mass., came south and fought and defeated Col. Tom Bacon a main of cocks at Columbia, S.C. Stone used against Bacon two styles of cocks evidently of different families and distinctive in appearance. One portion of them showing bright red plumage, black or mottled breast, orange hackle, yellow beak and moccasin legs stripped on the outside with flesh colored red. These he called Gliders or Claibornes and I am informed that occasionally one showed a tassel and some few a round head with pea comb. The other cocks he showed were brown and mahogany reds. All smooth heads and single, straight comb with black faces, comb black or sooty looking, eyes dark red or hazel brown (not black) and lead or dark legs. These he called his "Irsih Brown Reds." After the main there were several cocks purchased of Mr. Stone by the Southerners and when he returned to Marblehead, shipped at least two coops of fowl back to parties in Georgia and South Carolina. Col. Bacon purchased a Glider and an Irish cock out of Mr. Stone's coops at the pit and later received a shipment of six hens from Marblehead, three wheaton colored Gliders and three whippoorwill brown Irish hens. Maj. Burnett Rhett purchased the finest cock Stone showed in his main, a 6.00 lbs mottle breast brown red with moccasin legs, said to be a cross of Glider and Irish. B.S. Dunbar of Augusta, GA., purchased of Mr. Stone and had shipped him from Marblehead a trio of each familiy. Mr. Dunbar went to Marblehead and selected these trios in person. The Gliders, Dunbar sent over to Tom Wilson at Beach Island to breed. These afterwards became famous under the name of "Gailor Legs." It was of this family that Dr. Morgan got from Wilson and were afterwards known as Morgans. Also Maj. Rhett purchased hens of Tom Wilson and bred his Stone cock over them producing the celebrated Rhett fowl of which it is said there was never a runner. The trio of "Irish Brown Reds" Dunbar sent out to Tom Seiley's place and Mr. Seiley kept them one year and gave them up. Then Dunbar carried them out to old man Bladwin's place on Horse Creek, where they were kept and bred for Dunbar until he quit fooling with cocks and gave them all to Joh Foster. Later on Foster quit pitting cocks on account of his corpulency and gave every feather over to Peter Sherron, with the understanding that latter would take Foster on as partner in all battles fought with these cocks. Sherron was an Irishman, a cocker on the sod and again in America. He claimed to have known this stock in Ireland and that they were invincible in the old country, but unobtainable from the estate on which they had been bred by a line of Irish Earls for more than a century. He believed the tale Mr. Stone's Irish agent told when he procured a trio of birds from a flock that had been carefully and zealously guarded for a century or over: that they were the best in Ireland and so far as known not a feather had ever gone out of the possession of the owners of this particular estate. He claimed to have carried a coon and opossum over from America and that one of the wardens on this estate was so infatuated with the animals that he stole a trio of these sacred chickens and gave them in exchange for the American rodents. Be this as it may, Sherron at least, believed it and certainly it is thousands of subsequent importations from Ireland have shown no such game fowl as the Stone Brown Reds. Sherron is said to have made stacks of money fighting these cocks against the rich planters around Augusta. He had an old brood cock called "Store Keeper" that had a habit of lounging around inside of the Irishman's store and bar and flopping his wings and crowing when the town clock pealed forth the hour. At the Shades on Ellis street this cock was pitted against a fine cock in the hands of Ike Little. It was a cock fight and both cocks were down unable to stand or press the battle after one tremendous pitting. Neither party would consent to a draw; dark came on, lights were gotten and the crowd stood vigil over the almost lifeless birds. Thus the watch was kept until the town clock, commenced striking the hour of ten. "Store Keeper" roused up, made an effort to regain, till finally he stood upon a pair of wabbly legs and crowed in answer to the bell as was his habit, Old Sherron was wild over the performance and cried out, "Listen to the old Warhorse," No sooner was he thus denominated than he staggered over, grabbed that little cock and shuffled till the bones cracked. Thus the first name Warhorse, but just a fore-runner of the laurels that were ultimately to crown that name. "The pale light of the morning star before the morning sun." This same cock was destined to add beams to his crown of glory and make the name won beneath the torches imperishable. During the next season (I have forgotten the year) Franklin, of Columbia, made a main with Bohler, of Agusta to show 21 cocks and fight what fell in for $200.00 a battle and $3,000 on the odd. "Store Kepper" was ordered and shown for top weight on the Augusta side. Fifteen cocks fell in and each side had won seven battles and ready to decide the biggest and hardest fought main ever known till that day. Franklin showed a Chappel Dom that the Columbia contingent thought invincible. Bohler showed "Store Keeper" who had recently won the soubriquet of "Warhorse." It is said that when this pair of cocks came in the betting was tremendous. Men became frantic in their efforts to place large wagers on the issue, wildly offering their homes, their negroes, bank accounts, big plantations and favorite horses on one side or the other. When the fatal moment arrived and the referee called "Pit your cocks," the Dom as he made a lunge toward the center was caught in a viritable wind storm. "Store Keeper's" flying, rolling, shuffling charge in the Agusta pit on that night while the town clock was striking the hour of twelve is now as famous in cocking history as are the peerless charges of Ney and Picket in the annals of human valor. "Store Keeper" made a rubber ball out of his big Chappel antagonist, picked him clean; shuffled him into an unrecognizable piece of blood shot metal; fanned the lights out of the hall; frightened half of the spectators nearly to death, closing the world's greatest cocking event in a charge unparalleled in cyclonic dash and spectacular high rolling and shuffling. Above the noise of battle Sherron was heard shouting - "And isn't he a Warhorse?" The crowd took up the cry and by all that vast assembly old "Store Keeper" was for the second time christened "Warhorse" and the news of his magnificent charge and his name went out together and "Old Warhorse' was the most famous cock in all the world. Peter Sherron bred the Irish fowl under the name of Warhorse 'til his death in 1869. At the sale of his personal property after he died, Bob Lumpkin bid off one cock for $50.00 and the balance of the fowl were bought by Jack Allen,a brother-in-law of Henry Hicks, known as the "plunger and backer of the Warhorses." Allen bred the Warhorses pure and for the exclusive use of Hicks and himself. In a main between Augusta parties and the Barckley, Brown combination, Decmeber 1875, there was a Warhorse cock ordered for battle that went sick and Jim Thomas, who had him walked from Allen,gave the cock to Hone Ridley. When Allen heard of this he flew into a rage and started home swearing he would kill or sell every game chicken he owned. On his way down Broad street he met Harison Butler and Jim Clark riding horse back. He hailed down them and told the story of how he had been treated about the cock and of intentions to do away with ever damn chicken he owned. Mr. Butler asked how many he had and what he'd take for them. Allen said about sixty big and little and that $300.00 would buy the lot. Without a word, Mr. Butler gave him the money and Allen promised to have the fowl next morning. Mr. Clark rode on home with Mr. Butler and found Col. John Fair and Dr. Pierce Butler, a nephew of Harrison Butler, at the house. All three of these gentlemen spent the night at Mr. Butler's place and they sent for the fowl the next morning (Christmas Eve morning) and all four took them from the coops and put them in new quarters. To each of his guests Mr. Butler presented a trio of Warhorses, to wit: a trio to Col. Fair,a trio to Jim Clark and a trio to his nephew, Dr. Butler. Now, the reader will have no difficulty in following the history of the Stone Irish through their first twenty years of breeding, nor the Warhorse from "Store Keeper's" time to the morning they landed at Harrison Butler's place. They swapped hands several times during the years but were always confined to one man's hands who thought them too valuable to distribute around even among his best friends. We find in the last days of December 1875, about twenty years after Dunbar shipment arrived that the stock had been kept pure, but remained only in the hands of four careful, appreciative breeders, hence any one wishing to establish the purity of his Warhorse must trace to Harrison Butler's yard or to the yards of one of the three men presented a trio on that Christmas Eve morning, 1875; and prove that no infusions of other blood have been made since. Of the subsequent history of the flock left in the hands of Mr. Butler, I have never known. Col. A.P. Butler, a brother of Harrison, and father of Dr. Pierce, sent me a Warhorse cock in the early eighties which he said came from Harrison. Also about that time he gave Col. E.R. Mclver, of Darlington, S.C., a trio from the same source, but other than these meager facts I know nothing of them, but they must have been crossed out and lost. Certainly they have faded away and perished or friend Jim Clark would have mentioned something of their history to me in our communications on the Warhorse. Col. Fair took his trio to Edgefield, S.C., and bred them to great perfection on his plantations in upper Carolina. It was his pleasure to breed fine fowl and present them to his friends. Notable among those to whom pure Warhorses were given by him was the late R.C. (Dick) Johnson,of Union, S.C., and Walter Hopkinson, of Augusta, Ga. Both of these men were famed breeders and the latter, perhaps the best known of all late day Warhorse breeders. I may say that by the vast majority of uninformed, Hopkinson was regarded as the premier breeder and perpetuator of pure Warhorses, the one man owning the stock to which all must trace their orgin. This is not only a fallacy but 'tis a mooted question as to whether Mr. Hopkinson owned a pure Warhorse five years after Col. Fair made him a present of the trio. The trio given to Jas. Clark were taken to his home and have been bred pure ever since. Mr. Clark is a good and careful breeder and a man of spotless personal character. He is now quite old but still breeds game fowl and follows hounds. The Dr. Butler trio were shipped to Col A.P. Butler at Columbia, S.C. The Col first put these fowl at the penitentiary, but not being satisfied with the run sought my father, then in the Senate from Marion county and asked if he could not get them a run on his big Donoho plantation in Marlboro County, S.C.. The Donoho was the largest cotton plantation in the state. Some 2,000 acres of cleared land on which 500 bales of cotton, feed for fifty head of horses, for big herd of cattle, and numbers of sheep and hogs was made annually as early as 1869, and which now produces over 1,200 bales of cotton annually. The Dr. Butler trio were transfered to this place in March or April, 1876, and kept and bred in the middle of this big place for eight or ten years. Col. Butler and Dr. Butler got all of the fowl they wanted from the yard and the balance of the stags were walked around the place. Col. Butler was a t the home in Marion frequently and often drove up to Donoho to see the crops, the colts, the cows and the chickens. To keep the record straight I may say for the information of those not informed that the Bacon fowl are not in a vital sense "Warhorse." In the first place they are not descendants of Peter Sherron's fowl of the old cock. Warhorse, therefore, not from the family of Stone Irish fowl that inherit the name. In the second place Col. Bacon did not breed his Irish fowl pure from Stone as he got them. He crossed the two strains from Stone and later put Wellslaeger blood into them. Col. Bacon was a great admirer of George Wellslaeger's cocks and frquently made the statement that every fowl he owned had Wellslaeger blood in it. There is seemingly quite a divergence of opinion as to the general description of the Warhorse,as to color, color of eyes, legs, etc. Will say the cocks were mostly brown reds, some few mahogany red and occasionally one came very dark, in fact, black except for a few brown or mahogany feathers in hackle or saddle or a dash of red across the wing butts. The hens were mostly whippoorwill brown, with quite a number shading off to jet black. They all showed sooty looking faces and combs, lead legs of light and dark red, some hazel brown having the appearance of being black at a little distance. There seems to be an impression that these fowl should have black eyes - this is not correct - on the other hand those Warhorse that show invariably a jet black eye are as a rule, clustered up with other blood. They get the black eyes from an infusion of Eslin's black eye stock. Of course, I would not say that this feature is fatal to their purity of blood for I admit many showing an eye almost, or quite, black and might have had black eyes by encouraging the feature, hence could not assert that they are not pure Warhorse because they show black eyes, but do know it to be a fact that certain Warhorses were once bred on Elsin black eye stock and later sold as Warhorses with the claim that the pure stock must show black eyes. Now, I think, I have written enough. Information I have been able to give has been gotten from time to time from Col. Butler, Col. Fair, Jim Clark, Frank Battle, and Fred Mitchell.

Wingate Brownreds

By: Full Drop

1924 Joe Wingate laid aside his life `s work and joined his ancestors. From that time on the once great family of fighting cocks that he had built decined. Though many may boast of having them today, old timers know that the claims have little or no foundation. Back in 1870 , Wingate brought over from north of Ireland a single comb strain of chickens. In color they were mostly brown red, some showing ginger color and all showing dark legs and hazel eyes. The hens were sharp and stylish looking a dark brown or ginger some showing straw neck feathers. They were medium stationed and many grew of the Irish hens was a favorite of Joe`s . He had her set up and mounted when she died. This mounting hen is in existence today but looks nothing like the hens of the so-called wingates you see in these later days. The cocks of this family were not big cocks being in condition 5.4 or under, brown or ginger red, dark legs and hazel eyes. Broad backed and not heavy, though strong boned. They were single stroked cocks fast and strong in the mix-up not high flyers, rushing wild hitting cocks they now want to call Wingates. Did Wingate add any new blood to the above family? Of course he did he added the blood of an English hen he brought over a mahogany colored hen with hazel eyes and dark lead colored legs. He bred this hen under the Irish cock and then bread some of those cross back into the original line. The infusion of the English hen `s blood increased the poundage until off and on a cock would weigh 6.2 or 6.4. Holly Chappell enters the picture, Chappell while down in Alabama on one of his trips to the south got hold of a standout cock and brought him home. He bread him over his hens that were understood to be north Briton and brown red crosses. Wingate and Chappell were friends, wingate got one of the cocks out of this cross and bred him over a brown red hen. After reducing the cross some more, he put the blood of the Chappell line into the Irish family. That is the layout of the Wingate Irish brown reds as the old-timers up here in the hills recall it.

Witch Doctors

by Cecil "The Witch Doctor" Perkins

At least once or twice a year for the past several years I have received phone calls asking about the Witch Doctor fowl, who made them, how they were bred and if still have any for sale. Just this past week I have had three phone calls seeking the same information so I have decided to set the record straight and write what will most likely be the last story about this great strain of black-brown red fowl that were in the eyes of many the greatest slasher cocks that were ever made. Excellent gaff cocks, they were even better in the long knife (slasher). Their record and fame in the islands became so great that editors of the game fowl journals wrote me and requested that I write their origin. Here then, is the true story and breeding of the mighty Witch Doctor fowl and due credit is given to all breeders whose blood made this strain.

I got married in November of 1950 and moved to Austin, Texas with my wife Mozelle. As a wedding present she bought me a trio of Bill Shaffer Mugs from William McCullough of Kinnington, PA. The cock weighed about 5 and one half pounds, was brown red in color, stood up like a fighting cock and, indeed was fought once as a stag after I bred him, winning in one fast pitting. On hen was coal black and one hen was the same color as the cock. I mated them and raised 37 stags, all looked alike and were the best sparring fowl that I had ever seen. However, I lost four of the first seven that I fought and was quite disappointed as they out-fought the other roosters but were not cutting, which in fast company is fatal. I wrote to my good friend Randall Burkey, San Antonio, Texas, and told him my problem. In turn he told me that Bill Shaffer used the Burkey #61 Derby gaffs when he won the Orlando Tournament 13 out of 15 fights. (This could have been St. Augustine, however, both were the majors and nothing but the very best matched steel there.) I ordered a pair of the #61's, 2 1/8" long and put up another show of stags.

Using these gaffs I won 37 out of the next 41 fights. Witnesses were cockers like Gus Frithiof Sr., Si Memen, Bubba Reeves, Brownie Davis, Ernest Puryear, Jack Everhart and the list could go on for an hour. I won so many fights in the first pitting that it was unbelievable. One the greatest cocks I ever owned was "One Round Hogan" who won seven, one pitting fights in my hands and two other fights for Shorty Awalt while I was away in the Army. In 1952 I was drafted into the Army and sent to France. I "left" my brood fowl with a local cocker for safe keeping and put a frying size trio on the yard of my good friend, John DePew, of Austin with instructions not to breed any pure but with permission to cross if he wouldn't sell any of the offspring. One other cock I left on a walk at Bee Caves, Texas. The cocks that I had left I "loaned" to Shorty Awalt and he was to fight them at Shelly Clay's Pit at Waco, Texas, the following year. The brood fowl were not to be bred and no fowl to leave his hands. I had one cock that had never quite gotten over the roup and my wife and I took him to Dick Williams' Pit, Kingburry, Texas, to get him whipped as I hated to kill him. He won in one pitting and I rematched him winning the second time in three pitings. As I told the crowd to which I brought him to get whipped I couldn't refuse when I was offered four ounces of weight to fight him the third time against a fresh cock. This fight lasted over an hour but the little Mug won giving him three victories for the day. I refused one hundred dollars for him and pulled his head off not wanting this blood to "get out". The next year, while I was in France, Shorty and J.D. Cantwell took the Shaffer Mug cocks that I left and went to Waco and won the biggest derby of the year 5-1. Jr. Whitted handled these cocks and tried to buy them just as did most everyone there. Shorty turned him down. Jr. took his winnings and purchased a trio of Mugs from Bill McCullough, being the same person I got mine from, as he couldn't buy mine.

The second trio didn't look like my Mugs and couldn't fight like them either and Jr. disposed of them after I got back from the Army. The original brood cock died while I was in the Army but I got back the original hens and one of their sons. There was a big misunderstanding about the terms of how I left these fowl and Shorty killed the off springs and obtained new fowl of a different strain; we never fought together as an entry after that. So much for the Mug blood. John DePew returned my Mug trio and told me that he had borrowed a Texas Ranger hen from Gus Frithiof and bred the Shaffer Mug stag to her. He had some beautiful hens from this mating and years later I bought two of the last hens from this mating. They were coal black and had the best bodies that one can find on a hen, weighed over five pounds each and had beautiful shoe button black eyes. Enter the Texas Ranger blood.

Jr. Whited had moved out on a road close to me and had over 300 cocks in his back yard. Jr. paid top, top dollars for the very best fowl that money could buy. In the yard was Duke Hulseys, Billy Ruble, Grady Hamilton, Cecil Davis, D.A. Morton, Tom Spurrier and other fowl too many to recall. I told Jr. that I wanted to buy a top Hatch cock and he told me to "take my pick". We discussed the mating at great length and he recommended a beautiful Mill Mimms Hatch cock explaining to me that he gave $500 for the trio and that the fowl came from Owen McGuiness who got them from Duke Hulsey and in turn let Bill Mimms have them. Carl Malls had brought the Mimms fowl to Austin and Jr. called them the greatest Hatch fowl in America. This Mimms cock was the Daddy of the Witch Doctors. I raised a yard full of these fowl from this mating and was looking for a name that would excite the Island people in case I wanted to ship my surplus to the Philippines. I settled on Witch Doctors believing that all the Island folks were superstitious and that the name would drive them crazy; little did I know. Later I found out that they sometimes order cocks with thirty scales on each leg calling such a cock 30-30 as in a repeating rifle.

When Buck Biggs came to my house with a box full of Redquill Stags to fight I found out that my wildest dreams had come true; I could hardly get one whipped! My percentage was something like 95%. Next came Bubba Reeves, Gus Frithiof, Preston Barrnett, Red & Joy Nalls, Ben Curry, Dudley Bryant, Si Memen, & Jr. Whited with the outcome always the same...too much Doctor. Then I took a show to Luther Watson's and won seven straight. I knew that I had hit the jackpot in Witch Doctor fowl. One stag won nine fights before 11 months of age and graced the May 1964 cover of The Gamecock. A few days later came a letter from Guam from a cocker named Sammy Lee wanting to buy the stag on the cover which was the famous "Dr. Dandy." I thanked him by return mail and declined to sell. Three days later I received a phone call from Guam from Sammy still wanting to buy Dr. Dandy. Once again I refused. Then he told me that he was being beaten badly in cock fights in Guam and had lost several thousand dollars. He offered to pay $300 for the loan of the stag for one fight and would return him if he won. A top trio in those days was bringing $100.

I shipped Dr. Dandy and cocking history was made. Sammy hacked the stag for $4,700 and won in a buckle. Another phone call came and Sammy requested that I permit him to come to my house to see these fowl but first he wanted to take him to the Philippines and fight the top cocker of that time who was fighting Thunderbirds from Duke. He was willing to pay an additional $300 rental and I agreed. Sammy fought Dr. Dandy for $30,000 and he was called the greatest cock to ever fight in the Islands. He won in two pittings and was cut through the liver dying three days later. A marble stone marks his grave site. Sammy Lee showed up at my house a week later and took every stag I owned of Witch Doctors and started fighting them for huge amounts of money. Gamecock carried stories and the fame grew. They won mains in straight fights for ten and twenty thousand per fight. No one wanted any of their business. For five years Sammy ruled the roost. He loaned Raymon Rivera six of these stags and Raymon won six straight for a fortune. I have a copy of his letter trying to purchase more. Another great and famous cock of the Witch Doctor breed was called the "Christmas Cock". I sent him to Sammy Lee in Guam as a stag and Sammy won seven slasher fights with him before he was two years old. He was cut up badly during his seventh fight and Sammy gave him to a friend in Guam. The friend told Sammy that he was better than any Christmas present that he has ever received. The cock healed and when Christmas Day rolled around the friend couldn't resist and fought him believing that Christmas was lucky for this bird. He won and was repeated back every Christmas day until he had won 13 fights then totally and permanently retired. This cock was famous throughout all the Islands and a most sought after bird. I have no report on any offspring or if he was ever bred.

I sent a trio to Paulino Ochoa in the Philippines and the reported record was 64 wins - 6 losses 2 draws. Over a hundred letters were received (still on hand) willing to pay any price for a feather. I never offered to sell any, no ads were run but Gamecock would give my address to all who inquired; I enjoyed the fame. The bubble burst when I lost both original hens due to old age and bred the cock over his daughters. The first one of these I fought was jerked out of a pen and carried to Ken Teeler's house and fought at Ken at nine months old, he quit and ran off after a few pittings. I was crushed not only because my famous Witch Doctors had run off but I had over 150 brothers and half brothers to this. I went home and fought the stags at each other and killed the winners. Eldon Molish and Randy Wallace aided me in this slaughter. I had 22 left and we were too tired to fight the rest so we quit. A month later I sold Gus Frithiof the 22 that were left and told him that when he shipped them that he was not to tell anyone where he got them. However, I had fought over a hundred brothers to the runner and all proved game. Gus shipped them to South America and the report came back that the first nineteen fought, won. I killed all the sisters and gave Gus the full sister to Dr. Dandy which I had turned down $500 for. He bred her to a Texas Ranger cock and the report is almost unbelievable. This family won 300 fights, lost 22, and drew 12. One man won 104 and lost or drew 10.

No pure Witch Doctors exist to my knowledge and certainly not in the United States for I never sold a pair in the USA. However, I went to a man's yard in Texas to look at some White hens and he showed me a pen of pure Witch Doctors. I asked him if he knew who made the Witch Doctors and he replied Billy Ruble. I never told him any different or who I was. However, if a man can prove that I didn't make the Witch Doctors just as I say I bred them I will pay a $10,000 reward. I don't believe that I missed a Major Derby in the United States for a period of ten years and I am known to thousands of cockers as "Witch". My farm is listed as Witch Doctor Farms and I show and register Dairy Goats under that name. I need no fame...the Witch Doctors earned me that with their winning ways.


by Old Swash (1921)

Warhorses and John Stone Irish Brown Reds are two different families. John Stone Brown Reds, as Col. Bacon got them, were colored as follows, and no two ways or double colors in it: The cocks were a beautiful brown-red, and ginger red, yellow-greenish legs called terrapin legs, red eyes, with single and pea combs, mostly single or saw-tooth combs, which was evidence that they were the result of a cross before John Stone got them from the Lord Dondon estate through James Doolin. Now, the hens came wheaton, or straw colored, with eyes and legs same as the cocks. Now, once in a while a stag or pullet would show moccasin legs, white and blueish or greensih, vice versa. Now then, when a man claims his fowl are Warhorses and at the same time claims his Warhorses are pure John Stone Lord Dondon Irish Brown Reds, and ships out fowl other than the above colors, for both Warhorses and John Stone Brown Reds, he is in my judgement off his base and should be halted to keep him in bounds of reason, for I am aware of the fact that the gentleman has shipped almost black fowl to purchasers and claimed them Warhorses, and also claimed them to be John Stone Irish Brown Reds that were named the Warhorse, and etc.

Now, I am, or have always been, a great admirer of my friend who does this, but I tell him frankly I am at this late day losing interest in his writings. He is a smart man and an educated man - he has Old Swash skinned in books - but from his Warhorse writings of late I know I have skinned in the knowledge of the Warhorse fowl as originated by my departed friend Col. Bacon.

Now the June Grit and Steel, 1921, in his letter trys to credit George Welslager with the black cock cross in the Warhorse family, and then he narrows down to the point where he says he wishes to know if that old Black Welslager cock's blood was in Peter Sherron's Warhorse or Stone Irish fowl, and I wish to in a word clear his mind and tell him "Yes". And every other Warhorse fowl, no matter who owned or bred them, carries that black cock's blood. Yet I don't admit it was a Welslager, for the simple fact: Why would Col. Bacon wish to get another Welslager cock to cross with to produce the Warhorse family when prior to the Warhorse's orgin he bred and fought George Welslager's Old Welslgaer Reds, and they were not blacks, either. They were black-breasted reds, with cherry red bar across back from wing butt to wing butt, and came as near being true to the color as any fowl I ever saw. Legs were blue, or lead moccasin, and terrapin eyes, hazel and red, and often had what we called clear eyes, on order of sheep eyes - some called them gander eyes. Now, I hate to differ so very widely from my friend's views, but facts are facts.

Now, from all Col. Bacon ever was able to learn in regard to the Baltimore Black, or Godner Floyd Black, they sprang from the coop of black fowl that Dr. Cooper mentioned was stolen from the Englishman's wagon in Pennsylvania. Now, I am not arging on that, but only give it as Col. Bacon expressed it in my presence. One fact I do know is that those black fowl won eleven out of fourteen battles in a main from Col. Bacon and his party lost heavily. Bacon was then using Stone Irish Brown Reds and his old Welslager Reds. Bacon tried to buy a certain cock which he fancied, a coal black, and his fabulous price was refused, and Col. Bacon's old servant got the negro keeper drunk and stole the cock and carried him from Baltimore in a sack and walked and made a trip through to Edgefield. He got rides along the road some times, but walked most of the way. But he ran until he got out of Baltimore with the black cock.

Now, to throw some more light on this Warhorse history, not a strain of any importance now but what carries a bit of Warhorse blood in their veins. Look at Col. F.E. Grist's great champions; it was from a cock Col. Bacon bred that Col. Grist originated the world renowned Grist Champions, and I could go on and name various other strains.

Now, you all have seen mushrooms loom up in a single night, and when the hot sun shone they died as suddenly as they loomed up. Now, my friends, Peter Sherron's origination of the Warhorse reminds me of one of those mushrooms. Peter Sherron is due this much and no more. He named Col. Bacon's fowl Warhorse - that much and no more. Now, you men of sense and judgement, go behind the pen of my friend and see if you can find a single man who ever gives Peter Sherron credit for or as a breeder of Warhorse or any other horses other than Mr. Dal Johnson, and the treat is on my friend.Joe Hammond, in a circular, he once issued, gave Sheron credit for naming Col. Bacon's fowl Warhorse, and outside of that single mention old Peter Sherron was not known to the cocking world. Peter wasn't known outside of Augusta, Georgia, and we often had cock fights between Edgefield and Trnton South Carolina, and from 25 to 200 men there from North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and elsewhere, but never once did I see Peter Sherron there. He went as far as Hamburg and Beech Island and that was all. Peter was a barkeeper and he was a great game breeder, as you all will vouch for when I tell you of his brood yards. He had them Oh! Did I say them? Well Imeant it, at the rear of his bar, and the two buildings on either side his bar that joined it was the fence and they ran back some 30 feet, or I might say 40 feet further than the bar on either side, and he planked up the back end and this was his brood pen, or yards. His chickens often came inot the bar from the rear end door. The stag so often referred to was given the name of storekeeper, and was called Barkeeper because he almost lived in the bar. I've seen so muhc said about that stag I want ot tell you all he was a son of the identical cock of Col. Bacon's that Peter called Warhorse after he had won in the main I have before mentioned and from the B.S. Dunbar hens from John Stone of the Irish Brown reds. But if Dunbar got the colors my friend states he got, he never got Stone's Irish Brown Reds; he got John Stone's Irish Gliders, which was a cross on the Irish Brown Reds and a Ned Gill Black cock. Said cross was made by Jack Saunders, of Salem, Mass., on the Stone Irsih Brown Reds, and was named Stone Irish Gliders so as to distinguish these cross breeds from the pure John Stone Irish Brown Reds.

Set up, youngsters, and take notice. Don't let any man deceive you, for deception is the slogan today. It was a Ned Gill Roundhead crossed on John Stone Jim Sandsford Claibornes that produced the Roundhead Claibornes that are sold and fought as John Stone Roundhead Claibornes. John Stone had no Roundhead Claibornes, and why he is credited with the strain is this: The hens from which the cross was made were procured from John Stone, of his little inbred Sandford Claibornes. John Stone had no more to do their orgin than I did. Ask old Daddy Joe Wingate, better known as Ginger Joe, who is the best authority in the USA today on game fowl and cockers and breeders. He is getting very old and his mind may be getting foggy, but if it is still clear and he will write a letter for Grit and Steel, you will get the worth of a year's subscription in one issue. I have a thousand letters from his pen in my file and some day if I live I mean to have them put in book form to mail to my customers.

My friend in his letter mentions the cock Col. Rhett got that produced the Rhett Morgan fowl. He can go on and learn why they were called Rhett Morgan fowl. Because Dr. Morgan bred them out on his plantation and he and Rhett were brother-in-laws, and the cock Col. Rhett got was a cross bred cock. Col. Rhett got the hens from Col. Bacon of his Warhorse family and bred that Rhett John Stone cock on them. The Rhett Stone cock was an imported black-breasted English cross on Stone Irish hens. Then this cock bred on bacon Warhorse hens caused the Rhett fowl to show very few dark fowl, mostly cinnamon reds, reds and mottled-breasted reds, and most all had terrapin legs, and about as red eyes as was ever in a fowl's head.

Give me my friend's education to couple with my knowledge and I will make him look like 30 cents. Presently, if he had my knowledge and the education he has he would make me look like a forsaken camp heap way out in the woods.


By: Rick Albright

The original Sheldon Roundheads that Sam Wactor started with must of been heavy with oriental and or Asil blood as some of my Nigger Roundheads show the Asil look. The feather color of the Nigger Roundheads now are Black, Black Red, and Dark Red, the eye color is black or red, leg color has been dark but with the Sheldon Roundhead blood in them I am sure one day I will get some lighter legs out of them. But, when Sam Wactor first started breeding his Nigger Roundheads he got some BLUE feathered ones but sent them to an other yard away from his main farm. And over the years he bred out the BLUE colors. However, in doing research on many breeds of fowl you will find that many had a blue in them some where. I obtained my Nigger Roundheads from Jack Wactor SR. the son of Sam Wactor, in the last few years Jack Wactor's son Jack Wactor Jr. sold some of his fowl in the Gamecock. I talked to Jack Wactor SR. on the phone a few weeks ago and he said that he had given all the fowl to his handler. However, Jack Wactor SR. told me that he had sent me the best fowl he had and that the handler in fact did not have some of the Blood lines that he had sent me due to a problem with varmits and dogs. I will continue to raise and test the Nigger Roundheads as they cross very well with my other fowl. The following history was written by JACK WACTOR SR. and sent to me so I could share it with anyone who was interested.

I hope you enjoy the history of the Nigger Roundheads as much as I did. "My father, Sam Wactor got started in the game chicken life at the tender age of 8 years old. Burnell Shelton had country walks near my father's farm and he began using him to help catch his chickens. Shelton gave him a yard of chickens that same year which he bred and kept pure for years.As much as he liked his Shelton Roundheads he still was not dominating at the pits. He thought if he found a sure enough outstanding cock he would breed him over some of his roundhead hens. Charlie Knapp a New Orleans banker, close friend and supporters of Sam's told him if he ever saw the rooster he wanted he would buy it for him. In January 1921, while at a main in New Orleans, LA, a man named Grimme, who was a shoe cobbler from Yazoo City, MS, fought an absolutely awesome rooster. The rooster was fought twice that day and won both fights quick. Sam knew he found what he had been searching for and as agreed Knapp bought the rooster and paid a $100's. The rooster was a dark brown-red with a dark face, eyes and legs. Sam bred the cock over 9 Shelton Roundhead hens (some yellow legs and some white) and all the biddies came dark. He only bred the Grimme cock for one season because he was killed by his offspring and he never bred back to the Roundhead side.

Out of this breeding he raised an outstanding rooster he called Trotter. Trotter proved to be such an exceptional rooster he continued to breed him over his daughters and then granddaughters and so on for twelve straight years and he always bred to the black side. No out-crossing was ever attempted. Fresh blood was added within the family using the dominate stag over the yard and Trotter in the brood pens. So the Nigger Roundheads are actually half Shelton Roundhead and half Grimmie. They were originally called Black Trotters, Trotter Roundheads and Nigger Trotters. Eventually they picked up the name Nigger Roundheads and this name stuck with them over the years. My belief is the name Black Travelers is just a deviation of the Black Trotters.

The Nigger Roundheads of Sam Wactor have been kept pure and have maintained their absolute gameness, body structure and feathers. No infusing of out side blood to date." {This is a direct quote from the letter sent to me by Jack Wactor (Sam Wactor's son)}. Jack L. Wactor also stated on the phone that Sam Wactor did in fact sell many of the "Nigger Roundheads" to William McRae and that they were sent to the Islands. In fact he sold William McRae a whole yard of Nigger Roundheads. In picture's that have been traded between Jack and I, I am of the belief that the Black McRae's are of mostly "Nigger Roundhead" blood with other strains of fowl being added to the Nigger Roundheads from time to time by William McRae. But that the Nigger Roundheads are the dominate strain of fowl used in the make up of the Black McRae's.

Personal tools