Holy Feed Gamefowl History: Warhorse Legends

Holy Feed Gamefowl History: Warhorse Legends

https://youtu.be/JHx8gKaFoDggame chicken men is turning just now to the two greatest families if fighting fowl ever sent of 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 family. 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 afterward became famous under the name of' Gailor Legs.' It was of this family that Dr. Morgan got from Wilson and were afterward 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, December 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.

 

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