Um, nope, never heard of it. But while searching for something unrelated, I came across an advertisement for Chicken Cock Whiskey, and thought it was a rather funny name for whiskey. Seemed sort of redundant to me. Anyway, that prompted me to search the keywords “chicken cock” to see what else I could find. The results follow, intermingled with several Chicken Cock Whiskey ads. I bolded each “chicken cock” so they are easy to spot if you don’t want to read each complete article.
SAM HOUSTON’S DUEL.
In 1826, six miles south of Franklin, Ky., on the farm of H.J. Duncan, two hundred yards from the Tennessee line, was fought a duel which created widespread excitement throughout the Union, owing to the reputation of the principals. In 1826, Gen. Sam Houston was a member of Congress from the Nashville district in Tennessee, and sending home for distribution a number of documents, he claimed that Curry, the postmaster at Nashville, suppressed and failed to deliver them and, denounced him a scoundrel. For this Curry sent him a challenge by Gen. White. Houston refused to receive the message, as he stated, “from such a contemptible source,” throwing it on the ground and stamping on it. Gen. White said he was surprised, as no one expected Houston to fight.
To this Houston retorted, “Do you try me.”
Of course a challenge followed from White which Houston promptly accepted. The terms and conditions were, “fifteen feet distance; holster pistols; time sunrise.”
The place chosen as stated, was in Simpson county. On the 23d day of September, 1826, the parties met at the designated point with their seconds. The fact that a duel was to be fought had gone abroad, and a number of persons had secreted themselves near the field to witness the affair, a fact unknown to either principles or seconds. After the first shots had been exchanged and White had fallen to the ground the people rushed to the spot. Houston seeing them, and fearing an arrest, started toward the state line with a view of escaping.
Gen. White called to him, “General, you have killed me.”
Houston then faced the crowd with pistol still in hand, and inquired if there were any officers of the law in the among them, and being answered in the negative he advanced to the side of his late antagonist and kneeling by him took his hand saying: “I am very sorry for you, but you know that it was forced upon me.”
Gen. white replied, “I know it and forgive you.”
White had been shot through just above the hips, and to cleanse the wound of blood the surgeons run one of their old fashioned silk neckerchiefs through the wound. Gen. White recovered from his fearful wound as much to the joy of Houston as himself.
During the week preceding the duel Houston remained at the home of Sanford Duncan, near the field, practicing meanwhile with pistols. At his temporary home were two young belligerent dogs, named for their pugnacious dispositions Andrew Jackson and Thomas H. Benton. These were continually fighting, Houston’s political sentiments leading him to espouse the cause of the Jackson pup, who, very much to his delight, was a constant winner in the frays.
The hour of arising and preparing for the duel on the arrival of the day was 3:40 a.m. Just before that hour “Gen. Jackson” barked beneath the window of his admirer’s room, awakening him. Houston arose without disturbing his attending friends, and began the task of molding bullets with which to fight Gen. White. As the first bullet fell from the mold a game-cock, which he had admired scarcely less than he did the dog, crowed a loud, clear note. Houston, with that element of superstition which finds a place in nearly every mind, accepted the early greetings of his friends as a happy omen, and marking the bullet one side for the dog and the other for the chicken, made up his mind that his pistol should be loaded with it, and that he would first fire that particular ball at General White.
He afterward said that “he was not superstitious, but these two circumstances made him feel assured of success,” thus disproving his own words. The bullet was used and White fell at the first fire, as stated.
After the duel Houston selected as a coat-of-arms “a chicken cock and dog,” and many were the comments made by those unfamiliar with the facts in after years, when as president of Texas and senator in Congress, he sported so strange a crest. These facts are authentic, having been related by Gen. Houston to Sanford Duncan, jr., late of Louisville, while the two were en route to Washington city during Houston’s term as senator.
The Herald And Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 4, 1887
The rebel sympathising papers throughout the length and breadth of the land have been celebrating what they are pleased to consider a victory in the late election in Connecticut, by displaying at the head of their columns the consecrated emblem of their party and principles, namely a dominica dunghill chicken cock.
This is a fit emblem of the principles of their party. It is only upon the dunghills of ignorance, vice, immorality and barbarism that the toeless, frozen comb, and frost-bitten chicken-cock of Democracy can flap his dirty wings and utter a feeble cock-a-doodle-doo of galvanized delight. But even the poor privilege of doing this with any degree of assurance the elections that have occurred since that of Connecticut have rendered absurd and ridiculous. These election returns can be seen in another place, and they are anything but an indication of progress backwards by the American people.
The Herald And Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Apr 10, 1867
For background; from same page of the paper:
At an election on the 1st inst., in this State the Copperheads succeeded in electing their candidate for Governor, and three out of the four Congressmen. Two of these Congressional districts were Democratic at last year’s election, and the third only showed a small republican majority.
The enemies of intelligence and freedom have, therefore, only succeeded in overcoming a small majority in one of the Congressional districts, and carried the same against P.T. Barnum, a most unfortunate nomination on the part of the Republicans. Mr. Barnum of course is vastly less objectionable to the moral consciousness of the people, than a prize fighter, such as John Morrisy, whom the Copperheads of New York sent to Congress….
The Herald And Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Apr 10, 1867
Country folk – some in jest, some in earnest – translate the voice of a chicken cock crowing at the door into “Stranger coming to-day,” and we remember an old lady who invariably made preparation for company when the waring note was sounded upon her premises. In thirty years, she declared, the sign had never failed.
The Indiana Democrat (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Jan 6 1881
The following is all the notice which our contemporary, the Mail, takes of the splendid triumph of Republicanism in Vermont.
“First reports from Vermont give an increased majority for the Republicans. Vermont is all theirs, and the Green Mountain chicken crows loudly on its own wood-pile.”
We understand that paper had made arrangements to put its “tooting” apparatus in full blast in case rebelized Democracy had increased its vote in that State, but the jollification didn’t come off. The fire went down quietly, or was as quietly put out. That election is the grave of the hopes of the Mail and its friends. Good by Democracy. Good bye to the “tooting” performances of the Mail. The 1st of September has smashed the former and silenced the squeak of the latter. Prepare to reverse the position of your dominica chicken cock. Let it have its back to the ground and its heels, gaffed with treason, in the air.
The Herald And Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Sep 3, 1868
Back in the day, the newspaper editors seemed to really duke it out in their columns. They can be some of the most entertaining things to read in the old papers, particularly if you can find both sides, which is not the case for this one:
FOR THE REPUBLICAN COMPILER.
Copy of a letter dated
HARTFORD, Aug. 1, 1820.
Dear Jonathan. – Received yours — nation great favor — very glad to get it; don’t thank you much neither, for copying off my letter and sending it back again — think you might made something of your own; but you used to make new spoons out of old pewter dishes — thought you’d try it again. Heard you’d chang’d your name — glad you got your old one back again — guess you got ‘shamd of your new one — think its no wonder — best a kept your old one — people know you any how, think. Talking about whitewashing, had a mind to whitewash you, to hide the stains — took another look of you — found it must be a foot thick — even wouldn’t do; the stains all over only want another shade; think you best buy lampblack, get some one paint you – if you’re axt how fair you have a mind to be — say jist as white outside as in. Heard you were dead; some say you were and rose again — quite queer thing — have to b’lieve it letter looks so like you — little scaly too; think you’re sick — you look something like a half drowned chicken cock, pecked ‘most to death — too soon begin to crow — too many old games ’bout here — better hold your tongue; they’ve got long spurs — cut your comb for you think — not leave a feather on you — look a little odd when naked — better be still. Queer kind of fowl, Jonathan — put me in mind of the jackdaw with peacock’s feathers on — difference jist this; jackdaw got his stolen feathers plucked out, got a drubbin, and thats enough for him — you better stuff — got worse whipt — won’t behave yet — think you get as much as you’ve a mind to; They say you’ve got turkey feathers put on to cheat the eagles with — want to pass for one; wno’t do, Jonathan — your eyes too bad — too near a been blind — eagles always seen to sharp for you. Cousin doughface got a cart for sale, made for two horses — I got one — you’d best bring a nag from ‘mong the Pennamites with you — but they say Pennamite and Yankee naggies wont pull together; s’pose you found that out by this time.
You promise to come my road — be sure when you come to bring something with you — dont do as you did last time. Talk something ’bout celebrations and modest people — think they’re scarce where you came from — guess you never seen a modest man before; you must know, Jonathan, every one hant got as much impudence as you and
P.S. You may write as many letters as you have a mind to; but dont take the Hiesterics too bad, as you did tother time — tell your secrets when you’ve a mind to keep them; think you had not much mind to tell your real name, if you had not got a fit of them, which mostly makes people insane.
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Aug 16, 1820
ROOSTER STORY CONCERNS FIGHT AT FORT M’HENRY
Baltimore — (AP) — Whether there was a rooster at Fort McHenry during the bombardment by the British in 1814 has been a controversial matter for many years. Legend has it that a rooster, because of his happy crowing, made everybody feel a lot better during the battle.
After James E. Hancock, president of the Society of the War of 1812, said at the recent Defenders’ day exercises, he believed the rooster story was a myth, John A. Hartman of Baltimore brought forth the memoirs of his father, John B. Seidenstricker.
Seidenstricker wrote that his uncle, Henry Barnhart, “was under Colonel Armistead at Fort McHenry during bombardment by the British fleet. He had a chicken cock there that he prized very hightly, because of its beauty perhaps, and was careful to preserve it from all harm.
“But he could not protect it from a fragment of a bursting shell which struck the rooster on his foot, causing it, from alarm of pain, to fly up and light upon the flagstaff, where he remained, crowing occasionally, until the conflict ceased.
“Colonel Armistead offered to purchase the cock but he would not part with it and kept it until it died, when he placed it in a suitable box and in company with a platoon of fort soldiers, buried it with the honors of war, firing several rounds over its grave.”
The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 16, 1932
This one is really long, so I bolded the section, rather than just the “chicken cock.” I think this person was some sort of an armchair general or something.
The Aspects of the War — What Next?
The Army of the Potomac has just performed one of those evolutions, for which it is so justly renowned. It has marched forward and then marched back again. As a gymnastic performance, it has been well done, and as exercise is absolutely necessary to health, it is not to be regretted that the army has had an opportunity of stretching its limbs and breathing the fresh air. It has at last arrived at “Brandy Station.” The frequency with which both the rebel and Union armies dwell at this station shows it to be a fashionable place of resort to military gentlemen. We trust the name is rather metaphorical than real. It is “given out” (see the Washington telegraphs) that the grand march over the Rapidan was made to prevent reinforcements from Lee to Longstreet. Perhaps so; but there are some objections to that theory. — Meade began his march on the 27th (Friday) and the army of Bragg had been defeated two days before, leaving Grant at liberty to cut off Longstreet and reinforce Burnside; besides which more than a week must elapse before any efficient reinforcements could reach Longstreet — bringing it to the 4th of December — before which time the fate of the contest between Burnside and Longstreet must have been decided. — Let the theory stand, however, till a better can be given. The facts seem to show that Meade’s army went on very well till it ran against some fortifications, which not liking to storm, it turned back. But, the question may be asked, why not go around them? Why should a man run against a fort, when there is room enough to go around?
It seems that Meade’s army crossed partly at, and partly above where Hooker did; that being across the river instead of moving onward toward Richmond; it wheeled to the right and formed a line of battle across the road from Frederick to Orange Court House, with the right resting on the Rapidan; that between this line of battle and Orange Court House, Lee with his army, in his fortifications. It seems to me that this performance was exactly like what I have seen performed by a chicken cock on the farm, who by deploying his squadron from the barnyard in front of his rival at the chickenhouse, stops, flaps his wings, and crows (in his expressive language) “Come on!” But his enemy will not come, but crows in the intrenchments of the chickenhouse; whereupon the challenger thinks enough has been done for his honor, and retreats on the barnyard. I hope no military hero, renowned in war, will feel aggrieved at this comparison. The analogies of nature are very strong. The great and illustrious men of science are now engaged in tracing man back to monkey. For my own part, I consider a comparison with a game cock far more dignified. I never saw a baboon without a supreme contempt for him, while a game cock has many admirable qualities.
To return form our digression. Meade’s army did not pass by Lee’s; because, if it did, Lee could pass behind it, on the road to Washington. In fact, we must consider the Army of the Potomac as (what it has been for a year past,) a mere movable breastwork for the defense of Washington. Nor is that fact of any positive importance. — Unless Richmond can be taken, from the west side of James River, there is no great use in taking it at all, for, in any other case, the army and the great criminals who compose the rebel Government, will all escape to Lynchburg or Danville. Richmond, as a strategic point, is not worth a straw.
Leaving the Army of the Potomac to its winter quarters, at Brandy Station, we pass to the glorious Army of the Cumberland. That army, which, in the poetic language of General Meigs, fought part of “its battle above the clouds,” which stormed Lookout Mountain, 2,000 feet high, and crowned its summits with living laurels, green as its mountain pines. That army may be thankful, if covetous of fame, that it is not within reach of Washington. To that army our eyes must turn. Will that, too, go into winter quarters? Or will Gen. Grant, with his characteristic vigor and judgment, asking no leave of winter or of enemies, push on, dealing deadly blows at every step? This is what ought to be done. Can he do it? The first thing in the way of the army is the necessity of establishing a new depot of provisions and munitions at Chattanooga. Whenever an army advances a hundred miles, or more, a new center of supplies must be established, and one of the first considerations in the plan of a campaign is where the depots of supplies shall be. Admitting the successful advance of the army, new depots must be established at each and every successive advance. — Nor is this all. Their communications must be kept open, and their defenses such that they can stand a moderate siege. Gen. Grant has had one very instructive example of this in the seizure of his stores at Holly Springs. Heretofore Nashville has been the great center of supplies for the armies in Tennessee.
Now, Chattanooga must be made a center. Nor will there be any great difficulty in this. From Nashville to Chattanooga by rail, is 151 miles, which will make an easy and safe line of transit, when we occupy, as we now do, the defensible points south of Bridgeport. The bridge over the Tennessee must be completed; a great mass of stores removed from Nashville to Chattanooga; and the defenses on the Northern extremities of Mission and Lookout Ridges made strong. When this is done, the army is ready to move two hundred miles further. But this is heavy work, and may take two or three weeks or more. Will Grant then advance? Certainly, if he does not contradict his own character, and all the demands of the war. He has already given us, an example of what he will do in his march on Holly Springs and Grenada, in the middle of December. Besides, what is there to arrest the march of an army in the South in winter? Is there any reason to stop the operations of an army in Southern Ohio, during winter? Not at all; and there is still less in Georgia. When the troops get disentangled from all the ridges of mountains, that extend about forty miles south of Chattanooga, they will find a winter march comparatively easy. It will not do for our armies to stand still. Now is the time, when every blow tells upon the rebels with double force. They are like the sinking pugilist, who after having stood several rounds with apparent strength and courage, begins to feel the blood oozing from his veins; his sight grows dizzy; his limbs become unsteady, and he deals hard, but ill-directed blows, which often strike the empty air, till he begins to stagger. Then two or three blows from his adversary, fell him to the earth, and he rises no more. Cut off from half their territory; cut off, from their cattle in Texas, and their sugar in Louisiana; their men exhausted by war and disease; their money worthless; their people dissatisfied, how much longer can they last? Toombs’ speech; the North Carolina election; the Richmond papers; the constant accounts of distress and exhaustion from every quarter, tell the story without any resort to argument or imagination. The rebels are staggering from exhaustion, and their only hope is that Lee and Bragg may keep the field till somebody offers them peace or compromise.
The hope is in vain.
Unconditional surrender is the only terms they will be allowed.
Whether their rebel dominion perishes in the last ditch or not; whether they die in battle or by exhaustion, they will come to an early end, and be remembered only for the most signal folly and the most signal punishment which the world ever saw since the downfall of Rome. — Cin. Gaz.
Burlington Weekly Hawkeye, The (Burlington, Iowa) Dec 12, 1863