– Gameness til the End
His original Generals originated from a brother-sister mating. The original stag came from Spec McLaughlin, that Spec fought against Mike at the pit in Jal, New Mexico in 1958 or 1959 at a stag derby. After the fight Spec asked Mike if he wanted the stag, so Mike told Spec only he would give Mike, the stag’s full sister.
So later in the season Spec brought Mike the pullet. Mike didn’t breed the pair until they were 3 years old, but he did breed the stag to 4 of his hens that he had that were Bell Roundheads and maybe something else, he raised 8 stags from these matings and fought them, he won 47 fights straight before he lost one of these crosses, so thats when he decided to breed the original stag and pullet together and set as a family.
He would only sell crosses of the Generals until 1993 or 1994 thats when he started selling the pure Generals.
Thats why you would only hear General crosses mentioned for sell. Mike told me this same story several times, when I would ask him how he got his start with the Generals.
They do contain Phil Marsh Whitehackle and E.H. Hulsey blood from Henry Wortham.
Tell you another story about them Generals. I went to Mike’s school in July of 1984, with Mike’s nephew that lived here in Texas, we drove twelve hundred miles to Mike’s place in Menlo Ga. To attend the school also my brother went with us. We drove up there in a l little Ford Courier pickup truck, which is a mini truck. Mike’s nephew is 6ft. 5ins. tall, about 180 lbs my brother is 6ft. 2ins. tall, about 180 lbs. and I’m about 5ft. 10ins. tall, about 275 lbs, talking about a tight fit like sardines packed in a can.
Anyways two of us would ride in front in cab one outside unless it started raining. Okay after two week school Mike gave his Nephew two broodcocks, one was a pure seventeen year old General and a sixteen year old pure Bell Rhoundhead. They rode in the air-conditioned pickup while rode in the back of the truck all the way from Menlo, Ga. to Grandfalls, Tx. Over twelve hundred miles in the hot July sun. That’s why I hate them damn Generals. lol. hahaha.
February 1983 Grit & Steel cover photo,Mike Ratliff pure General featured on cover.
– De La O
In “The Gamecock” December of 2004 page (58-61) you can find the article by Tom Spurrier wrote about the Generals. The article is called “Tall Tales From Texas” May of ’77.