of The July Hound
following information was taken from a book written
by:Sara Strahan, Titled.
Foxhunting An Endangered Sport
story starts with a fellow by the name of Col.
Myles G. Harris,born in Georgia in 1803.Col.Harris
was on a trip to buy mules from a trader named
Ben Robinson of Mt.Sterling,Kentucky. Since he
was also an avid foxhunter he invited Col. Harris
to a hunt.Mr. Robinson was running hound bred
by Mr. Nimrod Gosnell of Maryland. Col. Harris
was so impressed by the way the hounds could run
a red fox, that he decided to travel onto maryland
before returning home. Mr.Gosnell also invited
him to a hunt to observe his hounds. Col.Harris
was very impressed and tried to buy a pair of
much debate, it was decided that he would give
him a pair of pups when he made the next cross.
When the pups arrived at Col. Harris's home they
were quite a sight. They were a pair of woolly-hair,cock-eared,tan-colored
pups that got many laughs from the local hunters.
Because they arrived in the month of July, the
male pup was named July, the female was named
Mary. The male pup had small thick ears which
set rather high. His eyes were prominent and dark,
with red toenails and round cat-like feet. His
back was dark with a little sprinkle of gray with
sides and flanks of a grayish color and bright
tan inner legs.
Harris, like most hunters did not take ridiclule
about his hounds well. So he moved the pups several
miles to one of his other farms. They were cared
for by a man named warren, a slave, who did nothing
but care for the Col's hounds. The hounds developed
and were taken on their first hunt in October,
1859. Col. Harris invited hunters from miles away
to the hunt. They brought their choice hounds
to hunt with July and Mary. A red fox was jumped
and ran in the direction of the Oconee River,
out of hearing. Making his circle,the fox returned
with two hounds in close pursuit. July and Mary
pressed hard while the pack scattered. It was
written that many hounds became "leg weary"
and slowed to a slow trail.Redicule of the "odd
looking" pair of pups came to an end.
came into season and was put in the gin loft.
but the mistake of giving her too much leeway
caused her to hang herself as she attempted to
leap through the window. The demand on July as
a stud was very overtaxed as bitches were brought
by hunters from far and near. When Col. Harris
was sixty-five, his hearing and eyesight became
severly inpaired. He sent July and six noted hounds
to Putnam County, Georgia,with the following instructions.
"These hounds are sent to my Putnam County
friends for their benefit, and to be owned in
common by them for the purpose of making suitable
and necessary crosses". "Six are given
in total, but it must be expressly understood
that old July is simply loaaned out, and the title
to him shall never pass from my hands." Eventually,
Col. Harris decided to give ownership to Col.
Birdsong. And also gave Col. Birdsong breeding
privileges to any hound that would enhance July's
Thomas Henery of Charlotte, Virginia moved to
Quincy,Fl. in 1848. Among his possessions were
ancestors of two Irish hounds, Mountain and Muse,
who were brought to maryland by the Duke of Leeds,
and presented to Bolton Jackson as gifts. The
breeding of these hounds were carried out in the
kennls of Mr. Jackson, Col. Sterrett Ridgley,
Governor Ogle, and Charles Carroll,Jr. Offspring
from these hounds were bred by Nimrod Gosnell
and Dr. James A. Buchanan. Dr. Henery obtained
some of Dr. Buchannan's hounds and crossed them
on the Sugar Loaf strain to produce his famous
Henry hounds. Col. Birdsong crossed the Henry
hounds on July and other hounds of the July strain
and produced wonderful running hounds.
of these crossings were destroyed by a fire in
George Garrett's home about 1929. In Georgia,
Col. Birdsong was known as the father of the pedigree.
For a time , his hounds were the standard of excellence
for all foxhounds in America. Many hunters were
of the opinion the July strain should have been
recognized as the Birdsong strain.
His hounds had a characteristic curl of the hair
on the shoulder which was contributed by the Henry