Battle of Bulltown
Part of the American Civil War
Date October 13, 1863 (1863-10-13)
Location Braxton County, West Virginia
38°47′24″N 80°33′51″W / 38.79°N 80.56417°W / 38.79; -80.56417Coordinates: 38°47′24″N 80°33′51″W / 38.79°N 80.56417°W / 38.79; -80.56417
Result Union victory
Belligerents
United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America
Commanders
William Mattingly William L. "Mudwall" Jackson
Strength
est. 400 est. 800
Casualties and losses
a few minor wounds (including Mattingly) 8 killed, same number wounded

The Battle of Bulltown was a small skirmish fought during the American Civil War near Bulltown in Braxton County, West Virginia on October 13, 1863.

Background[edit | edit source]

In the fall of 1863, William L. "Mudwall" Jackson, the cousin of "Stonewall" Jackson, led a raiding party of 800 men into central West Virginia to capture the strategic "fort" at Bulltown which overlooked an important crossing of the Little Kanawha River. The goal was to cut Federal communications between the Greenbrier and Kanawha Valleys.

The Union garrison of roughly 400 men was commanded by Captain William Mattingly. The Union troops manned a "fort" of makeshift log barricades and shallow trenches which can still be seen today.

Battle[edit | edit source]

Jackson approached Bulltown secretly. He divided his forces in an attempt to converge on the Union position from two different directions. The Confederates advanced at 4:30am on October 13th. They quickly captured the Federal picketts and would have taken the garrison by surprise but one Confederate, whether due to excitement or nervousness, fired his gun and alerted the Union troops.

The Confederates advanced against the fort and a drawn out skirmish lasted until about 4:30pm, almost twelve hours after the battle began. Twice, Jackson sent a flag of truce with a surrender to demand to which Captain Mattingly replied "I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice".

Jackson eventually retreated back towards the Greenbrier Valley. Casualties were very light considering the length of the battle. On the Union side there were no fatalities. Captain Mattingly was wounded in the thigh and there were some other slight wounds in the Federal camp. the Confederates lost 8 killed and a like number wounded.

One civilian, Moses Cunningham, who owned the farm on which the majority of the battle took place, was wounded when he ran out of his house shouting "Hurrah for Jeff Davis".

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The battle was the last significant Confederate offensive in West Virginia and the Confederate goals of disrupting the Federal communications were thwarted.

References[edit | edit source]

1. Hardway, Ronald V. On Our Own Soil: William Lowther Jackson and the Civil War in West Virginia's Mountains Quarrier Press. October 3, 2003

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Burnsville Lake, a reservoir impounding the Little Kanawha River at Bulltown
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