October 13, 1863: Civil War Battle Fought at Bulltown in Braxton County
On October 13, 1863, a Civil War battle was fought at Bulltown in Braxton County. The Confederate forces were led by William Lowther Jackson—a cousin of “Stonewall” Jackson with the less-inspiring nickname of “Mudwall.”
Mudwall’s 800 men had the Union garrison at Bulltown outnumbered two to one. But, despite his superior numbers, Jackson couldn’t capture the Union fort. During the 12-hour skirmish, he twice sent flags of surrender, which Union commander William Mattingly rejected. At one point, Mattingly reportedly replied, “I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice.” Jackson retreated, ending the last significant Confederate offensive in West Virginia.
The battle was the second violent event to hit Bulltown in less than a century. Bulltown was named for Captain Bull, a Delaware Indian chief who settled there with five families in 1765. The Bulltown Indians made and traded salt to white settlers. The Indians and local whites were on friendly terms until 1772, when Adam Stroud ‘s family was killed.
While Shawnee from Ohio probably killed the Strouds, local whites accused the Bulltown Indians and, in retaliation, massacred them.