|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm
of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/10/1927.
Engagement at Bulltown
The Federals had established a Post of Bulltown, in Braxton county,
which occupied the top of high hill on the north side of the Little Kanawha
River. A block house was erected on the extreme crest of the hill,
which lower down was encircled by rifle pits, all combining to create a
practically impregnable position, which commanded the Turn Pike road from
Jacksonville to Sutton, both north and south. The south side of the
hill, toward the river and town, is practically unscalable owing to the
fact that it rises almost perpendicularly from the river's edge to within
a short distance of the summit. The works were garrisoned by Captain
Letzinger, with his Company of Ohio troops and Captain James L. Simpson's
Company C of the 11th West Virginia Infantry, among whom were many men
from Calhoun county.
General William L. Jackson, with a strong force of Confederate troops,
including two pieces of artillery, enveloped the works, capturing the Federal
pickets, by a ruse, dressing Confederate soldiers in Federal uniform, and
believing, the pickets, all of whom were made prisoners. Jackson
at an early hour in the morning formed a storming column and advanced to
the assault of the Federal works. An assault that apparently would
have proved successful had not an officer in the charging column discharged
his pistol and shouted "Charge" when only about half way up the hill side.
This alarmed the Union forces, who quickly manned the intrenchments and
opened a withering fire on the advancing Confederates, checking their advance,
and in a few moments causing them to fall back from their advanced position.
A lull in the action now ensued. Captain Letzinger, the senior officer
in command of the Federals, having been severely wounded during the first
assault, the command devolved upon Captain Simpson. General Jackson
sent forward an officer with a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of
the works. Captain Simpson's reply to the summons to surrender was
that "he would hold that knob till h__l froze over." On the withdrawal
of the flag of truce, General Jackson attempted to reduce the works by
artillery fire, supported by musketry, but owing to the fact that he had
only solid shot for the use of his guns, they made but slight impression
on the Federal works, and he finally drew off his forces.
During the summer of 1898 the writer in company with Major Cunningham,
who at that time resided on the old Cunningham farm on which this engagement
was fought, visited the site of the Federal entrenchments. The rifle
pits at that time were in a fair state of preservation, but not a vestige
of the old block house remained. The old Cunningham mansion still
showed the scars of the bullets fired into it during the action, the front
door having been pierced by an ounce ball. Among the relics of the
fight preserved in the Cunningham home, were conical solid shot fired by
the Confederate artillery, and a block of lead fourteen pounds in weight
which had been melted from the bullets picked up around the entrenchments
occupied by the Federal troops.