Colonel William Lowther “Mudwall” Jackson and Colonel W. P. Thompson led a Confederate unit of about 700 into Bulltown, Virginia (now Bulltown, West Virginia) in October, 1863. Their orders were to cut off the Union communications lines between northern Virginia and the Kanawha Valley.
A battle occurred near the Bulltown Salt Works on the Little Kanawha River in Braxton County on October 13. Federal forces of 400 soldiers commanded by Captain W. H. Mattingly occupied log barricades and shallow trenches on the hill along the river.
The Confederate attack lasted over twelve hours with Jackson demanding Mattingly’s surrender twice. Mattingly refused, saying emphatically “I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice.”
Mattingly’s forces held off the attack. Mattingly and one of his men were wounded, but no federal soldiers were killed in the fighting. Confederate casualties amounted to eight dead and an equal number wounded.
Of interest in the battle is that both the Confederate and Union units involve had been enlisted from Calhoun County, the county adjacent to Braxton county. The skirmish that occurred is known today as the Battle of Bulltown.
Jackson, who had been the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia prior to the Civil War, was also the 2nd cousin of the much more famous Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
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