Battle of Bulltown

Braxton Central
May 1, 1914

Historic Battlefield

Childhood Memories of Old Fort At Bulltown Revived in Interesting Sketch

Just on the hill that overlooks the village of Bulltown, and guarding the Buckhannon and Weston Turnpike road, remain the old works of the battlefield. As we approach the hill we find that it slopes gradually on one side, while on the other it is almost perpendicular down to the river. To the east the country is rolling, but on the other side it is very rough.

I was once a frequent visitor to this field. In fact, it was my playground when but a lad of ten. On entering the old field a feeling of awe would come over me as I walked through the bluegrass sodded breastworks. There in the trenches I found the place where the cannons had stood guarding the pike; the well that had quenched the thirst of many powder blackened lips, but now falling in; the indentation left by the magazine; and close by, the bone-strewn ground where the commissary had stood. In the far corner of the works stood the old cavalry sheds, with their falling, moss covered roofs - some tottering with the wind, so frail were they, while others had tumbled to the ground. The sheds are all that remain of the old camp, and soon they will disappear like the rest.

In wandering over the old hill, now and then I would pick up a button, with the eagle just distinguishable through the canker of forty-nine years; a minie ball, battered and disfigured, or a bit of shell rusty and crumbling. How quiet the old field seemed, after such a storm as once raged there! In my childish fancy I would hear again the dull "Woe, Woe" of the dying battle, as my mother had told me of hearing it when a girl; and I would try to revive the past by imagining the battle on again, and, on a stick horse, would charge the mute breastworks, furiously slashing the lone persimmon tree that grew in the cannon's gap. But all the response I would get was the dismal echo of my shouts and the click of the falling twigs. My stick would pause in midair when about to strike down another of my enemies, and I would gaze over the field with a guilty fear, half expecting to hear a tired soldier say, "Go away, child, and let us rest."

Down by the river, on a bit of waste land, where the slab rocks lie in piles, the soldiers are buried. A triangular stone enclosure marks their one unknown grave; above them, instead of the lily and the laurel, grow the running brier and the sinkfield; instead of Old Glory streaming at their heads, one lonely bunch of broomage, rooted to the wall, rustles with the breeze in summer and sighs with the cold winds of winter. Neglected and forgotten sleep the heroes of the unrecorded Battle of Bulltown.

Unnoticed and unquestioned stands the old hill overlooking the village - unless, perchance, some rosy- cheeked boy, tired of his wagon and hammer, has taken my place in the trenches and again stirs their dumb walls with his shouts. May he reverence their hoarded memories as he does the white heads and palsied hands of the men that gave them their meaning.

Russell Louden.
Centralia, Wash.

Civil War

West Virginia Archives and History