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Bulltown Historic District

With a few friends and an afternoon free, I found myself walking back into West Virginia’s Civil War heritage. On the same stretch of highway as Falls Mill, right outside of Flatwoods, is Bulltown Historic District. Off of I-79 at exit 67, 13 miles north on U.S. Rt. 19, Bulltown is not difficult to locate. I enjoy history a great deal and my goal was to experience some authentic steps into West Virginia’s past.

Bulltown Historic District is not only the site of the Civil War Battle of Bulltown, it also features the restored Cunningham Farm, seven graves of Confederate soldiers, and sections of the Weston-Gauley Bridge Turnpike. It is a place from the past worth visiting in the present.

Many structures still stand on the old Cunningham Farm. The Fleming House, built prior to 1900, is open for tours and reflects the double-pen style log dwelling common in central West Virginia. Other buildings open for tours include the Cunningham House, built in early 1800’s, the Spring House, McCauley Barn, St. Michael’s Church, the Johnson House, and more. Tours are free and available Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also on the site is an Interpretive Center with artifacts and stories from the area.

There are paths to hike, as well as tour. One trail is called the Memorial Trail. It leads to the hilly site of the 12-hour skirmish between the Union and Confederacy. The year was 1863 and William L. “Mudwall” Jackson, cousin of “Stonewall” Jackson, attempted to overtake the Union fortifications on a knoll overlooking a bridge that crossed the Little Kanawha River. The attack began at 4 a.m. Union forces led by Captain Mattingly repelled the attack until the end of the battle at 4:30 p.m. Today, the site of the Union fortification, the lower trenches, and graves of fallen soldiers are featured.

Bulltown Historical Area has reenactments and costumed staff periodically. The historic region allows a great deal of fun for all. If you’re in the mood for some history and a piece of your state’s past, head out to Bulltown Historic District.

If you decide to make your way into the district, watch out for Union bullets and listen for the sound of Moses Cunningham shouting from his farmhouse, “Hurrah for Jeff Davis!” Cunningham was a supporter of the Confederacy and it has been said, “. . . although he was a noncombatant, he was wounded at the Battle of Bulltown.” One account states that he was shot in the backside after running into the line of fire and shouting cheers for the South. Some may call Moses brave, some may call him foolish; either way, his story is as unique and interesting as Bulltown Historic District, which has many other tales to tell.


Area Events:

Aug. 1-2, Ritchie County Fair and Exposition, Harrisville.

Aug. 2, Fishing with a Friend, North Bend State Park.

Aug. 2, Ritchie County Primary Care 5K Health Run/Walk, 8 a.m.

Aug. 6-9, Wirt County Fair, Camp Barbe.

Aug. 8, Avian Program/Birds of Prey, North Bend, 7 p.m.

Aug. 13, Bucky Covington, Mountain Lake Amphitheater, 7 p.m.

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