Bulltown Campground – COE

Location: Flatwoods, West Virginia

Webpage: Corps of Engineers

General Description: This large campground is located on the shores of Burnsville Lake on the Little Kanawha River.  With nearly 200 campsites, there are sites for every size and type of RV.  Sites range from full hookup (30/50 amp) to water and electric only sites.  Other amenities include laundry facilities and lake access for swimming, fishing, or boating.  Recreational facilities include many playgrounds located in each loop, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and pavilions.  Next to the entrance to the campground is the Bulltown Historic Area that preserves the remains of the Union “fort” located which overlooked at strategic bridge over the Little Kanawha River along the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike.  While this simple stockade fort changed hands multiple times during the Civil War, the most significant battle occurred on October 13, 1863.  The Union forces, under the command of Captain Mattingly, consisted of 400 troops occupied the fort.  The Confederate forces, under the command of Colonel William Jackson, consisted of 800 troops attacked the Union forces at 4:30 in the morning.  Surprising and overruning the outer defenses of rifle pits and trenches, the Union forces fell back to the top of the hill where the main defensive trenches were located.  The Union forces continued to repel the Confederates until about 4:30 in the afternoon.  Union reinforcements arrived the next day from Clarksburg and the Confederates were forced to retreat.

Brochure

Impressions:

1) While this is a large campground, the multiple loops along the shore of the river are spread out and the sites are large enough for any size unit, picnic table, and fire ring.  We had a back-in sites with full hookups that was easy to back our RV into.

2) The bathrooms were very modern and kept clean throughout the week and weekend.  Although they initially had a mix-up showing we had already checked in, they quickly resolved the issue.

Bathroom

3) Just outside the entrance to the campground is the Bulltown Historic Area, a Civil War Battlefield that is maintained by the COE.  It is unusual for the COE to administer an historic site, but they have done a good job.  There is a small museum with exhibits about the Confederate and Union troops engaged in the battle, as well as, details about the engagement.  There are also historic structures the include the turn-of-the-century Cunningham Farmstead and two log cabins that were moved to this area before the lake was filled.  Visitors can hike a remaining section of the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike or hike up the hill to see the few remains of the trenches surrounding the hilltop when the Union had their stockade.