|Most of the Williams family coming to the Flatwoods and
surrounding areas, was a portion of the John Williams Sr. family of Green brier County and
his first wife Ann who was likely a daughter of Thomas Jones Sr. of Albemarle County VA.
John Williams Jr. married Mary Byrne in 1800 in Greenbrier Co, was living
here before 1820. Their children were, Hugh, who married Jane. Edward who married Margaret
Ocheltree. James who married Bathsheba Howell.(the Howell's mentioned here are from my
maternal line of Jeremiah Bell Howell) Richard married Phoebe Harris, George married Nancy
Ocheltree, Abraham married Frances Ocheltree <my great grandparents> Elizabeth
married Jacob Riffle. Rebecca married Isaac Bender. Malinda married Andrew Friend.
Margaret Williams married Andrew Blake SR in Greenbrier
County in 1793. Their children were Andrew Jr. who married Catherine Crissmore. John
married Abigail Crissmore. Hugh married Martha Williams. Hannah widow of Isaac Ocheltree.
Patience married George Matthew's.
Isaac Ocheltree's family is Alexander Stewart that was a
servant to Bonnie Prince Charlie in France and at Culloden.. Alexander was captured and
then exiled to America in 1747, upon reaching Maryland, he met up with the influential
Stewarts that had come previously, they put up the money for his indenture and gave him
money to return to Scotland to find his master, Bonnie Prince..After getting back to
Scotland and found there was no longer an army, he gathered his siblings and returned to
America. On the trip across the Atlantic, they decided to change their name to Ochiltree
so the Stewart name would not be in jeopardy..Thus they were known as the mysterious
family of Ochiltrees...
Braxton County in the Civil War. North and South.
Brother against Brother.
The most significant action of the Civil War in Braxton
County was the Battle of Bulltown fought on 13 October 1863. Bulltown sat at a strategic
crossing on the Little Kanawha River on the Gauley Bridge Weston Turnpike. Union
authorities recognized the importance of the river crossing's location early in the war,
and in the fall of 1861 a semi-permanent garrison was placed on an eminence overlooking
the road and the river on land belonging to the Confederate sympathizer, Moses Cunningham.
The presence of Yankee soldiers on the hill overlooking his farm must have been galling to
the old secessionist.
Federal troops had built a blockhouse on the hill and had
thrown up a ring or earthen breastworks around it. At various points below the summit
rifle pits had been dug, all of them facing the road and river far below. On the riverside
the Bulltown Fort was nearly impregnable since the hillside dropped precipitously from the
fort to the river. From the northeast, a pasture cleared by Cunningham sloped gently
upward to the summit of the hill. To protect this approach to the fort, trees had been
felled to form an impromptu obstacle to any attack, which might come from that direction.
The Bulltown Garrison was placed primarily to guard the
turnpike and the river crossing. Its garrison seldom numbered more than 100 men.
Occasionally patrols would be sent out to scour the surrounding country for bushwhackers,
but these patrols usually were not sent until after the guerillas had committed some
outrageous act and were long gone from the scene of the crime. All in all, service at
Bulltown was boring, but few of it's garrison, veterans of the 1862 Shenandoah campaign
and the recently concluded Gettysburg campaign complained.
In Pocahontas county, Colonel William L Jackson, cousin of
the illustrious Stonewall martyred at Chancellorsville only a few months earlier, felt
that he had the right stuff to make a splash as big or bigger than Jones and Imbed.
Jackson felt that he was unappreciated by Confederate military brass and that his ability
as a leader of men was being wasted in an area where little occurred to bring glory to the
Confederate cause or its commanding officers. As colonel of the 19th VA
Cavalry, Jackson had been stuck on the western Virginia frontier since the beginning of
the war. Partisan bands that depleted his persistently inadequate cache of supplies but
returned little to the Confederate cause but grief constantly bedeviled his command.
Frustrated by his inability to make the Yankees to realize
the hopelessness of their situation, Jackson ordered a resumption of firing that continued
until twilight. Finally recognizing that the hard headed Yankees were not going to give up
and that he had expended most of his ammunition, Jackson acknowledged reality and called
off the assault, his dreams of glory squashed by the mud walls of the Bulltown Fort.
Jackson's disgusted troops, able to appreciate the irony of the situation, promptly dubbed
their frustrated commander, "Mudwall" Jackson just to make certain that no one
confused him with his cousin, "Stonewall".
Jackson ordered a withdrawal to Salt Lick Bridge where his
exhausted men collapsed into an uneasy rest. Seven of their comrades had been killed,
another six hand been wounded too badly to move and several men were suffering from minor
wounds. Had they know the total effect of their day's efforts inside the Fort at Bulltown,
Jackson's men would have been even more dispirited.
In conclusion, the strife did end
My great grandfather,
Lt. Jeremiah Bell Howell, of the 19th VA Cavalry with all dignity and grace of
a southern officer, handed his military sword over to Capt. Harrison at Bulltown Fort,
WVA, on March 8, 1864. As a proud "dyed in the wool" democrat, he did not desert
his beloved Braxton County, he surrendered to the confines of Clarksburg WVA prison on
March 12, 1864. His thoughts were that President Lincoln was trying to hold the nation
together and that the South could henceforth trust their lives and families to such a
sincere and devoted gentleman as the man from Illinois and we who have come after him know
that the faith and trust was not displaced.
Union soldiers from Braxton County.
Ocheltree Isaac C. Pvt. Co. F.10th West Virginia
Infantry, mustered in at Sutton 3 May 1862. Mustered out 3 May 1865.
Wilson, Addison Pvt. Co. F, 10th West Virginia
Infantry, mustered at Sutton 4 October 1862, wounded at droop mountain, Pocahontas County
WV 6 November 1863, mustered out 24 May 1865.
Confederate soldiers from Braxton County.
Facemire, Andrew, Independent Company of Scouts..
Ocheltree, Garland B. Pvt. Co. G. 62nd. VA
Skidmore, John Pvt. Co I, 17th Virginia Cavalry,
enlisted October 4, 1862. POW 20 March 1863, sent to Camp Chase then to Johnson's Island
Williams, Addison Pvt. Co. G, 62nd Virginia
Williams, Charles Pvt. Co I, 17th Virginia
Williams, Hanson Pvt, Co. B. 19th Virginia
Williams, Hugh Pvt., Co B. 19th Virginia Cavalry.
Williams JE, Pvt. Co. B., 19th Virginia Cavalry.
Williams John J, 3rd. Lt. Co. B. 19th
Williams, Richard, Pvt. Co. B., 19th Virginia
Braxton County early marriages:
4 March 1841 Andrew Ocheltree to Ann Williams
4 November 1846 Marshall Williams and Patience Ocheltree by
26 February 1846 William Blake and Elizabeth Riffle by John
14 March 1847 James Bankhead and Mary Williams by Rev. Ely
April 2, 1845 John P Byrne and Sabina C Sterrett Daughter of
27 February 1841 Andrew Ocheltree Jr. son of Hannah Ocheltree
and widow of Isaac Ocheltree and Ann Williams, daughter of Margaret Williams.
1 August 1837 Bazel Williams and Lucinda Howell, daughter of