About 4 p. m., Captain Smith, with 34 men of Company A, Fourteenth Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, arrived, with orders relieving me, and ordering me to rejoin my regiment, which had moved to Grafton. At this time my scouts came in rapidly, reporting the enemy advancing in force. A few minutes later they came charging through the gap. I was in the log church, about 50 yards south of the road. I immediately ordered Captain Smith to throw his men into two log-houses north of and between the church and the road. He immediately left to execute my order. Before this, however, I had had the windows of the church well barricaded, the chinking knocked out between the logs, and had ordered my men to be ready to repel any attack. I immediately ordered them to take the positions previously assigned and to be cool and deliberate. We opened fire upon the enemy when within 75 yards, and continued to fire until the enemy had approached within 20 yards of the church, when, so destructive had been our shots, they broke and fled in all directions, leaving men and horses dead and wounded on the field. In about fifteen minutes they rallied, and made another attack with the same result.
General Jones, who I then first learned was in command of the enemy, sent in a flag of truce demanding my immediate surrender, and stating that he had a force of thousands. I told the bearer: "Go back with the rag; I don't care if he has a million; I will not surrender until compelled." The firing was renewed. In the course of ten minutes the flag returned, with a written order from General Jones that he had force enough to take me beyond a doubt, and unless I surrendered within fifteen minutes he would not be responsible for the consequences. I refused, and sent a note to General Jones in which I stated I would not surrender until forced to. About this time a messenger came from Captain Smith, asking what he should do. I told him to tell the captain to fight on.
While the flag of truce was coming in the second time, the enemy, who had dismounted, made a charge within 10 yards of the church, upon the south side. I repeatedly ordered them to fall back. They did not, and I ordered my men to fire, which dispersed them. Soon after, another attack was made from the south side, which continued for a considerable time, the enemy not coming into close range.
A flag of truce was again displayed. I beckoned it to advance. Upon coming up, the bearer stated that General Jones would bring his cannon to bear upon the church if I did not surrender. I replied, "Tell him he has got none; if he has, bring them on. We are Mulligan's men, and we will fight to the last crust and cartridge." He then asked for time to remove his wounded. I gave them half an hour. During that time, and while the men were removing their wounded, I sent out a squad to gather up the arms of the killed and wounded. They brought in with them carbines, revolvers, sabers, bugles, &c. After the truce was over, for about another half hour the enemy only occasionally fired. Then they commenced firing briskly from a distance. I ordered my men to withhold their fire.
About 8.30 o'clock in the evening they made a general charge upon the east end and south side of the church. The firing raged incessantly on both sides until 9 o'clock. They then were up to the building and resting the nuzzles of their carbines upon the logs, from which the chincking had been removed. Their pioneers, with axes, were cutting the barricades from the windows and doors; they had fired the church, and, availing themselves of the darkness, had placed a keg of powder under it; the blazing roof was now falling in. I displayed a flag of truce.