The position consisted of a bridge with a narrow causeway at one end. A deep marsh a quarter of a mile wide was located beside the hill that the militia had camped on.From that basic description I started to try and define what the board would look like. The problem was, I could not envision it. Although I have tried using Google Maps for American Revolutionary battles in the past, with little success, I decided to try once more. The first clue was:
The combined forces fortified a position at Heron Bridge, ten miles northeast of Wilmington...Of course, looking at Wilmington today, it has sprawled much farther than it was in 1781, so ten miles from Wilmington then is likely within the city today.
I decided to use search for Heron Bridge on Google and found several pieces on the skirmishes there - there were actually several, and the bridge played an important role in resupply to Cornwallis' army. The more I found, the more intrigued I was about this little-known aspect of Revolutionary War history. Google Books is such an amazing wargaming resource, as is Google itself.
I guess this is why I like wargaming so much: it feeds my interest in history. I am still working on the scenario, and when I am done I hope its' game value is worthy of the effort that went into researching it. For now, I am still trying to draw a map that has some semblance of what it might have looked like in 1781 (it is near where Interstate 40 crosses the Northeast (Cape Fear) River), but now I have a much better idea of not just the terrain, but why the skirmish was fought in the first place.