The battle was essentially a trap, an ambush by the Patriots to destroy a group of Loyalist troops trying to cross Moores Creek. With a decoy camp on the Loyalists' side of the river, the Patriots drew the Loyalists across the river and into what can only be described as a kill zone - a semicircular entrenchment surrounding the bridge. Just to slow the troops and cause confusion, the Patriots had removed a section of planks from the bridge, leaving only the girders, which they had greased.
Moores Creek Bridge
Eat lead, Loyalists! A swivel cannon covering the ground just past the bridge. The Patriots also had a cannon and 1,000 men to counter the Loyalists' 1,600.
While the focus is on the history and the battle at this particular site, there is a stunning natural heritage there, too, that goes overlooked. Indeed, the volunteer I talked to there had no interest in it whatsoever. He had never even heard of a tufted titmouse. I told him there was one right outside! There are tall trees and a swamp environment that I found very appealing. I saw a female scarlet tanager and a pileated woodpecker among other sights. No alligators, though.
One of the interesting things I learned was that the trees I had been seeing and wondered about all around North Carolina were long-leaf pine trees. They do, indeed, have very long needles. These were the trees used for making naval products including pitch, turpentine, and tar, hence the Tarheel State. The trees require a fire regime to survive long-term. Many of them around this part of the state are the same age (especially at the UNCW campus), but at Moores Creek, they are planting seedlings to maintain a more complete forest ecosystem.
Long-leaf pine trees