The map of the battlefield on my iPad, taken from the Altar of Freedom scenario book. I have aligned it on my table to allow for placement of the terrain. North is the top of the map.
The wide open and very flat battle mat, 6 x 4 feet in size.
A raid on my sock drawer and my wife's pink dressing gown hood, will suffice to create the gentle rolling hills on the Western edge of the table.
The varying heights and alignment of the hills is finalised as per the map. The larger and highest highest hill to the South, next along is Henry Hill and lastly Stone Hill.
As can be seen from the map, another low hill is located just to the East of New Market.
So another hill is created. Doesn't look too impressive at the moment.
But lay the battle mat back down, smooth out the material and voila! Some pretty convincing rolling hills.
Next up is the light blue strips of felt to represent Bull Run itself, as it snakes across the table from North West to South East. The felt is a light blue, but doesn't look like that in the photos. I may have to place some pieces of resin river at various places when I photograph the actual battle.
Next up is some grey felt for the roads. Here you can see the junction of a number of roads in Centreville.
The network of roads with the McLean house in the foreground.
Looking North East from the South East corner, the terrain is starting to come together. Centreville is top right, the McLean House bottom centre. New Market is the white house in the valley. Henry House on Henry Hill (green coloured), Stone House and Sudley Church in the far distance.
The Eastern end of the table looking North. New Market in the foreground, then Henry House, Stone House and Sudley church, the Stone Bridge can also be seen crossing Bull Run.
Better view of the Stone Bridge.
Of course, no American Civil war battlefield would be complete without copious quantities of trees.
Looking along the table from East to West, the brown material represents some marsh land as a small tributary of the river, runs almost North to South at this point.
A few views taken at low level.
The marshy/swampy area to the South. Centreville can just be seen in the distance.
New Market nestled in the valley.
Stone House on its hill and Sudley Church.
New Market in the foreground and the Henry House visible through the trees on the centre left.
Sudley Church and ford, with the Stone House in the centre.
A couple of high angle shots looking down the table from East to West.
I think that is a reasonable representation of the Bull Run/Manassas battlefield, if I say so myself. Just need the troops to appear on the table now and for the action to start.
Thank you for reading this, assuming you got this far. A bit old school perhaps, but it serves a purpose. Of course all is re-usable for any other battle I wish to set up. Please call back for the battle report.