the landing and wharf 2 miles from the mouth of the creek. The boat was unable to get up to this landing for two reasons: First, she drew 5 feet water, while the channel was but 4 feet deep; secondly, the channel is intricate, and can only be followed by an experienced pilot. The pilot placed on board the boat by the quartermaster knew nothing of the landings, or how to get to them. The whole of the 13th instant was spent trying to find the channel and effect a landing, but without success. The boat was grounded about 3 p. m., and the captain was unable to get her off of the bar until 8 p. m. I then ordered the captain to proceed at once to Nomini Bay. Arrived in the neighborhood during the night, and anchored until morning.
The pilot was entirely unacquainted with the entrance to either Currioman or Nomini Bays. The forenoon of the 14th was spent in taking sounding and firing the channel. By going ashore, I learned that the wharf at Currioman Bay had been destroyed, and that at Nomini Bay there was no landing, and thus being unable to land at either place, it was impossible to accomplish the objects of the expedition.
By landing (in a small yawl), I ascertained that there are large quantities of corn, wheat, and hay near these two bays and up Mattox Creek. Some horses and mules might be obtained for the United States if an expedition is properly fitted out for that purpose.
The are only a few contrabands in this section of country, and they are generally old and valueless. The valuable slaves have nearly all been sent south. The country is rich and productive.
On the afternoon of the 14th instant, after consultation with Major [William R.] Sterling, of General Hooker's staff, I ordered the boat to return to Belle Plain; reached the landing about 5 p. m., and disembarked the troops.
The expedition failed in accomplishing its intended objects for the following reasons: 1st. The pilot in charge of the boat knew nothing about the landings in the creeks and bays where my orders required me to go. 2nd. No lighter or small boats accompanied the steamer by which my troops could be landed, or forage or other brought off to the steamer.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventh Indiana Vols., Commanding Second Brigade.
Lieutenant Colonel C. KINGSBURY, Jr., A. A. G., First Army Corps.
FEBRUARY 12-14, 1863.-Expedition from Pratt's Leanding to Heathsville, Va
Reports of Colonel Lucius Fairchild, Second Wisconsin Infantry.*
BALLE PLAIN, VA., February 16, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders received from headquarters First Army Corps and from headquarters First Division, I embarked on board the steamer Alice Price, from the Lowed Belle Plain Landing, Thursday, February 12, at 3 p. m., with about 250 men of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bragg, and 236 men of the Second Wisconsin Volunteers. Steamed down the Potomac River to Coan River, where
* See also Hooker to Kelton, February 19, in "Correspondence, etc.," Part II.