1863 January 23 U.S.Steamer Currituck Piankatank River

                                   U. S. Steamer “Currituck”
                                         Piankatank River Va
                                             January 23rd  1863

Sir
     At daybreak this morning, as I lay
at the mouth of the Rappahannock, I saw two
Canoes Standing in for this place.  I at once weighed
anchor and gave chase, owing to a heavy fog
we lost sight of them in a short time
I anchored at the mouth of Jackson’s Creek
on this River, Supposing them to have run in
there.  I sent the Gig and Second Cutter, in charge of
Mr Nelson the Executive officer, in Search of them,
under cover of our Guns.  On landing they ascertained
from a Negro, that a sloop was lying in the
“South West Branch,”  which they found anchored
and Scuttled in two places.  they at once stopped
the Leaks and pumped the Water Out of her hold.  Mr
Felix, Masters Mate, in charge of the 2nd Cutter went
in Search of the Goods taken from the Sloop, but
without Success,  as he landed he saw about twenty
men running in different directions,  also three of
the Rebel Cavalry, one of whom took to flight
suppose to be a Col.  [Chorian?] of the Rebel Cavalry.
he captured two prisoners, Riley Christopher a Rebel
Soldier, and James Ewell of Accomac Creek Va
the owner of the Sloop.  the latter had a “Sharps
Rifle” which he dropped as Mr Felix called on
them to Surrender he asserts he had no intention of
using it, and says it was given to him by the
Col. to fire on our men: Christopher (the other Prisoner)
also states the Col. gave him a Rifle for the same
purpose, which he threw away on seeing our men
landing immediately after Mr Nelson shoved off

[page 2]
and got the Sloop under way having the Gig in
tow sending the 2nd Cutter ahead. when abreast of a
point covered with thick woods they were suddenly
attacked by a party of about thirty (30) Rebels
Riflemen, who Kept firing rapidly and calling on
Mr Nelson to give up the Sloop.  he replied by
ordering his men to fire and bravely Kept his
place at the helm under a heavy fire, until
it became so rapid, he had to steer from the Cabin,
he Kept on his course his men Keeping up a rapid
fire from the hold of the sloop and from the Gig
in reply to that of the Enemy, who did not
Cease firing until they were out of range.  I am
happy to inform you none of our party were
injured.
              As the boats were between this Vessel and
the Enemy I could not open on them until they
Cleared the Creek.  I then shelled the Woods for
about thirty minutes, with what Success I
was unable to ascertain.
         I Enclose a note found on the person
of Riley Christopher.
                               Very respectfully
                                  Your obt. Servant
                                     T. J. Linnnekin
                                      actg Master Comdg

Commodore
   A.  A.  Harwood
Comdg. Potomac Flotilla
          Washington
                      D.C.

MSS  15134
 

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