Unfortunately for us neither of these steamers had beyond a few hours' coal.
The Currituck, the remaining steamer on this station, had gone up the river to coal-up intending upon her return to relieve these for the same purpose.
Lt. Wood determined, however, to make the most of the little on board.
Expecting an encounter with the Currituck, Col. Rosser had furnished from his regiment Capt. Clay's company of Sharpshooters, to assist in the engagement should we meet her. Capt. Fendall Gregory, and Lt. Nunn, of the same regiment, also accompanied us. Owing to the difficulty in getting a sufficient amount of steam upon the Reliance, we were delayed until dark before starting, but about 8 o'clock got under way and ran down the river.
But something was out of order on the steamer, she could not be pushed above two knots an hour, and lost steam as fast as a little could be gained; consequently she was soon far behind.
We waited an hour for her to come up, and then found her