In 1650 Fort Henry, now Petersburg, marked the western and southern extent of English settlement in, and knowledge of, Virginia. On 27 Aug. 1650, Edward Bland, merchant and land speculator, and Abraham Wood, frontier militia commander, left Fort Henry on the first documented English exploration of Southside Virginia. Pyancha, an Appamattuck guide, led Bland, Wood, and four others through the territory of the Nottoway, Meherrin, and Hocomawanck Indians for nine days. They probably reached the falls of the Roanoke River near Weldon, N.C., before returning to Fort Henry. This was the first of a series of explorations that departed from Fort Henry under Abraham Wood's auspices.