MARTINSBURG, May 12, 1864.
Cavalry just in report that they can find nothing. Have scouted all day. Been as far as Bunker Hill. Our cavalry has left there.
R. S. RODGERS,
HDQRS. RESERVE DIVISION, DEPT. OF WEST VIRGINIA, Harper's Ferry, W. Va., May 12, 1864.
Colonel R. S. RODGERS,
Commanding U. S. Forces at Martinsburg:
COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communications by mail to-day. The general commanding desires me to say that he is exceedingly gratified with the discretion which you have exercised in the disposition of your small force, and especially with the promptness with which you caught the horse-thieves a day or two since. He hopes that the re-enforcements which he sends you this afternoon will aid you in still further exertions to stop this mischief. These companies are ordered to you for temporary duty, and will remain with you and under your orders until the militia troops arrive. He directs me to say that you will not relieve the detachment from Colonel Maulsby's regiment, a different arrangement having been made in their case. I inclose herewith a copy of department General Orders, Numbers 14, which will show you what disposition is to be made of refugees and prisoners of war, &c.* Of course you will understand that the old orders from the War Department concerning refugees, of which you spoke in your letter, are still in force, and you will accordingly permit all such persons to enter the lines as heretofore, sending them to the provost-marshal at this post, in accordance with General Orders, Numbers 14. Concerning the prisoners in your guard-house, against whom charges are preferred, you will exercise your own discretion as to sending the charges here for approval and trail, or sending the soldiers to their regiments for punishment. A general court-martial is in session here at this time. Concerning the cows of which you write, the general commanding directs that you will exercise a reasonable discretion in reference to the rendition on those which are retained are, of course, to be turned in to the commissary of the post. The officer commanding the confiscating party should give to the persons whose horses and cows are taken receipts for the same, which can be taken up by the post quartermaster and post commissary and exchanged for conditional vouchers, which will secure payment for the property at the hands of the Government, provided the loyalty of the claimant is satisfactory established.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. BURLEIGH,
CUMBERLAND, MD., May 12, 1864.
It is reported that the guards at Little Cacapon and South Branch have abandoned their posts and crossed the river. Direct Captain
*See Vol. XXXIII, p. 846.