POINT OF ROCKS, June 7, 1864.
Assistant Adjutant- General:
Captain Keyes has not returned yet. He is all safe. I will inform you when he returns.
R. C. BAMFORD,
Captain and Provost- Marshal.
Martinsburg, W. Va., June 7, 1864.
Major T. A. MEYSENBURG,
Assistant Adjutant- General:
MAJOR: I have the honor to state I have visited Camp Distribution and found in camp Lieutenant- Colonel Northcott and several infantry officers. There are two camps, one of unarmed infantry and dismounted and unarmed cavalry, the other of cavalry having horses but no arms. T he camps are adjacent but sufficiently apart to be clearly distinct. I failed to find in either camp a cavalry officer, though informed by Lieutenant- Colonel Northcott that he had ordered all cavalry officers except, Major Thorp, into camp. The case in the matter of the report conveyed t you by a lieutenant of cavalry is this: Yesterday a number of dismounted cavalry were sent up to camp from hospital in Pleasant Valley. They were all, or nearly all, in such condition, in the judgment of Colonel Northcott, as to require treatment in hospital, and were unfit for camp. Colonel Northcott permitted some in the worst condition to come to town during the night, where they stated that they could obtain shelter, and retained the remainder in camp. This morning he sent the greater part of the whole number to the post hospital, where they remain until they shall be discharged by the surgeon. This was a plain state of case, and must have been understood by any officer taking sufficient interest in them to report in regard to them. The only lieutenants of cavalry now here, as I am informed, are Lieutenants Short and Daber, First New York Cavalry. One or the other of these officers made the report to you. They have been here since I have been in command of the post, and I am constrained to say that neither they, nor any other cavalry officer here, have appeared to contribute any effort toward reducing to order or arming and equipping for service the dismounted and unarmed cavalry. I have been forced to the conviction that they have not desired service in the field,and now that an effort is being inaugurated, apart from reliance on them, looking to some result in that direction, my pinion is that the report in question was made to you, with knowledge of its substantial incorrectness, for the purpose of confusing and thwarting that effort. If you shall think proper to investigate the matter and order into arrest the party making this substantially false report, it will, in my opinion, be promotive of the end aimed at, the subjection of the cavalry and their officers here to discipline and readiness for the field at the earliest practicable moment.
I propose, in accordance with the views of your communication, and to remove further excuse for inefficiency, to place Major Thorp in command of the camp of mounted men, and to direct Lieutenant-