HEADQUARTERS FORCES WEST OF HANCOCK,
Cumberland, Md., December 1, 1864.
Respectfully transmitted to headquarters Department of West Virginia.
Colonel Latham, for permitting the garrison at New Creek to be surprised by the enemy on the 28th ultimo, has been placed in arrest and ordered to Grafton to await further orders; this by orders of this date from these headquarters.
B. F. KELLEY,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA,
December 4, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Middle Military Division.*
No. 5. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Rufus E. Fleming, Sixth West Virginia Cavalry, of operations November 27.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH WEST VIRGINIA CAVALRY,
New Creek, W. Va., November 28, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action which took place near Moorefield, W. Va., yesterday, 27th of November, 1864:
I marched out of Burlington on the morning of the 27th of November, 1864, with 120 men, cavalry and artillery. Two of the companies were armed entirely with Enfield rifles, and had never been in action. The other company was armed partly with revolvers and partly with Enfield rifles. I moved on until I was within about five miles of Moorefield, when the scouts reported a picket-post near the ford. From all the information I could frame, General Rosser was either at Moorefield, or would be there against the morning of the 28th. Under the circumstances, I thought best to throw a skirmish line across the river, and, if possible, ascertain if General Rosser was there before encamping for the night, and also for the purpose of opening communication with Major Potts who had gone up the other valley. I then brought up the artillery and planted it at the ford, three miles this side of Moorefield, and formed two companies for a support. I then sent Lieutenant Blue, with six men, armed with revolvers, and about twenty-five men of the Fifth West Virginia Cavalry across the ford, at the same time placing a picket up the river for the purpose of ascertaining what might take place in Moorefield.
*Colonel Latham was tried by a general court-martial on the charges of "neglect of duty, disobedience of orders, and conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline;" See General Orders, No. 7, Middle Military Division, January 11, 1864. By General Court-Martial Orders No. 80, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, March 19, 1865, this dismissal was revoked, and he was honorably mustered out of service, upon his own request, to date March 9, 1865.