During the winter months of 1863 and 1864, Pleasant Valley, situated between Elk Mountain and South Mountain had become a Federal camp. By May 5th 1864, by orders from the War Department in Washington, the Remount Camp in Pleasant Valley was ordered to be broken up. The men of the camp were situated there waiting to be re-equipped with horses. The men were ordered to Washington and Harper’s Ferry for further instructions.
The camp was not abandoned long before it was reused again by the Department of West Virginia. Camp Distribution as it was called was two camps as well as a hospital. Camp number one was for unarmed infantry, dismounted cavalry and unarmed cavalry. Camp number two was for cavalry that had horses but were waiting to be equipped. The conditions of the camp were not of the greatest standards. Many of the sick men were sent to other areas for the proper treatment. Even the hospital was unsatisfactory for the sick. By June 9th, General Julius Stahel, being relieved of field command by General David Hunter became the commander of the temporary Dismount Camp.
After Early’s Maryland Invasion (July 6-11), Pleasant Valley became Headquarters of the Department of West Virginia under the command of General George Crook. General David Hunter on July 27th wrote to General Halleck that after inspection by General Crook, he has not over 7,000 men who will fight and the dismounted cavalry he stated “Are perfectly worthless”.