Recruiting continued normally until the spring of 1862. A number of recruits were provided to Company L, 5th U.S. Artillery and Companies H and M, 4th U.S. Artillery from April to June. Part of the mandate of the Mounted Recruiting Service was also to recruit for horse artillery batteries, but this is the only mention of them or appearance of artillery officers at Carlisle in a professional capacity during the war.
During the summer, manpower shortages in the older regiments reached the point where they had to be addressed. The 2nd U.S. Cavalry acted first, distributing the privates from Companies A, B and D among the rest of the regiment in July. The officers, noncommissioned officers and buglers were sent to Carlisle to raise new companies. The 1st U.S. Cavalry followed suit the following month with Companies A, E, F and K. Beginning in October, one new company was raised for each regiment as well, Company M for the 1st U.S. Cavalry and Company L for the 2nd. Recruiting for these companies continued through the end of the year.
Several additional recruiting stations were opened to meet the increased demand. During the summer and fall, stations opened in Buffalo, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Elmira, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
December saw the departure of most of the companies. 1st U.S. Cavalry Companies A, F and M departed under the command of Captains Richard S.C. Lord and Milton Carr and Lieutenant Cesar Fisher respectively. The four companies of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry marched south under Captains Robert Clary and Theophilus Rodenbough, as well as Lieutenants Thomas Dewees, Robert Lennox and James Potter. In all, 667 new recruits were forwarded to the two regiments during the month.
A great deal of recruiting from volunteer regiments, usually infantrymen, took place from October to December 1862 in Washington, D.C, in Maryland near Harper’s Ferry and in Tennessee near Nashville, but this was not affiliated with the mounted recruiting service. The enlistments were accomplished by regimental adjutants or their designated representatives.
In February 1863, Companies E and K finally returned to the 1st U.S. Cavalry under Lieutenants Edward Benton and John McDonald. In preparation for the opening of spring campaigning, more recruits were pushed south to the regiments. Lieutenants Cesar Fisher and Judson Haycock led 89 to the 1st U.S. Cavalry, Captain Thomas Canfield and Lieutenant Daniel Flynn took 86 to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, and Captain William McLean led 87 to the 5th U.S. Cavalry.
In June 1863, the war came to Carlisle. As the Confederate forces crossed into Pennsylvania, Captain Hastings dispatched mounted scouts south to ascertain their position and intentions. On the morning of June 18th, they were fired on by enemy pickets just south of Chambersburg. Unable to resist with only a garrison company at his disposal, Captain Hastings was forced to abandon the post. As he wrote in the post return, “Vacated in the face of the enemy June 25, 1863, having no means of defense. Brought off all munitions of war and moveable public property.”
As soon as the Confederates began their retreat to Virginia, Hastings reoccupied the post and resumed normal operations. Many of the buildings had been burned, so troops lived in tents while repairs were initiated.
Companies D and G of the 1st U.S. Cavalry arrived in July to reconstitute. They were the last companies to refit at Carlisle, as the new cavalry depot at Giesboro Point started operations in October. They were transferred back to their regiment in October under Lieutenants Reuben Bernard, William Pennock and David Perry. Sixteen recruiting stations continued to operate during the year to provide new recruits.
Surgeon J.J.B. Wright was placed on detached service in New York from October to December 1863. Surgeon G.S. Palmer was temporarily added to the staff during his absence. Palmer administered Lincoln Hospital in Washington, D.C. prior to coming to Carlisle.
The winter of 1863-1864 was relatively quiet, as repairs to the post continued and armies went into their winter quarters.