At this time Colonel Nichols, of the Ninth New York, reported to me that he had met General Custer on the hill just above the bridge, and that the general had asked him to go into the woods to the left of the pike after some rebel infantry which he said were in there. Colonel Nichols had gone in there and captured eight prisoners and had then follow[ed] me. Captain White at this time sent me word that there were a number of guns beyond Strasburg, many of them overthrown beside the road, and that the enemy's trains were just in front. I at once ordered Colonel Nichols to hold a small reserve and go to the assistance of Colonel Gibbs and remove all the property possible. My headquarters were at this time in front of the brick house at this end of the town of Strasburg. My horse had been shot in the off force leg while charging the bridge, and this time had gone dead lame. I was quite anxious with regard to our right rear flank, which was open from the direction of the grade road that intersects the Middle road, and comes out on the hill overlooking Strasburg, in advance of which road my whole organized force was at this time. I remained at this point until between 10 and 11 p.m., at which time one of my staff reported that the Ninth New York had reached the stone bridge at the foot of Fisher's Hill and had cut off the rear of the enemy's train, besides capturing all the guns that were left in this side of Fisher's Hill, and that we had now on the way back all the property we could escort, but that there was a large amount that would have to be left. I had already sent two of my staff (Lieutenant Chamberlain and Blunt) across Cedar Creek in charge of guns, &c. The rest of my staff (Captains Mahnken and White) were beyond Strasburg sending property to the rear, and I determined to go back to General Sheridan and endeavor to have a force sent over to hold the town. I ordered the squadron in reserve to be deployed as a rear guard, when the last of the column should be ready to come in, and myself proceeded to General Sheridan some time before midnight. The captured property-22 pieces of artillery, 8 caissons, 29 army wagons, 30 ambulances, 117 horses, 143 mules, 2 stand of colors, a large number of small-arms, and in addition 352 prisoners-was safely brought across Cedar Run, parked near the pike, and duly turned over on the morning of the 20th instant to Captain Bean, provost-marshal of the First Cavalry Division.
I have been thus particular in detailing the operations of my command while in pursuit of the enemy on the right of the 19th instant, as some misunderstanding appears to have arisen as to what command charged the rear of the enemy and captured his guns, trains, &c. I have no hesitation in asserting that the Second Brigade of the First Cavalry Division was the only organized force that approached within one mile of Strasburg on the night of the 19th instant; that I was the only brigade commander, and was in any event the senior officer, present after General Custer had retired after the capture of the gun on the hill above the creek; that no troops except those of my own command went beyond Strasburg; that none other (except perhaps some stragglers) entered the town, and that I alone had made any disposition to protect the captured property. A gallant officer and some valuable men of the Sixth New York were killed and wounded while charging the enemy between the bridge and the top of the hill, and an officer of the Ninth New York was knocked down and his horse killed while cutting off the rear of the enemy's train at the stone bridge at the foot of Fisher's Hill. The Ninth New York alone captured three guns between the old mill beyond Strasburg and the stone bridge. On the hill this side of Strasburg Lieutenant Blunt, of my staff, chased a 3-inch rifled gun into the woods and brought it off with its drivers.