Two other assaults upon General Terry's front followed in rapid succession.
At 7.01 a. m. I sent General Butler the following dispatch:
There have been three assaults on General Terry's front; each has been repulsed handsomely. The assaults were in force. If I move to the assault and meet a repulse, our loss would be fearful.
About 7.15 a. m. I received your order to send a regiment then on its way to join me from the entrenchments to report to General Smith on his extreme right. I sent the order at once. At 7.40 a. m. a regiment was taken from Turner's line and sent to General Smith, and soon after two regiments from General Terry's division were also sent to General Smith. In the mean time General Brooks, commanding the division of the Eighteenth Corps next on my right, moved some of his troops to the right, and General Turner, commanding my right division, also moved to the right to close the gap. At this time the following dispatch was sent:
MAY 16, 1864-7.25 A. M.
I have just heard the report that General Brooks' right is turned and a 20-pounder battery taken. General Turner sends me the report. I am ready to assault, but shall wait until I hear from you, as I may have to support Smith. Please answer soon.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
The above dispatch was returned to me with the following indorsement:
No truth in report. Send regiment, and use discretion as to assault.
B. F. B.
The following order next came, without date:
As General Smith's right is attempted to be turned we are moving to left (right).
B. F. BUTLER,
Lieutenant Michie, of the Engineers, delivered to me a verbal order from the major-general commanding, as follows:
Move by your right flank so as to join on to General Smith's left, as the enemy are fighting us at Ware Bottom Church.
My whole command was soon in motion to the right. At 8.34 a. m. I sent a dispatch to the commanding general that my whole command was moving down the entrenchments as directed. I now determined to exercise the discretion left with me as to making an assault by throwing Terry's and Turner's division upon the flank of the enemy's column, then pressing back the right of General Smith's line. Orders to that effect were sent to Generals Terry and Turner, and their commands were soon in motion, as directed. Soon after this I received from you the following dispatch, without date:
General Brooks is falling back to his second line. Weitzel is also falling back. Press re-enforcements to the right. those two regiments are not yet in sight. You must govern you line according to movements on your right.
J. W. SHAFFER,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.