The attack in the orchard seems to have been made by a heavy force. Captain Woodbury,at Battery No. 4, reports that he saw seven
battle-flags. Foster opened a heavy fire of artillery, but his line, consisting of two regiments, has not been able to get back its ground. Our right still rests at Ware Bottom Church; the center has been thrown back to connect at our old rifle-pits in the orchard. The field officer of the day reports very heavy columns in front of the center. Foster has now seven regiments on the line. I think it will require a very heavy force to recover the ground lost. There is now very heavy skirmishing in front of the center.
ALF. H. TERRY,
JUNE 17, 1864-7 p.m
(Received 7.50 p.m.)
The commanding general directs that you notify Colonel Abbot just as soon as you regain possession of the enemy's works.
JUNE 17, 1864-10.55 p.m.
(Received 11.25 p.m.)
After learning that the pickets-line had been driven in from the enemy's line of works in the front, I telegraphed the fact to the lieutenant-general in the following words at 5.15 p.m.:
The enemy have formed in line of battle and driven in our
picket-line in front of our center and advanced up to their former line. Shall we attack them in force?
The general having sent Colonel Babcock to survey the ground, answered at 6.45:
If possible the enemy should be driven back the elevated point occupied by you this morning fortified and held.
At 7 p.m. I telegraphed you:
I desire the most strenuous efforts to retake the line which we held this morning. It is more important.
Ten minutes later I sent and order to General Wright to support you with all his force. At 10.30 I get an argument upon consultation between Generals Terry, Wright, and Colonel Abbot upon the property of obeying the order.
B. F. BUTLER,
(Copy to General Wright.)