Commanding Officer on the Sharpsburg Campaign:
LCol. Simeon T. Walton
Consisting of Companies raised and organized in the Virginia counties of Louisa, Amelia, Halifax, Goochland, Prince Edward, and Charlotte, and the City of Richmond, they came together as the 23rd Regiment at Camp Lee, Richmond in May 1861. They served in Western Virginia in 1861 and were assigned to Taliaferro's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia in September. They were on Jackson's Valley Campaign of March 1862, then at the Seven Days on the Peninsula. They were engaged at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas before starting on the Maryland Campaign1.
On the Sharpsburg Campaign
The 23rd was with Jackson for the capture of Harpers Ferry (10-15 September), and arrived at Sharpsburg on the 16th. They were hit hard early on the 17th as Hooker's Federal I Corps attacked south through the Cornfield, and were in furious combat there2. Capt. Richard P. Jennings, Co. E, later recalled his experience there:
I laid down by the lieutenant and Capt [Thomas S.] M[ichaels, Co. F] on the other side [of a large old stump]. There was a corporal of some other company standing up by the stump loading and firing and we tried to get him to lie down. Soon a ball passed over my legs which I had down close to the ground and went through the lieutenant's knees and soon after a shot struck Capt. Michaels on the ankle, and then the corporal was shot dead and fell right over us, and as he dropped his hands scratched me in the face, and I said to Capt. Michaels "I am going out from here" and he said "Do not try it, Captain, you will be killed before you can reach the timber." I said I had as well be killed running as lying still, so I got up . . . and the balls flew around me like a swarm of bees, and I just let out and ran like a deer, and made it to the timber, but I was almost scared to death when I got there3.The Regiment probably mustered about 120 men at the start of the battle, and reported 8 killed and 34 wounded or captured2. Captain Michaels was briefly in command as senior officer present immediately after the battle.
Initial Strength: 120; Killed in Action (KIA): 8; Wounded (WIA): 21; Captured (POW): 13;
Losses, % of Initial Strength: 35%
Map Showing this Unit
Detail Map #1: Hookers First Corps Sweeps Down the Pike
Battlefield Tablets for this Unit
Tablet #314: Jackson's Command - 15 Sep, 4 PM to 16 Sep, 10 PM
Tablet #381: Jackson's Division, Jackson's Command - 16 Sep, 4 PM to 16 Sep, 7 PM
Tablet #376: Taliaferro's Brigade, Jackson's Division - 16 Sep, 6 PM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #315: Jackson's Command - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #382: Jackson's Division, Jackson's Command - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #382, cont: Jackson's Division, Jackson's Command - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 17 Sep, 9 AM
After the Sharpsburg Campaign
The Regiment continued in service for the remainder of the War, engaged in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia including Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Petersburg. They were with Lee at the surrender at Appomattox with 55 men2.
More on the Web
See the fine website of the present-day 23rd Virginia Infantry for original rosters and many other details on the history of the Regiment.
We have 17 individuals who were on the Maryland Campaign in the AotW database for this unit:
|A||Corp||Gentry, William S.||KIA 09/17|
|A||Pvt||Pritchett, Virgil C.||KIA 09/17|
|A||Lt||Sims, William J.||KIA 09/17|
|A||Pvt||Traynham, Robert L.||KIA 09/17|
|A||Pvt||Wright, Julian Q.||KIA 09/17|
|C||Pvt||Carter, Beverly Atwood||MWIA 09/17|
|C||Sgt||Worsham, William Lee||KIA 09/17|
|D||Corp||Saunders, Charles E.||KIA 09/17|
|F||Sgt||Black, James E.||MWIA 09/17|
|G||Sgt||Crafton, John H.||KIA 09/17|
|G||Pvt||Talley, James M.||KIA 09/17|
|H||Pvt||Perrin, Henry A.||MWIA 09/17|
|H||Pvt||Wright, John A.||KIA 09/17|
|I||Corp||Booker, John Morton||KIA 09/17|
|I||Sgt||Walton, William A.||MWIA 09/17|
|F&S||Col||Taliaferro, Alexander Galt|
|F&S||LCol||Walton, Simeon Taylor||WIA 09/17|
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1 Crute, Joseph H. Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army, Midlothian, VA: Derwent Books, 1987, 23rd VA Inf. [AotW citation 42]
2 Thanks to David Spearman for his research and Robert C. Moss, webmaster, both of the modern 23rd Virginia, for this material.
Rankin, Thomas M., 23rd Virginia Infantry, Lynchburg: H.E. Howard, Inc., 1985, ---- [AotW citation 43]
3 Hassler, A. E., Major, USA, Interview with R. P. Jennings, 23rd Virginia Infantry, "Antietam Studies" (Collection), Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, Record Group 94, Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1897, --- [AotW citation 44]