|August 31||The 23rd Georgia Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp McDonald for the duration of the war under the command of Colonel Thomas Hutcherson, Lieutenant Colonel William Barclay and Major Emory F. Best.|
|August-November||Assigned to the Department of Georgia.|
|November||Assigned to the Department of South Carolina and Georgia.|
|January-February||Moved to Virginia and assigned to Rains’ Division, Department of the Peninsula|
|April-May||Assigned to Rains’ Brigade, Rains Division, D.H. Hill’s Command, Department of Northern Virginia.|
Siege of Yorktown
Battle of Williamsburg
|June-September||Assigned to Rains’ Brigade, D.H. Hill’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia.|
|May 31-June 1||
Battle of Seven Pines
|June 12||Colonel Hutcherson resigned and Lieutenant Colonel Barclay was elected colonel.|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
|August 16||Major Emory Best was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
|September-May||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, D.H. Hill’s Division, Jackson’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia.|
Fought at Turner’s Gap. Colonel Barclay was called out in Colonel Colquitt’s official report for “noble conduct.”
The regiment was commanded by Colonel William P. Barclay until he was killed. Lieutenant Colonel Emory F. Best took over command until he was wounded and captured. Major James H. Huggins then took command and remained on the field even though he was also wounded. Fourteen men were killed and 64 wounded.
From the War Department marker for Colquitt’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:
Colquitt’s Brigade formed line soon after sunrise, southwest of Mumma’s house, in support of Trimble and Ripley. It followed Ripley across the Smoketown Road and formed on his right.
After a severe engagement, involving heavy loss, it retired to the west end of the Bloody Lane and assisted in checking the advance of French’s Division of the Second Corps. Later in the day, portions of the Brigade acted with Evans’ Brigade in checking the Federal advance on the Boonsboro Pike.
From the War Department marker for Colquitt’s and Garland’s Brigades on the Antietam battlefield:
After the repulse of the Confederate line in the East Woods and Cornfield north of the Smoketown Road in the morning of the 17th, parts of the Brigades of Colquitt and Garland rallied in the Sunken Road at this point, their right connecting with Rodes, their left resting on the Hagerstown Pike. They cooperated with Rodes in repelling the advance of French’s Division, Second Corps, and, in cooperation with detachments of McLaws’ and Walker’s Division, crossed this road and attacked the right flank of French’s Division but were repulsed. In the afternoon, parts of the two Brigades were collected at Sharpsburg and moved out on the Boonsboro Pike in support of Evans’ Brigade in its resistance to the advance of a portion of the Fifth Army Corps.
|November 21||Lieutenant Colonel Emory Best was promoted to colonel. He was 22 years old.|
The 23rd Georgia was the tail end of Jackson’s long column on his flank march, and was attacked by Sickles’ Federals as it appeared to be leaving the battlefield. After a desperate rear guard action much of the regiment was captured. Colonel Best was the only officer who avoided capture, leading to charges of cowardice and his eventual court martial.
From the wayside marker on the Jackson Flank March Trail at Chancellorsville:
On May 2, 1863, as the tail end of Stonewall Jackson’s flanking column neared the Wellford place, Union infantry launched an attack. They struck Jackson’s rearguard (the 23rd Georgia) a half-mile to the north, at Catharine Furnace. From there, they fought a running battle to the Wellford farm. Confederate artillery unlimbered in the yard of the Wellford house to help repel a Union assault.
Outnumbered, the Georgians fell back to the protection of a railroad embankment, still visible inside the woods ahead of you. But Union sharpshooters outflanked the Georgians’ position and captured most of the regiment. The Federals pushed no farther, though, and Jackson’s march continued. By 5 p.m. his column lay poised opposite the Union army’s unprotected right flank, about three miles northwest of you. Jackson stood on the verge of his greatest success.
May 2, 1863. Having lost the furnace, the 23rd Georgia Regiment established a new line here in the bed of the Unfinished Railroad. Other troops reinforced the position. During late afternoon, while Jackson’s front lines were hitting the Federal right, the rearguard Confederates fell back according to his orders. Colonel Best, however, received the word too late. Although he and a few of his men escaped, the bulk of the 23rd Georgia was captured. This railroad then comprised a series of graded sections without tracks. Finished later, from Fredericksburg to Orange Court House, it ceased operation in 1938, except for a spur at Fredericksburg.
|May-August||Moved to North Carolina and assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Department of North Carolina.|
|August – September||
Moved to Charleston, South Carolina and assigned to 3rd Sub-Division, 1st Military District of South Carolina, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
|September-October||Assigned to 1st Sub-Division, 1st Military District of South Carolina, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
|October-January||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Western Division, 7th Military District of South Carolina, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
|October||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Western Division, 7th Military District of South Carolina, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
|December 23||Colonel Emory F. Best was court martialled on charges of deriliction of duty at Chancellorsville. He was found guilty and dismissed from the service. President Davis eventually overturned the ruking, but Best never returned to the regiment. Lieutenant Colonel James H. Huggins was promoted to colonel.|
|January||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, 7th Military District of South Carolina, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
|February||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, District of East Florida, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
|February-May||Assigned to District of Florida, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.|
Battle of Olustee
|May||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Colquitt’s Division, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia|
|May-October||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Hoke’s Division, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia|
|August 13||Colonel James Huggins resigned to take his seat in the Georgia legislature.|
|August 20||Major Ballenger was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Catain William J. Boston was promoted to major|
|October-December||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Hoke’s Division, 4th Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
|December-March||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Hoke’s Division, Department of North Carolina|
|January 5||Lt. Colonel Ballenger was promoted to colonel|
Second Battle of Fort Fisher
|March-April||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Hoke’s Division, Hardee’s Corps|
Battle of Bentonville
|April||Assigned to Colquitt’s Brigade, Hoke’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Tennessee|
Surrendered with Johnston’s army.