|May 6||Completed organization under Colonel Leonard T. Doyle. Ordered to Virginia and assigned to Semmes’ Brigade.|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
Battle of Malvern Hill
The regiment lost 10 men
|September||Maryland Campaign. Assigned to Semmes’ Brigade, McLaws Division.|
Reinforced the 15th and 32nd Virginia at Crampton’s Gap and held the position until forced back in the evening. Withdrew to the road just north of Brownsville.
The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Sloan. It lost 12 men killed and 63 wounded out of 276 engaged. The 53rd Georgia fought in the Cornfield, where Lieutenant Colonel Sloan was mortally wounded and captured. Captain Samuel W. Marshborne of company C took over the regiment.
From the War Department marker for Semmes’ Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:
Semmes Brigade reached the western suburbs of Sharpsburg at sunrise of the 17th and halted until nearly 9 A.M., when it advanced across the fields, in support of Stuart’s Cavalry, north and west of Hauser’s house. In the general advance of McLaws’ Division it was on the left of the line, and encountered the enemy in the northern part of the West Woods, forcing them to retire beyond the Nicodemus house.
Near this point its advance was checked by the Federal Artillery east of the Hagerstown Road. After severe losses it was withdrawn and placed as a reserve to Barksdale’s Brigade, in the western edge of the West Woods, where it remained until the night of the 18th when it recrossed the Potomac.
From Captain Marshborne’s Official Report for the 53rd Georgia at the Battle of Antietam:
Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas] Sloan, the regiment entered the engagement of the 17th instant early in the morning with 21 commissioned officers (including Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan and Adjutant [John F.] Hanson) and 255 men. Of this number 1 officer (First Lieutenant C. C. Brown, Company E) and 11 men of the regiment were killed, 3 officers (Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan, Lieutenant [John A.] Barnett, of Company A, and Lieutenant Hollon, of Company G) and 60 men were wounded.
The regiment, marching by flank, was formed into line of battle by command, “by company into line,” then “forward into line,” upon entering the first corn-field, through which it passed. Under the shells of the enemy the regiment moved forward through this field, then through an apple orchard, and then through another corn-field, and halted at the fence. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Sloan was seriously wounded. His calmness and bravery deserve special notice. Here, also, Lieutenant Brown fell. His captain informs me that his last words were those of encouragement to his company.
The enemy were over on a hill, and with their long-range guns and shells wounded many of our men. The regiment was ordered forward, and officers and men leaped over the fence, determined to do or die. Continuing to advance, the enemy gave back, and the regiment pursued them with great rapidity over a mile. The number of the enemy’s dead and wounded left upon the ground over which we passed, and the scattered manner in which they lay, show the rapidity of his retreat and the execution which the regiment did. Finding ourselves out of ammunition, it was thought prudent to fall back to the lines for a new supply.
|Septmber 23||Lieutenant Colonel Sloan died in a Federal hospital.|
|October 8||Colonel Doyle resigned.|
|October 27||Captain James W. Hance of Company D was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
|November||Assigned to Semmes’ Brigade of McLaws’ Division of the First Corps|
Lieutenant Colonel Hance and Captain I.M.D. Bond were killed and Captain Sheridan Brown was wounded.
From the brigade’s marker on the Gettysburg battlefield:
July 2. Arrived about 3.30 P. M. and formed line 50 yards west of this. Advanced about 5 P. M. in support of Kershaw and Anderson and took a prominent part in the severe and protracted conflict on Rose Hill and in the ravine and forest east of there and in the vicinity of the Loop. Participated also in the general advance late in the evening by which the Union forces were forced out of the Wheatfield and across Plum Run Valley. Brig Gen. Paul J. Semmes fell mortally wounded in the ravine near the Loop.
July 3. During the afternoon Anderson’s Brigade being withdrawn for duty elsewhere the Brigade was left in the occupancy of the woodland south of the Wheatfield. At 1 P. M. under orders it resumed its original position near here.
July 4. About midnight began the march to Hagerstown Md.
When General Semmes was mortally wounded, Colonel Goode Bryan of the 16th Georgia took command of the brigade.
|August||Colonel Bryan was promoted to brigadier general and given permanent command of the brigade.|
|September||The regiment moved to the Western Theater with Longstreet but arrived too late to fight at Chickamauga|
|Siege of Chattanooga|
|November 8||Captain Wiley F. Hartsfield of Company H was promoted to major.|
Siege of Knoxville
|December 3||Major Hartsfield was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
|December 19||Captain Sheridan R. Brown of Company F was promoted to major.|
|March||The regiment returned to the Army of Northern Virginia. General Kershaw took over the division from General McLaws.|
The 53rd Georgia was commanded by Colonel James P. Simms. Lieutenant Colonel Hartsfield was wounded.
|May 23-24||North Anna|
|June||Siege of Petersburg begins|
First Battle of Deep Bottom
|August 6||The regiment was sent with Kershaw’s Division to the Shenandoah Valley, where it was temporarily attached to Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley|
|September 14||Since Sheridan and his Union Army of the Shenandoah was inactive Kershaw’s Division was ordered back to rejoin Lee at Richmond and began to leave the Valley.|
|September 23||Major Sheridan Brown resigned due to disability|
Captain Marshborne was mortally wounded. He died at the Confederate hospital in Harrisonburg on November 15.
|November 14||Kershaw’s Division left the Shenandoah Valley to return to the Army of Northern Virginia around Petersburg.|
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
Most of the regiment were captured. Lieutenant Colonel Hartsfield was killed.
The regiment surrendered no officers and 64 enlisted men.