Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/173

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'/'A, T\n*tyJkM North COT<M Infantry. \

of Linriln county, N. C., was placed in command of the brigade, th<- <livisi<m being commanded by Rodes.

Gettysburg had proved to be the "lion in the path " of General Lee's march into the enemy's country, and he soon fell back into Virginia. In operations at Vidiersville, and near Brandy Station in the lull ot 1X63, the regiment sustained loss, but not heavy. In bar- racks, at Hanover, during the winter of 1863 and 1864, the regi- ment may be- said to have had a really good time, as did the entire brigade. So at the opening of the campaign in 1864, the regiment and entire brigade appeared well recruited for duty, well equipped and in good fighting trim generally. Governor Vance, in a speech to the army, said the boys looked like they had "corn to sell." This remark of Governor Vance's suggested most strikingly the contrast as between the appearance of the troops then and their woe- begone plight on the return from the fatal field of Gettysburg. It was somewhat now like it was when the fight first opened at Chan- cellorsville, barring the fact that the regiment did not number so many men. It entered the fight at Chancellorsville in first-rate trim, numbering somewhere between 300 and 400 men, rank and file. It lost good officers there in the death of Captains Knight, of Co. D, and Hedspeth, of Co. K, besides from fifty to sixty privates and two commissioned officers killed and from 125 to 150 wounded, as esti- mated by Captain Cole, formerly of Co. " D, " although the roster's report does not exceed fifty killed and seventy wounded. It was with a force much reduced that the regiment entered the first day's fight at Gettysburg. It must have been a small command at that battle, although it exhibited the nerve and endurance of a host. Its Adju- tant, Junius French, was killed there, and among the killed also was Wm. H. Johnston, Captain of Co. K, while the roster places the killed of privates and non-commissioned officers at about fifty-five, and eighty-nine wounded, and fifty-three among the captured and missing. Among the wounded and captured of the 23rd was Cap- tain H. G. Turner, of Co. H, since the war a distinguished member of Congress from Georgia. He is a native of Granville, and brother of Adjutant Vines E. Turner. It is well authenticated that only one officer and not exceeding twenty men of the regiment escaped death, wounding or capture.

It was about the yth of May, 1864, that the brigade, after a season of recreation in the vicinity of Hanover and Taylorsville, received orders to rejoin the army at the Wilderness, near Spotsylvania Court