The 23rd North Carolina was formed in Richmond County, NC on May 13, 1861 with 90 members. On June 27, 1861 the company departed Rockingham, NC for Weldon, NC and then to Garysberg, NC for the camp if instruction. At Garysberg the PEE DEE Guards joind nine other companies to form the 13th North Carolina Volunteers. The Regiment joind the Confederate Army at Manassas on July 21, 1861. The13th NC arrived but did not see fighting there and was kept in reserve. Shorty thereafter theunit was redesignated the 23rd North Carolina State Troops.
The 23rd was next engagedin the attack on Malvern Hill. The attack did not begin until late in the day. Garland's brigade attacked without support. The Brigade charged intoa fusillade of Federal fire. After clinging to the side of the hill the men were forced to retire. The Regiment was not engaged at Second Manassas. The regiment re-joined the Army of Northern Virginia for the Maryland Campaign. The regiment was assigned to Garland's Brigade, D.H. Hill's Division, Jackson's Corps.
The 23rd fought bravely at Sout Mountain holding off the Union advance. During this action General Garland was killed. The 23rd fought valiantly to hold back a much larger Federal force allowing General Lee time to concentrate the Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg. During the battle of Sharpsburg, the 23rd defended the center of the Confederate line. The Regimen played a critical part in the battle. In the height of the Federal attack on the sunken road, the Federals breached the Confederate line. For a moment itappeared that the center would collapse. The 5th NC and 23rd NC made a reckless charge into the Federal's flank. The Federals broke, qand the center was saved. The regiment was in the forefront of the fighting at Chancellorsville. Prior toChancellorsville, D.H. Hill was reassigned. His division was now commanded by Major GeneraL Robert E. Rhodes. The regiment was part of Brigadier Alan Iverson's brigade. The division was assigned to Jackson's II Corps. They took part in the flank march. The 23rd as part
of Rhodes Division led the attack against the Union flank.
On the first day of Gettysburg the 23rd was almost completely destroyed. Iverson's Brigade marched into an ambush. A Federal Brigade was hidden behind a stone wall on the left flank of the brigade. The Confederates passed in front of the Federal position in perfect order, rifles at the right shoulder, and colors to the front. The first volley tore through the ranks covering te ground with the dead and wounded. After about twenty minutes, Iverson's brigade was destroyed. The Federals charged the surivors. Corporal Edwin S. Hart of the PEE DEE Guards, Company D, refused to surrender the colors. The Federals were only able to seize the colors after knocking Hart unconscious with the butt of a musket. At Gettysburg only five other brigades in the Army of Northern Virginia lost more men the Iverson.