Following Gettysburg Iverson was removed and General Robert Johnston of the 23rd NC was placed in command of the Brigade. During the battle of the Wilderness, Johnston's brigade joined the confederate line at the extreme left. The LL Corps launched a sudden surprise attack on the Federal Sixth corps reminiscent of Jankson's attack the year before. The Federal sixth corps was pushed back infierce fighting. The Federals clung to the Germanna ford. Because of the late hour the attack lost steam, and the ford was held.
At Spotsylvania, the 23rd was held in reserve at the base of the mule shoe. The Union II Corps struck the Confederate salient at the mule shoe, overwhelming the defenders. The 23rd along with Johnston's Brigade joined the counter attack. The audacity of attack skocked the Federals and allowed General Le to form a strong line along the base of the silient. After Cold Horbor, Early's Corps was transferred to the Shenandoah Valley. A Federal Army was threatening Lynchburg. General Lee ordered Early to Lynchburg to counter drive the Yankees off. Early moved the I Corps to Lynchburg by rail. When Early's Corps arrived the Yankees withdrew. Jubal Early ordered his corps down the valley. The Second Corps became the Army of the Valley District. Early crossed the Potomac and marched on Frederick, Maryland. Early moved his army towards Washington DC (Known as Washington City in the Civil War). On July 9, 1864 the Army of the Valley District ran into a small Federal force at Monocracy Junction. After a sharp fight the Yankees were driven back to the Washington defenses. The Confederate Army reached the outer defenses of Washington. Early realized that he could not force the works and withdrew back into the valley. The 23rd along with the remainder of the Army of the Valley District came closer to Washington DC than any other Confederat force in the war.
The 23rd fought with Ramseur's Division at the Second Kernstown. The victory at the Second Kernstown was the last victory the Confederates would enjoy in the Shenandoah. At the battle of the Third Winchester, the 23rd, as part of Ramseur's division held against great odds to save Early's army. Sheridan struck Early's army near Winchester. Initially only Ramseur's Division was in the field, facing Sheridan's entire force of over 50,000 men. Ramseur's Division held against great odds. Early rushed his remaining divisions to Ramseur's aid. Late in the day the Confederates left flank was pushed back. Rhodes and Ramseur's flanks were exposed causing the two divisions to withdraw. After a hard fight the exhausted and greatly outnumbered Confederates were driven from the field. Following the defeat, Early withdrew his army to Fisher's Hill, and established a strong defensive position. Sheridan flanked Early and the entire Confederate line was unhinged and forced to retire. A month later at Cedar Creek the 23rd distinguished itself again. The regiment participated in the dawn attack driving the Yankees back in disorder. Late in the day Sheridan's men regrouped and counter attacked. The greatly outnumbered Confederate line broke. Early ordered Johnston's Brigade to form a rear guard. Reminiscent of the Third Winchester, The brigade held against great odds holding off the Federal advance until dark fell. The brave stand of the 23rd along with the rest of Johnston's brigade saved Early's small army from distruction.