Twenty-Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years (Re-enlisted)

Acton men who served in the 23rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

David P. Muzzey, Co I.

Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:

 The 23d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was composed of six companies from Essex County and one each from Bristol, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Worcester. Several were recruited by men who had service in three months organizations between April and July, 1861. The companies assembled at Lynnfield, Mass., in September, 1861, and many of the men were mustered in September 28, though some were not mustered until December 5, after their arrival at Annapolis, Md. John 'Kurtz, an old militia officer, was commissioned colonel of the regiment. On Nov. 11, 1861, it left the State for the seat of war. Arriving at Annapolis three days later, it there established Camp John A. Andrew, where it remained until January, 1862, when it was attached to the Burnside Expedition and embarked for the coast of North Carolina. It now formed a part of Foster's Brigade, Burnside's Coast Division. It was present with lose at Roanoke Island, Feb. 8, and suffered a much greater loss at Newbern, March 14, among the killed being Henry Merritt, lieutenant colonel of the regiment.
     In May, 1862, three divisions were formed, and the 23d became a part of Amory's (1st) Brigade, Foster's (1st) Division. The regiment was stationed in or near Newbern, N. C., during the summer and fall of 1862, engaging in two or three skirmishes with small loss. On Dec. 10, it joined the Goldsboro expedition, being slightly engaged at Kinston, Dec. 14, and heavily engaged at Whitehall, the 16th, where it lost 16 in killed and mortally wounded. It continued on to Goldsboro, but was not in the action at that place.
     From the middle of January to the middle of April the regiment was absent on an expedition toward Charleston, S. C., now forming a part of Heckman's Brigade. After its return in April it formed a part of an expedition sent to the relief of Little Washington, and in July was sent on another expedition to Trenton.
     On October 16, 1863, it left Newbern en route to Fort Monroe, which place it reached October 19, and encamped near Newport News. Here in the early winter over 200 officers and men re-enlisted for three years. On Jany. 23, the regiment took steamer for Portsmouth and occupied fortifications about three miles outside the city. From here it made an expedition to Smithfield in April where on the 1 6th of the month it was engaged with loss. Gen. Heckman's command was now known as the Star Brigade - 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 18th Corps - and was ordered up the James to Bermuda Hundred. It was in action at Port Walthall Junction, May 6 and 7, and at Arrowfield Church, May 9. At Drewry's Bluff (also spelled Drurys Bluff), May 16, the Star Brigade was outflanked in the fog which enveloped the field, Gen. Heckman was taken prisoner, and the 23d lost 23 killed and mortally wounded, 20 wounded, and 51 prisoners. Among the fatally wounded was Lieut. Col. John G. Chambers.
     Soon after Drewry's Bluff the 18th Corps was transferred to the north side of the James and joined the Army of the Potomac near Cold Harbor. Heckman's Brigade was here commanded by Gen. George J. Stannard. In the assault of June 3 the 23d Regt. lost 10 killed or mortally wounded, 39 wounded, and 2 missing. Recrossing to the Petersburg front the regiment remained before that city until August 25, suffering frequent losses from sharpshooters.
     Crossing to the north side of the Appomattox and proceeding to Bermuda Hundred the regiment embarked, Sept. 4, for Newborn again and on the 10th of the month the men were again in the familiar trenches an the Trent River. In the latter part of September the men who had not re-enlisted were sent home to be mustered out. During the autumn and winter the yellow fever raged in Newborn and the regiment suffered severely from its ravages.
     On March 8, 1865, at Wise's Forks near Kinston the regiment fought its last battle losing 3 killed and 10 wounded. It now remained near Kinston until May when it returned to Newborn where it acted as provost guard until June 25, when it was mustered out of the service. Returning to Massachusetts, on July 5, at Readville, the men received their pay and their final discharge.


Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:

Organized September 28, 1861. Left State for Annapolis, Md., November 11, and duty there until January 6, 1862. Attached to Foster's 1st Brigade, Burnside's Expeditionary Corps, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. of North Carolina, to December, 1862. Heckman's Brigade, Dept. of North Carolina, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of the South, to April, 1863. District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, to July, 1863. Defenses of New Berne, N. C., Dept, of Virginia and North Carolina, to October, 1863. Heckman's Command, Newport News, Va., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to January, 1864. 3rd Brigade, United States Forces, Portsmouth, Va., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to September, 1864. Defenses of New Berne, N. C., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to February, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, to March, 1865. District of Beaufort, Dept. of North Carolina, to June, 1865.

SERVICE.--Burnside's Expedition to Hatteras Inlet and Roanoke Island, N. C., January 6-February 7, 1862. Battle of Roanoke Island February 8. On transports off Roanoke Island until March 11. Moved to New Berne, N. C., March 11-13. Battle of New Berne March 14. Duty at New Berne until April 11. and at Batchelor's Creek until May 4. Batchelor's Creek April 29. Provost duty at New Berne, N. C., until November 22. Expedition from New Berne November 2-12. Action at Rawle's Mill November 2 (Cos. "B," "C," "D," "G" and "I"). Demonstration on New Berne November 11. Picket and outpost duty in vicinity of New Berne until December 10. Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro December 11-20. Southwest Creek December 13-14. Kinston December 14. Whitehall December 16. Goldsboro December 17. Moved to Carolina City January 13, 1863; thence to Morehead City and Hilton Head, S.C., January 19-February 2. Camp at St. Helena Island, S.C., February 11-April 3, Expedition against Charleston April 3-10. Moved to New Berne April 12-16. March to relief of Little Washington April 17-19. Moved to Carolina City, N. C., April 25, and duty there until July 2. (Co. "D" detached at Fort Spinola June 26). Reconnaissance toward Swansbore June 27 (Co. "H"). Expedition to Trenton and Pollocksville July 4-8 (Cos. "C," "G," "H" and "K"). Action at Quaker Bridge July 6 (Cos. "A," "B," "E," "F" and "I"). Ordered to New Berne July 2, and duty in the Defenses of the city until October 16. Expedition from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point July 13-16. Moved to Newport News, Va., October 16-18, and duty there until January 22, 1864. Moved to Portsmouth, Va., January 22. Duty there and at Getty's Station, on Norfolk & Suffolk Railroad, until April 26. Demonstration on Portsmouth March 1-5. Expedition to Isle of Wight County April 13-15. Action at Smithfield, Cherry Grove, April 14. Moved to Yorktown April 26. Butler's operations on south side of James River and against Petersburg and Richmond May 4-28. Port Walthal Junction, Chester Station, May 6-7. Swift's Creek, Arrowfield Church, May 9-10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Drury's Bluff May 14-16. Bermuda Hundred May 16-28. Moved to White House, thence to Cold Harbor, May 28-June 1. Battles about Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 15-18. Siege of Petersburg June 15-September 4. Mine Explosion July 30 (Reserve). Duty in the trenches at Bermuda Hundred, Va., August 25-September 4. Moved to New Berne, N. C., September 4-10. Picket, guard and patrol duty there until March 3, 1865. Affair at Currituck Bridge September 9 (Detachment). Non-Veterans mustered out September 28, 1864. Movements on Goldsboro March 3-14. Southwest Creek March 7. Battle of Wise's Forks March 8-10. Occupation of Kinston March 14, and duty there until May 2. Moved to New Berne May 2, and duty there until June 25. Mustered out June 25, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 80 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 132 Enlisted men by disease. Total 218.

See also:

Emmerton, James A. A Record of the Twenty-Third Regiment Mass. Vol. Infantry in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 with Alphabetical Roster; Company Rolls; Portraits, Maps;  etc. Boston: William Ware & Co., 1886.

Valentine, Herbert E., ed. Dedication of the Boulder Commemorating the Service of the Twenty-Third Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in the Civil War, 1861-1865, at Salem, Massachusetts, September 28, 1905. Salem, Mass: Newcomb & Gauss, Printers, 1905.

Valentine, Herbert E. Story of Co. F, 23d Massachusetts Volunteers, in the War for the Union, 1861-1865. Boston: W.B. Clarke & Co., 1896.