The 23rd Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Montgomery on 19 November 1861, with companies recruited in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe and Wilcox counties. It was ordered to Mobile shortly after that and attached to Gen’l Adley H. Gladden’s Brigade, remaining there until the following February. During the stay there of two months, the regiment lost 82 men by disease. It then moved into East Tennessee and was brigaded under Gen’l Danville Leadbetter of Mobile and then under Gen’l Seth Barton of Tennessee, and in June 1862, under Col. Thomas Hart Taylor of Kentucky. The 23rd performed much arduous duty in East Tennessee and formed part of Carter Stevenson’s Division, Kirby Smith’s Corps, in the Kentucky campaign. When the army returned to Tennessee, a brigade was formed of the 20th, 23rd, 30th, 31st, and 46th Alabama regiments and placed under Gen’l Edward D. Tracy of Madison.
In December 1862, with Stephenson’s Division, the 23rd was moved to Vicksburg, and a few days later was present at the fight at Chickasaw Bayou. It was engaged at Port Gibson where the brigade commander fell, and it lost heavily there in killed, wounded, and captured. Gen’l Stephen D. Lee then took command of the brigade. At Baker’s Creek, the 23rd was engaged and lost a number captured. The next day, it was in the fight at Big Black Bridge. When the army fell back, the regiment was left, by oversight, and for 12 hours resisted the whole federal army, without severe loss. Retiring into Vicksburg, the regiment shared in that siege, fighting day and night, but without many casualties. Paroled immediately, the regiment was soon exchanged and joined the Army of Tennessee just after the Battle of Chickamauga., Gen’l Edmund Pettus of Dallas commanding the brigade. The 23rd took part at Missionary Ridge with light loss and wintered at Dalton, Georgia. At the beginning of the campaign, it suffered heavy losses at Resaca, but it was constantly in front of Union Gen’l William T. Sherman all the way to Atlanta and Jonesboro, suffering very severely in the latter fight. The regiment marched with Gen’l John Bell Hood into Tennessee, was engaged at Columbia with considerable loss, and at Nashville, where many of the men were captured. It guarded the rear of the retreating army and moved into the Carolinas.
From Branchville to Bentonville, it fought Sherman and was consolidated with the 31st and 46th Alabama, with J. B. Bibb as colonel, Osceola Kyle of Coosa at Lt. Col., and J. T. Hester as Major, and sufrrendered at Salisbury, NC. Nearly 1200 names were on the rolls of the 23rd; it had 435 muskets at Rocky-face, and 76 surrendered at Salisbury, under Col. Bibb. Near the close of the war, the 23rd was consolidated with the 31st and 46th Infantry at Smithfield, 9 April 1865.
Field and staff Officers: Cols. Franklin King Beck (Wilcox; captured, Vicksburg; KIA, Resaca); Joseph Branajah Bibb (Montgomery; wounded, Nashville); Lt. Col. Joseph Branajah Bibb (promoted); Majors Felix Tait (Wilcox; resigned, 9 Aug 1862); John J. Longmire (Monroe; resigned, 25 Jan 1864); Francis McMurray (Macon; wounded, Missionary Ridge; retired); A. C. Roberts (Marengo; KIA, New Hope Church); James T. Hester (Montgomery); Adjutants Henry Goldthwaite (Mobile; resigned); J. T. Norman (Macon; captured, Port Gibson); and William Beard (Conecuh)
Captains, and counties from which the companies came:
- Co. “A” (Wilcox County; paroled as part of Co. “C”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): John J. Longmire (promoted); G. H. Moye (resigned, 13 Nov 63); J. W. Steen (captured, Vicksburg; wounded, Atlanta)
- Co. “B” (Macon County; paroled as part of Co. “I”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Francis McMurray (wounded, Port Gibson, and captured; promoted; resigned, 21 March 64) F. A. Rutherford (KIA, Jonesboro); Lt. Carnie Leslie
- Co. “C” (Marengo County; paroled finally as part of Co. “I”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): A. L. Norwood (resigned); Amariah C. Roberds (promoted); Robert Chapman; Alfred Bethea (resigned, 2 Sept 62)
- Co. “D” (Conecuh County): D. K. Smith (resigned, 10 Sept 62); James T. Hester (promoted); James M. Anderson
- Co. “E” (Monroe County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): G. G. Mathews (resigned, 24 Feb 63); H. M. Graham (captured, Vicksburg)
- Co. “F” (Lowndes County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Henry P. Reid (resigned, 3 Jan 63); S. Oliver Merriwether (captured, Port Gibson)
- Co. “G” (Choctaw County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Alfred Yates (resigned, 13 Sept 62); John Stephens (KIA, Port Gibson); W. W. Johnson (resigned, 13 April 64); M. Butterfield; (KIA, Atlanta); R. F. Campbell
- Co. “H” (Conecuh County; paroled as part of Co. “E”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Thomas D. McCall (resigned, 29 April 63); B. L. Selman (captured, Vicksburg; wounded, Resaca); 2nd Lt. J. T. McDonald
- Co. “I” (Baldwin County; paroled as part of Co. “E”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): R. Y. Rew (resigned, 9 Feb 63, and 30 March 63); W. H. Myles (captured, Vicksburg)
- Co. “K”, King Guards (Wilcox and Clarke counties; paroled as part of Co. “C”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): William E. Powe (resigned, 10 Nov 62); Greene D. McConnell (captured, Vicksburg)