23rd Virginia Company I
May 20, 2003, Farmville-Prince Edward Historical Society program
1st Sgt. Chuck Ironmonger, 2nd Cpl. Lee Wooten, Pvt. Wayne Follin, Pvt. Bob Harris, 1st Cpl. Danial Queen, Chaplin Jimmy Wooten
     In May, 1861, the 23rd Virginia Infantry Regiment was organized and began a program of drill and instruction at Camp Lee, located on the current site of the Richmond International Raceway Complex (Virginia Fairgrounds).  Company I, Prince Edward Central Guards, enlisted May 21, 1861 at Prince Edward Court House (Worsham) with Moses T. Hughes, Captain.
     In June, 1861, the 23rd Virginia, about 800 strong, were ordered to northwest Virginia.  They came under the command of General Henry R. Jackson.  They participated in the battles of the valleys of Western Virginia, Harper's Ferry, the Chancellorsville campaign, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and many others. 
     In April, 1865, when the Petersburg lines were evacuated, the 23rd Virginia joined the retreat westward.  Only 55 members of the regiment remained to be paroled at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.  During the course of the war, 238 men out of 1090 gave their lives while serving in the 23rd.  Hundreds of others were wounded or became prisoners of war.
     Among those serving in the Prince Edward Central Guard was Branch J. Worsham, Jr., deputy clerk of Prince Edward County court.  He fought in Western Virginia (West Virginia) in the battle of Rich Mountain and was captured.  The Battle of Rich Mountain took place at Carrick's Ford (more correctly Corrick's Ford) on July 13, 1861.  50 were captured that day, 9 were wounded, 2 mortally wounded and 13 killed. Considering that they had been mustered in on May 22, 1861, his was not a long tour of duty.  He was paroled and kept his word not to return to the War. 
     Prince Edward County regiments were Company K, 3rd Virginia Calvary, Prince Edward Dragoons; Company D, 18th Virginia Infantry, Prospect Rifle Grays; Company F, 18th Virginia Infantry, Farmville Guard; Company G, 20th Virginia Infantry, Hampden-Sydney Boys; Company I, 23rd Virginia Infantry, Central Guards; Company G, 44th Virginia Infantry, Randolph Guard; Company B, 1st Virginia Reserves., Prince Edward Reserves; Company D, 3rd Virginia Reserves., Prince Edward Reserves.

George Walker

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