Erastus Duncan Foster

In The Confederate Army

Co. C, 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment

The 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment was organized on July 31, 1861 at Camp Trousdale, Sumner County, Tennessee with ten companies of approximately one hundred men each. Re- organized on May 8, 1862 under command of General Bragg's plan of a complete re-organization of all armed forces. Consolidated with the 17th Tennessee Infantry in 1863.

It gave a good account of itself at Shiloh, Tennessee on April 6 thru 7, 1862. With 570 men engaged it came out of the battle with 327 effectives. Then in Bragg's Invasion of Kentucky was present at the surrender of the Union forces at Munfordville, Kentucky and taking an active part in the battle at Perryville, Kentucky with 201 men engaged of which 52 were causalities. At Murfreesboro with 272 engaged, lost 63 men. Next we find them at Hoover's Gap, Tennessee losing five more. At Chickamauga, Georgia with 26 men sent to the rear barefooted, 181 were engaged, with ninety-eight causalities.

NOTE:The following was taken from the "History of DeKalb County" by Will T. Hale.

Capt. Robert Cantrell's company (C) recruited around Smithville, became part of the Twenty-third Regiment of Tennessee Confederate Infantry. its commander was later elected lieutenant colonel. G. W. Hicks was elected colonel and later Erastus D. Foster. Other promotions were of Lieuts. W. D. Rhinehardt, Lawaon W. Lee, and A. P. Cantrell. The company saw service in Virginia and at Shiloh. After fighting at Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge, and going through the Georgia campaign, it was at Franklin and Nashville and surrendered in North Carolina. Capt. John C. New, of Cannon County, writes: "After the Twenty-third had served about twelve months, it was reorganized. At this time Captain Cantrell was elected lieutenant colonel, but soon resigned. Ras Foster was elected captain of the company, and after serving some time he left and carried many of his men with him. The company was consolidated with mine. Zeb Lee was a member of the company and lost a leg at Chickamauga. His brother, Lieut. Lawson Lee, was killed." Colonel Cantrell was for several years a distinguished circuit judge of Tennessee, residing a Lebanon. He was born November 9, 1823, and died February 9, 1903.

Erastus deserted from the Confederate Army. Records show that he was counted as a deserter on 7 September 1863. He then joined Co. "F", 4th Mtd. Infantry Regiment of the Union Army. As soon as I can locate his Union Military records, I will post them here.

Documents from the Archives

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