This monument, dedicated in 1906, stands on the site of Battle of Salem Church, an action the 23rd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry fought heavily in. Commanded by Colonel E. Burd Grubb, the nine-month enlistment men of the regiment (nicknamed "The Yahoos"), fought as part of the famed 1st New Jersey Brigade of the Army of the Potomac's VI Corps. On May 3, 1863, after the VI Corps under Major General John Sedgwick took the lightly defended town of Fredericksburg (capturing heights the Union army failed to do in the previous December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg), the 23rd New Jersey's division marched three miles west along the Orange Plank Road (today's Route 3) until they came upon men of Confederate Major General Lafayette McLaws' division in a battle line centered by the Salem Baptist Church. Encountering sudden heavy fire from five regiments of Alabama troops under Brigadier General Cadmus M. Wilcox who were arrayed in and around the church and woods, Colonel Grubb rallied his men, repulsed a charge, and was repulsed in a charge if their own. With more Confederate troops in a better position then theirs, the Jerseymen finally retreated in some disorder and reformed around 500 yards rearward. They eventually withdrew with the rest of the VI Corps, having sustained twenty men killed, fifty-seven men wounded, and thirty-one missing in action. Captain Forrester L. Taylor, commander of Company H, ran through a hail of Confederate bullets during the withdrawal to rescue two wounded men of the 23rd, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery. The fighting at Salem Church would be the last significant action in the Battle of Chancellorsville. The regiment would serve until it's muster out on June 27, 1863, and many of it's veterans would go on to serve in other Union regiments raised in 1863 and 1864.
Bio by: RPD2