Civil War Deaths A rough estimate from the American Battlefield Trust puts the number of Americans killed in the Civil War at around 650,000. Our modern conception of casualties includes those who have been psychologically damaged by warfare. Their preservation was adversely affected by rain, river crossings, clerical errors, and cavalry raids. More American soldiers became casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg than in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 combined. This figure represents approximately 2 percent of the American population in 1860. There was a total of 15 million military deaths in World War II, according to the National World War II Museum. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty. This list of wars by death toll includes all deaths that are either directly or indirectly caused by the war. The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. Approximately one in four soldiers that went to war never returned home. The Civil War (1861-1865) produced the most American casualties, when both Union statistics and Confederate estimates are taken into account. Fox published his Regimental Losses in the American Civil War in 1889—and through their extraordinary research we learned that the average Federal soldier weighed 143.5 pounds. This chart and the one below are based on research done by Provost Marshal General James Fry in 1866. This gives a kind of snapshot of the unit's composition in a specific time and place. PA Civil War Soldier Deaths Recorded on Tombstones. Following any of these investigative methods one will encounter countless flaws and inconsistencies--the records in question are little sheets of paper generated and compiled 150 years ago by human beings in one of the most stressful and confusing environments to ever exist. There is not anything fun about the Civil War casualties...It is very sobering to stop and look at the truly tragic cost of life from this war. Military deaths on the battlefield during the Civil War total upwards of 200,000, with the North losing roughly 110,000 soldiers and the South losing about 95,000. Casualties in the Civil War At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, Minié balls and rifling began to replace round balls and smoothbore barrels in U.S. Army arsenals. Hacker employed a new range of statistical accounting to determine mortality, including a system called the “two-census method.” To measure deaths, he counts the number of 20- to 30-year-olds in the 1860 census, and the number of 30- to 40-year-olds who turn up in—or, more important, disappear from—the next count, 10 years later. It’s useful to keep in mind that the long-accepted 620,000 tally was the work of two energetic but amateur historians, William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore, Union veterans who read every pension record, battlefield report and muster roll they could put their hands on. Hacker put it modestly when he opined that “it is just a curiosity.” In a sobering afterthought, he wisely told Gugliotta and the Times: “It’s our duty to get it right.”. Those old emotions remain raw. "Casualty" and "fatality" are not interchangeable terms--death is only one of the ways that a soldier can become a casualty. It still holds several notorious records, such as the highest number of average deaths per day (504). Second Battle Of Bull Run: Over 24,000 casualties The mortality rate for prisoners of war was 15.5 percent for Union soldiers and 12 percent for Confederate soldiers. Save 36 Acres of Hallowed Ground at Two Virginia Taverns, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. If a soldier was unable to perform basic duties due to one of the above conditions, the soldier would be considered a casualty. At the outset of the war, neither army had mechanisms in place to handle the amount of death that the nation was about to experience. Even with close to total conscription, the South could not match the North's numerical strength. Every purchase supports the mission. ), Battle Of Gettysburg: Over 50,000 casualties Confederate enlistment rolls are virtually non-existent. Did they rejoin their unit; did they return home; did they die? The estimates for Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina, and Arkansas have been updated to reflect more recent scholarship. The human cost of the Civil War was beyond anybody's expectations. U.S. Civil War Soldiers 6.3 million soldiers who served in the American Civil War. The rush to build cemeteries, monuments and memorials, together with the overwhelming responsibility merely to bury dead bodies, filled survivors with an abiding reverence for, and obsessive fascination with, those who sacrificed that the nation might live (and even those who gave their lives that it might die). From the Civil War to the 1918 flu pandemic to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, this is how many Americans died in the nation's worst conflicts and contagions. The killers were the wide-spread diseases, during the Civil War. There were no national cemeteries, no burial details, and no messengers of loss. The article called out the dean of the field for using that number “without citing the source in Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer-winning 1988 history of the war.” The fact that no one else has ever “sourced” the figures did not seem to matter in the new rush to up the gruesome ante. Some believe the number is as high as 850,000. A casualty may also be defined as any combatant who is absent or unaccounted for during the war. Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. Our line of historical magazines includes America's Civil War, American History, Aviation History, Civil War Times, Military History, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Vietnam, Wild West and World War II. His estimates were based on Confederate muster rolls--many of which were destroyed before he began his study--and many historians have disputed the results. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. Company A, also known as the "University Greys" suffered 100% casualties in Pickett's Charge. What, exactly, qualifies a wound and did armies account for this the same way? (Rodney Bryant and Daniel Woolfolk/Military Times)... HistoryNet, Homepage Featured Top Stories, Homepage Hero. The young nation experienced bloodshed of a magnitude that has not been equaled since by any other American conflict. The Confederate forces saw some 160,000 battle and non-battle deaths. Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War. What is extraordinary about all this is that we still desperately want to know the truth—the whole truth, and nothing but the precise truth—about the toll of war. This means that one soldier could be marked as a casualty several times throughout the course of the war. CIVIL WAR VETERANS OF BURLINGTON AND VICINITY WHO DIED OR WERE KILLED DURING THE WAR 1861 - 1865 SEARCH -- Press Control F. A small box pops up in the upper right hand corner of the screen. A "casualty" is a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, capture, or through being missing in action. Caveats notwithstanding, Hacker bravely aimed at revising the total count, concluding the actual death toll for the Civil War amounted to between 650,000 and 850,000—and by prudently splitting the difference, proposed a new number: 750,000, as reported in America’s Civil War in March 2012. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. In total, more than 3.5 million Americans would fight in the Civil War; more than 2 million for the Union, some 1.5 million for the Confederate States. Overlooking the common misspelling of names and general lack of specificity concerning the condition of a "present" or "absent" soldier, muster rolls provide a valuable look into the past. The effects of this devastating conflict are still felt today. To begin, we must answer the question, 'What is a casualty of war?' Total Killed and Dead Civil War Soldiers Total U.S. Servicemembers (Worldwide) 5,720,000 Total Serving (In Theater) 1,789,000 Battle Deaths 33,739 Other Deaths (In Theater) 2,835 Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 17,672 Non-mortal Woundings 103,284 Living Veterans 1,165,000 Vietnam War (1964-1975) Total U.S. Servicemembers (Worldwide) 8,744,000 Deployed to Southeast Asia The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! Most people think that to become a casualty, a soldier has to be killed, but this is not so. What became of wounded soldiers? This has been the accepted norm for more than 100 years. That’s almost half of all Americans who have ever died during wartime, and more than … Muster rolls, generated every few months by commanding officers, list soldiers in their respective units as "present" or "absent." Where does this come from? Read more of … Note the mortal threat that soldiers faced from disease. Divisions of the American Battlefield Trust: The American Battlefield Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Exhumations were common as survivors and widows struggled with competing notions of sacred ground. In reporting the new statistics, the Times, for example, took an unexpected pot shot at veteran historian James M. McPherson, one among countless scholars who have long accepted the earlier 620,000 number. Most deaths were non-combat related. The latter two conflicts took by far the most American lives, with 140,414 battle deaths during the Civil War on the Union side and 291,557 American battle deaths throughout World War II. Weren't many of these soldiers killed and not found? Civil War POWs Confederate and Union Civil War Prisoners of War PA Veteran Burials Records There were an estimated 1.5 million casualties in the American Civil War. This distinction did not exist during the Civil War. The Civil War soldier's chances of not surviving the war was about one in four. The nature of recruitment meant that a battlefield disaster could wreak havoc on the home community. The primitive nature of Civil War medicine, both in its intellectual underpinnings and in its practice in the armies, meant that many wounds and illnesses were unnecessarily fatal. ... Pfc. 63% of Union fatalities were due to disease, 12% due to wounds, 19% of Union deaths were due to death on the battle field. Southerners stood a significantly greater chance of being killed, wounded, or captured. One in thirteen surviving Civil War soldiers returned home missing one or more limbs. Disease killed more people than everything else combined including gunshots, artillery, accidents, drowning, starvation, suicide etc… The worst disease in the Civil War … For example: Who are the missing? Most casualties and deaths in the Civil War were the result of non-combat-related disease. Last updated: May 6, 2015 Deaths among African-American troops have long had a widely accepted numerical accounting, but these numbers, too, Hacker believes, deserve reconfiguring, though no one is quite sure how to do it. Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000. Special Veterans' 1890 Census Lists the veteran's name or widow's name, rank, year of enlistment, and year of discharge. var NetMarketingAdvisers_goal = { id: "1275" }; Civil War Times Editor Dana Shoaf shares the story of how Battery H of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery found itself in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg. The violence in battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River and Gettysburg shocked everyone in the country, both North and South. Mass mourning is never far from the surface of Amer­ican culture, and statistics not only encourage scholarly debate but expose unhealed wounds. US Civil War deaths therefore could range from 617,877 to 851,066, and he settles on an estimate of 750,000 dead. Soldiers went to war with their neighbors and their kin. During the entire Civil War (1861-1865), an estimated 750,000 soldiers died, according to a 2011 study in the journal Civil War History. McPherson, in turn, had a bone to pick with yet another great historian, Mark E. Neely, who once convincingly argued that the Civil War was not a total war in the 20th-century sense. Other Deaths*: Over 165,000, (*Other Deaths include, among others: disease (by far the most common cause of death), accidents, drowning, heat stroke, suicide, murder, execution. In her extraordinary book This Republic of Suf­fering, the historian and president of Harvard University reminded modern readers of post-war America’s obsession with Civil War death and memory. This chart and the one below are based on research done by Provost Marshal General James Fry in 1866. Q. However, combat threw armies into administrative chaos and the accounting done in the hours or days immediately following a battle often raises as many questions as it answers. They were William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore, both veterans of the Union Army. From 1861 to 1865, the Civil War ravaged America. According to Dr. J. David Hacker, the traditional death toll of 620,000—which historians have accepted for more than a century—failed properly to account for several key factors, including the influx of immigrants into the armed forces, not to mention casualties among black women who found themselves victims of the onrush of war. The Civil War was America's bloodiest conflict. Online Civil War Indexes, Records and RostersA Genealogy Guide General Civil War Records Websites. Good question...It comes from the work of two dedicated amateur historians of the late 1800s. Eighteen members of the Christian family of Christianburg, Virginia were killed during the war. American Civil War casualties are those soldiers, both Union and Confederate, who died, were wounded, went missing or were captured. While many still debate the ultimate causes of the Civil War, Pulitzer … Dan Bullock died at age 15 in 1969 and efforts to recognize the young African-American Marine continue and are highlighted in this Military Times documentary. Family members had to come to the battlefield to find their loved ones in the carnage. The major cause of death during the Civil War was disease. Battle Of Shiloh: Over 23,000 casualties In 1864, 200 acres were set aside for Arlington National Cemetery. The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike. Seven Days Battle: Over 35,000 casualties Soldiers suffering from what we would now recognize as post-traumatic stress disorder were uncatalogued and uncared for. Drew Gilpin Faust was right. Southerners also stood a significantly greater chance of being killed, wounded, or captured. A "casualty" is a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, capture, or through being missing in action. Estimates of Confederate casualties (killed, wounded, and missing) during the Civil War range from 335,000 to 450,000 and even higher. Battle Of The Wilderness: Over 24,000 casualties The distinguished Civil War historian James McPherson has estimated that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, and has concluded that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. Of the 462,634 Confederate soldiers captured 247,769 were paroled on the field and 25,976 died in prison. (Library of Congress), The average Civil War soldier was 26 years old, weighing 143 pounds and standing 5'8" tall. There were no national cemeteries, no burial details, and no messengers of loss. The Civil War Trust does not agree with this claim. (See article below), Combat Deaths: Over 110,000 More men’s lives were lost in the Civil War than in World War I and World War II combined. Harold Holzer is chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. Enter your search term (such as a surname) in the box and press Enter to see the first "hit." The Union side suffered more than 350,000 deaths, both battle and non-battle related. VIDEO: Battery H Of The 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery At Gettysburg, Dan Bullock: The youngest American killed in the Vietnam War, How a Dentist Developed a Clever, but Flawed, System for Discharging Firearms. There were an estimated 1.5 million casualties reported during the Civil War. According to “The Impact of Disease on the Civil War” by Intisar K Hamidullah, 3/5 Union troops died of diseases. It is estimated that one in three Southern households lost at least one family member. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. The numbers of Civil War dead were not equaled by the combined toll of other American conflicts until the War in Vietnam. For every three soldiers killed in battle, five more died of disease. Description Index of soldiers who served in the Civil War, 1861-1865 culled from 6.3 million soldier records in the General Index Cards to the Compiled Military Service Records in the National Archives. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to preserve this irreplaceable twice-hallowed ground at Gaines' Mill and Cold Harbor — forever. Taken as a percentage of today's population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls. A basic definition of fatality is any combatant who dies during the war, including killed in action, mortally wounded, died of disease, accidental death, and deaths from all other causes, including suicide. Rank War Years Deaths 1: World War II: 1941–45: 291,557 2: American Civil War: 1861–65: … Battle Of Fredericksburg: Over 18,000 casualties A wholly accurate count will almost certainly never be made. Pre-war jobs on farms or in factories became impossible or nearly so. Casualty lists gives the number of men in a unit who were killed, wounded, or went missing in an engagement. There were a whole host of Civil War diseases during the American Civil War. Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000. https://www.thoughtco.com/ten-bloodiest-civil-war-battles-104527 The difference represents the number of young people who died in the intervening decade, and Hacker took an educated stab, based on a shrewd reading of regional loyalties, at determining how many of them likely perished on the battlefield and not home peacefully in bed. Other Deaths*: Over 250,000, Combat Deaths: Over 95,000 For one thing, apparently, the reunited country’s 1870 census was something of a hash, with a level of undercounting that made the complaints around our recent 2010 census seem mild by comparison. In practice, officers would usually be responsible for recording casualties that occurred within their commands. The 24th Michigan squared off against the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg and lost 362 out of 496 men. Free Pennsylvania Civil War rosters, histories, draft lists, biographies, letters, diaries, & Medal of Honor Recipients. Recruitment was highly localized throughout the war. Hundreds of thousands died of disease. The Battle of Gettysburg left approximately 7,000 corpses in the fields around the town. Union medical care, he further points out, was far superior to Confederate—and more Johnny Rebs might have died of disease than Billy Yanks. Even with close to total conscription, the South could not match the North's numerical strength. Civil War Casualties: The Numbers. Approximately one in four soldiers that went to war never returned home. These numbers usually include the deaths of military personnel which are the direct results of battle or other military wartime actions, as well as the wartime/war-related deaths of soldiers which are the results of war-induced epidemics, famines, atrocities, genocide, etc. Donate today to preserve Civil War battlefields and the nation’s history for generations to come. The VA estimates around 2.2 million Union combatants. Compiling casualty figures for Civil War soldiers is a complex process. His estimates for Southern states were based on Confederate muster rolls--many of which were destroyed before he began his study--and many historians have disputed the results. Likewise, 2/3 Confederate troops died of infection. 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