|Civil War Casualties (war related deaths)
|(Graph indicates killed only) Civil War was the bloodiest and deadliest war in American history
(The American Civil War accounted for more deaths or killed [casualties] than
all other U.S. wars combined.)
|Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
|Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics : Killed, Dead, Wounded
three-and-a-half million men fought in the American Civil War and approximately 620,000 perished, which is
more than all of America's combined combat fatalities.
There are various
reasons why there is not an exact fatality and casualty count for the American Civil War: incomplete, inaccurate, and
destroyed records; casualty exaggerations; several died from disease after the war; missing-in-action (MIA), which is an implication
since the soldier may have deserted, been captured, or been completely blown to pieces in battle. The general consensus
(best estimates) is 618,000 to 700,000 fatalities. Sadly, however, there is
no record or research tracking and studying how many wounded and diseased soldiers died during what is commonly referred to
as the "Aftermath."
and Napoleonic Linear Tactics, consequently, were the contributing factors for
the high casualties during the American Civil War. (See Total Union and Confederate Civil War Killed and Mortally Wounded (Dead),
With Numbers for Each Northern and Southern State.)
The tendency to exaggerate enemy desertions and casualties, while minimizing their own, was characteristic of Union
and Confederate armies in their respective reports of the many skirmishes and battles of the American Civil War. Each
side was also eager to enhance its own morale by writing favorable reports. According to Lt. Col. Walter Clark's Regiments: An Extended Index to the Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from
North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865, p. 5: "The majority of troop rosters and official military records
had been forcibly confiscated by Lincoln’s hordes or wantonly destroyed.”
Not Equal Dead
include three categories: 1) dead (aka fatalities, killed-in-action and mortally wounded); 2) wounded; and 3) missing
or captured. In general terms, casualties of Civil War battles included 20% dead and 80% wounded. Of the soldiers who were
wounded, about one out of seven died from his wounds. Over 2/3 of the estimated 620,000 men who gave their lives in the Civil
War died from disease, not from battle.
When one totals
the Americans that died in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican American War, Spanish American War, World War
One, World War Two, Korean War and Vietnam War, it is less than the total American Civil War casualties.
(See Civil War Killed : A History.)
Battle Deaths: 110,070
Disease, etc.: 250,152
Total Deaths: 360,222
Confederate Estimated Losses (Fatalities):
Battle Deaths: 94,000
Disease, etc.: 164,000
Total Deaths: 258,000
|Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
|American Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
|Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
|Killed, Dead, Deaths, Died, Wounded = Casualties
Recommended Reading: The
History Buff's Guide to the Civil War (512 pages). Description: Exploring
the Civil War can be fascinating, but with so many battles, leaders, issues, and more than 50,000 books on these subjects,
the task can also be overwhelming. Was Gettysburg the most important battle? Were Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis so different
from each other? How accurate is re-enacting? Who were the worst commanding generals? Thomas R. Flagel uses annotated lists
organized under more than thirty headings to see through the powder smoke and straighten Sherman’s neckties, ranking
and clarifying the best, the worst, the largest, and the most lethal aspects of the conflict. Continued below...
Major sections are fashioned around the following topics:
• Antebellum: Investigates the critical years before the war, in particular
the growing crises, extremists, and slavery.
• Politics: Contrasts the respective presidents and constitutions
of the Union and Confederacy, the most prominent politicians, and the most volatile issues of the times.
• Military Life: Offers insights into the world of the common soldiers,
how they fought, what they ate, how they were organized, what they saw, how they lived, and how they died.
• The Home Front: Looks at the fastest growing field in Civil War
research, including immigration, societal changes, hardships and shortages, dissent, and violence far from the firing lines.
• In Retrospect: Ranks the heroes and heroines, greatest victories
and failures, firsts and worsts.
• Pursuing the War: Summarizes Civil War study today, including films,
battlefield sites, books, genealogy, re-enactments, restoration, preservation, and other ventures.
From the antebellum years to Appomattox and beyond, The History Buff’s
Guide to the Civil War is a quick and compelling guide to one of the most complex and critical eras in American history.
Total American Civil War Casualties and Fatalities
Recommended Reading: The Civil War Battlefield
Guide: The Definitive Guide, Completely Revised, with New Maps and More Than 300 Additional Battles (Second Edition)
(Hardcover). Description: This new edition of the definitive guide to Civil War battlefields
is really a completely new book. While the first edition covered 60 major battlefields, from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, the
second covers all of the 384 designated as the "principal battlefields" in the
American Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report. Continued below...
As in the first edition, the essays are authoritative and concise, written by such leading Civil War
historians as James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Edwin C. Bearss, James I. Robinson, Jr., and Gary W. Gallager. The second
edition also features 83 new four-color maps covering the most important battles. The Civil War Battlefield
Guide is an essential reference for anyone interested in the Civil War. "Reading
this book is like being at the bloodiest battles of the war..."
Casualties and Statistics for All American Wars and Conflicts
Recommended Reading: This
Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. Publishers Weekly: Battle
is the dramatic centerpiece of Civil War history; this penetrating study looks instead at the somber aftermath. Historian
Faust (Mothers of Invention) notes that the Civil War introduced America to death on an unprecedented scale and of an unnatural
kind—grisly, random and often ending in an unmarked grave far from home. Continued below...
She surveys the many ways the Civil War generation coped with the trauma: the concept of the Good Death—conscious,
composed and at peace with God; the rise of the embalming industry; the sad attempts of the bereaved to get confirmation of
a soldier's death, sometimes years after war's end; the swelling national movement to recover soldiers' remains and give them
decent burials; the intellectual quest to find meaning—or its absence—in the war's carnage. In the process, she
contends, the nation invented the modern culture of reverence for military death and used the fallen to elaborate its new
concern for individual rights. Faust exhumes a wealth of material—condolence letters, funeral sermons, ads for mourning
dresses, poems and stories from Civil War–era writers—to flesh out her lucid account. The result is an insightful,
often moving portrait of a people torn by grief.
Reading: Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War
and Reconstruction (816 pages). Description: Pulitzer Prize winning author,
James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, describes the causes and origins of the Civil War; motivations and experiences of common soldiers
and the role of women; social, economic, political and ideological conflicts; as well as a comprehensive study of the Reconstruction
Era and its consequences. Continued below...
Professor McPherson also includes many visual aids such as detailed maps and comprehensive charts. Well
received by pro-North buffs, but may be a bit to swallow by the Civil War buff that is looking for the well-balanced, non-biased,
research. McPherson is rather present in his work, which often clouds the sky of fairness, balance, and objectivity. However,
it should be read by anyone interested in the Civil War or War of Northern Aggression because it does allow each
individual an opportunity to formulate whether or not McPherson is correct in each point.
American Deaths in All Wars
The following numbers reflect deaths (excluding wounded and missing):
Source: U.S. Army Military
History Institute, Carlisle, PA
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
|War of 1812 (1812-1815)
|Mexican War (1846-1848)
|Civil War (1861-1865)
|Spanish-American War (1898)
|World War I (1917-1918)
|World War II (1941-1945)
|Korean War (1950-1953)
|Vietnam War (1964-1973)
|Persian Gulf War (1991)
North Carolina War Deaths
The following numbers reflect deaths (excluding wounded and missing)
Source: North Carolina Museum of History
|World War I
|World War II
Recommended Reading: Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War,
by Edwin C. Bearss (Author), James McPherson (Introduction). Description: Bearss, a former chief historian of the National Parks Service and internationally
recognized American Civil War historian, chronicles 14 crucial battles, including Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg,
Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Sherman's march through the Carolinas, and Appomattox--the battles ranging between 1861 and 1865;
included is an introductory chapter describing John Brown's raid in October 1859. Bearss describes the terrain, tactics, strategies, personalities, the soldiers and the commanders.
(He personalizes the generals and politicians, sergeants and privates.) Continued below...
The text is augmented by 80 black-and-white photographs and 19 maps. It is like touring the battlefields
without leaving home. A must for every one of America's countless Civil War buffs,
this major work will stand as an important reference and enduring legacy of a great historian for generations to come. Also
available in hardcover: Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War.
Reading: The Gallant Dead: Union and Confederate Generals Killed in the Civil War (Hardcover). Description: More than 400 Confederate and 580 Union soldiers advanced to the rank of general during the course of
the Civil War. (More than 1 in 10 would die.) A total of 124 generals died--78 for the South and 46 for the North.
stories into a seamless narrative of the entire conflict, Derek Smith paints a fascinating and often moving portrait of the
final moments of some of the finest American warriors in history, including Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, Jeb
Stuart, James B. McPherson, John Reynolds, and numerous others.
Sources: Fox's Regimental Losses; United States Department
of Veterans Affairs; Library of Congress: American War Casualty
Lists and Statistics; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; National Park Service