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The Civil battle was America"s bloodiest conflict. The extraordinary violence of war such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and also international observers alike. Practically as numerous men died in captivity during the Civil war as were killed in the entirety of the Vietnam War. Hundreds of thousands died of disease. Approximately 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their resides in the heat of duty. Taken as a percent of today"s population, the toll would have actually risen as high as 6 million souls.

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The numbers Illustrated

The human cost of the Civil war was past anybody"s expectations. The young country experienced bloodshed that a magnitude that has actually not to be equaled because by any type of other American conflict. 

Military Losses in American Wars


The number of Civil war dead were not equaled by the linked toll of various other American conflicts until the war in Vietnam. Some believe the number is as high together 850,000. The American Battlefield Trust does not agree through this claim.

Civil War battle Casualties

more American soldiers came to be casualties in ~ the battle of Gettysburg than in the Revolutionary War and War the 1812 combined.


New military modern technology combined with old-fashioned tactical doctrine to develop a range of fight casualties unmatched in American history.

Civil War service by Population

also with nearby to full conscription, the South could not complement the North"s number strength. Southerners was standing a considerably greater possibility of gift killed, wounded, or captured.


Even v close to full conscription, the South can not enhance the North"s number strength. Southerners likewise stood a significantly greater chance of gift killed, wounded, or captured.

Confederate military Deaths by State

This chart and also the one below are based on research excellent by Provost Marshal basic James fry in 1866. His estimates were based upon Confederate muster rolls--many that which were destroyed before he started his study--and numerous historians have discussed the results. The approximates for Virginia, north Carolina, Alabama, southern Carolina, and also Arkansas have actually been updated to reflect an ext recent scholarship.


This chart and the one below are based upon research excellent by Provost Marshal general James fried food in 1866. His estimates for Southern states were based upon Confederate muster rolls--many the which to be destroyed before he started his study--and many historians have questioned the results. The approximates for Virginia, phibìc Carolina, Alabama, southern Carolina, and also Arkansas have actually been updated to reflect more recent scholarship. 

Union armed forces Deaths by State

offered the fairly complete preservation of north records, Fry"s check of Union deaths is far much more accurate 보다 his job-related in the South. Keep in mind the mortal risk that soldiers faced from disease.


Given the reasonably complete conservation of northern records, Fry"s examination of Union deaths is far an ext accurate 보다 his work-related in the South. Note the mortal risk that soldiers faced from disease.

Casualties that War

There were an approximated 1.5 million casualties reported during the civil War.

A "casualty" is a military human being lost with death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, capture, or with being lacking in action. "Casualty" and "fatality" are not interchangeable terms--death is only among the ways that a soldier can come to be a casualty. In practice, police officers would usually be responsible for recording casualties that developed within their commands. If a soldier to be unable come perform basic duties because of one of the over conditions, the soldier would be considered a casualty. This way that one soldier might be marked as a casualty several times transparent the course of the war.

Most casualties and also deaths in the Civil battle were the an outcome of non-combat-related disease. Because that every 3 soldiers eliminated in battle, five more died of disease. The primitive nature of Civil war medicine, both in its intellectual underpinnings and also in its exercise in the armies, supposed that numerous wounds and also illnesses were unnecessarily fatal. 

Our modern-day conception the casualties includes those who have actually been psychologically damaged by warfare. This distinction did no exist throughout the polite War. Soldiers experiencing from what us would currently recognize together post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorder to be uncatalogued and also uncared for.


The fight of Gettysburg left around 7,000 corpses in the fields approximately the town. Family members had to concerned the battlefield to discover their love ones in the carnage. (Library that Congress)

Approximately one in four soldiers that checked out war never ever returned home. At the outset of the war, neither army had mechanisms in place to manage the quantity of death that the nation was about to experience. There were no national cemeteries, no interment details, and also no messengers of loss. The largest human catastrophe in American history, the polite War forced the young country to confront death and destruction in a way that has actually not to be equaled prior to or since.

Recruitment was extremely localized throughout the war. Regiments of around one thousand men, the building block of the armies, would regularly be increased from the populace of a few adjacent counties. Soldiers visited war with their neighbors and also their kin. The nature the recruitment intended that a battlefield disaster can wreak havoc on the residence community. 

The 26th phibìc Carolina, hailing from seven counties in the western part of the state, suffered 714 casualties out of 800 men throughout the battle of Gettysburg. The 24th Michigan squared off against the 26th north Carolina at Gettysburg and also lost 362 out of 496 men. Nearly the entire student body of Ole Miss--135 the end 139--enlisted in firm A the the 11th Mississippi. Company A, likewise known as the "University Greys" endured 100% casualties in Pickett"s Charge. Eighteen members of the Christian family of Christianburg, Virginia to be killed during the war. The is estimated that one in three Southern family members lost at the very least one household member.

One in thirteen making it through Civil war soldiers changed home absent one or much more limbs. Pre-war tasks on ranches or in factories ended up being impossible or virtually so. This brought about a rise in awareness of veterans" needs and also increased responsibility and also social power for women. For many, however, there to be no solution. Tens of thousands of households slipped right into destitution.

The academic Challenge

Compiling casualty figures for Civil battle soldiers is a complicated process. Indeed, that is so complicated that also 150 years later on no one has, and also perhaps no one will, assemble a specific, accurate set of numbers, especially on the Confederate side.

A true bookkeeping of the number of men in the militaries can be approached v a testimonial of three main documents: enlistment rolls, muster rolls, and also casualty lists. Following any type of of this investigative techniques one will encounter numerous flaws and inconsistencies--the documents in question are tiny sheets of file generated and also compiled 150 years back by humans in one of the most stressful and also confusing settings to ever before exist. Enlistment train station were collection up in towns and cities across the country, yet for the most part only those stations in significant northern cities have the right to be relied upon to have actually preserved records. Confederate enlistment rolls room virtually non-existent.

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The average Civil war soldier to be 26 years old, weighing 143 pounds and standing 5"8" tall. (Library the Congress)

Muster rolls, produced every couple of months through commanding officers, list soldiers in their respective units together "present" or "absent." This gives a sort of snapshot of the unit"s ingredient in a certain time and also place. Overlooking the typical misspelling of names and general lack of specificity concerning the problem of a "present" or "absent" soldier, muster rolls provide a an useful look right into the past. Unfortunately, these little pieces of record were commonly transported by mule in the rear of a fighting army. Their conservation was adversely influenced by rain, river crossings, clerical errors, and also cavalry raids.

Casualty lists gives the variety of men in a unit that were killed, wounded, or went absent in one engagement. However, combat threw militaries into bureaucratic chaos and also the bookkeeping done in the hrs or days instantly following a fight often raises as numerous questions together it answers. Because that example: Who room the missing? Weren"t numerous of this soldiers killed and not found? What, exactly, qualifies a wound and did armies account because that this the exact same way? What ended up being of hurt soldiers? walk they rejoin their unit; did they return home; walk they die?

A wholly accurate count will nearly certainly never ever be made. The impacts of this devastating problem are tho felt today.