April 4, 2012

The Astonishing Toll of the Civil War

A new analysis ups the number of the Civil War dead by 20% , an equivalent to 6.2 million deaths today.

U.S. Civil War Took Bigger Toll Than Previously Estimated, New Analysis Suggests

Historian David Hacker says

"The traditional estimate has become iconic.  It's been quoted for the last hundred years or more. If you go with that total for a minute -- 620,000 -- the number of men dying in the Civil War is more than in all other American wars from the American Revolution through the Korean War combined. And consider that the American population in 1860 was about 31 million people, about one-tenth the size it is today. If the war were fought today, the number of deaths would total 6.2 million."
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Like earlier estimates, Hacker's includes men who died in battle as well as soldiers who died as a result of poor conditions in military camps.

"Roughly two out of three men who died in the war died from disease," Hacker says. "The war took men from all over the country and brought them all together into camps that became very filthy very quickly." Deaths resulted from diarrhea, dysentery, measles, typhoid and malaria, among other illnesses.
Posted by Jill Fallon at April 4, 2012 10:53 AM | Permalink