An 1889 study by Thomas L. Livermore and William F. Fox placed the number of fatalities from not only combat, but also disease, starvation and accidents on around 620,000. This number represented around 360,000 from the Union (North) and 260,000 from the Confederates. A new study by J. David Hacker however suggests that they were wrong by over 20%, and that the total figure should be closer to 750,000.
How Many Died in Battle?
According to estimates, for every three soldiers that were killed during battle, five more passed away from disease. Hygiene wasn't very good in the army camps and medicine practices very primitive. Many illnesses and wounds that are considered minor in modern day, caused American soldiers to die back then.
Impact on the Homefront
Recruitment for the Civil War was very localized, large armies were often all from a couple of adjacent counties. This means men used to go to war with their brothers, cousins and neighbors. Needless to say, disaster on the battlefield had devastating effects at home, as most men from the same community would be wiped out. Only one in four of all soldiers that went to war would return home, and one in thirteen came back missing limbs, making it hard to do a job or function in society.
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