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U.S. Civil War Took Bigger Toll Than Previously Estimated
Science Daily ^ | 11/21/2012 | Science Daily

Posted on 04/03/2012 11:07:36 PM PDT by U-238

The Civil War -- already considered the deadliest conflict in American history -- in fact took a toll far more severe than previously estimated. That's what a new analysis of census data by Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker reveals.

Hacker says the war's dead numbered about 750,000, an estimate that's 20 percent higher than the commonly cited figure of 620,000. His findings will be published in December in the journal Civil War History.

"The traditional estimate has become iconic," Hacker says. "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."

The 620,000 estimate, though widely cited, is also widely understood to be flawed. Neither the Union nor the Confederacy kept standardized personnel records. And the traditional estimate of Confederate war dead -- 258,000 -- was based on incomplete battle reports and a crude guess of deaths from disease and other non-combat causes. Although it is impossible to catalogue the fate of each of the 3 million or more men who fought in the war from 1861-65, some researchers have tried to re-count deaths in selected companies, regiments and areas. But Hacker says these attempts at a direct count will always miss people and therefore always underestimate deaths.

"There are also huge problems estimating mortality with census data," Hacker explains.

(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: americancivilwar; civilwar; confederacy; godsgravesglyphs; greatestpresident; history; militaryhistory; union; uscivilwar; warbetweenstates; warbetweenthestates
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1 posted on 04/03/2012 11:07:39 PM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238

There were over 23,000 casualties at the Battle of Shiloh, which will have been fought 150 years ago this Friday.


2 posted on 04/03/2012 11:17:52 PM PDT by abishai
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To: abishai
I know hated Bill O'Reilly is, but "Killing Lincoln" is a terrific read. I had no idea of the behind the scenes problems that led directly to the South's loss.

In the end, it actually seems to have come down to starvation. Lee was "smarter" as a General than Grant, but Grant was able to cut off supplies so that Lee literally couldn't feed his men.

Game over after that.

3 posted on 04/03/2012 11:40:02 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: boop
Grant was able to cut off supplies so that Lee literally couldn't feed his men.

The ancient Romans were well supplied with food which they brought in by ship and road. The armies they fought often scavenged the land. The Romans would gather up all the local crop output into their fortified positions and their opponents would begin to starve, which brought on illness, which brought on defeat.

Nothing new here.

4 posted on 04/03/2012 11:51:44 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I tried to buy a hoodie today but the store manager said they had all been shoplifted.)
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To: boop

Battles are won by soldiers.

Wars are won by logistics.


5 posted on 04/04/2012 12:13:23 AM PDT by volunbeer (Don't worry America, our kids can pay for it!)
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To: volunbeer

Good Point


6 posted on 04/04/2012 12:14:48 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238
What really struck me by the book was how Lee KNEW what Grant was doing before Grant actually did it. Lee just couldn't fix the problem.

History is so fascinating. Grant was a sloppy lieutenant under Lee at one point well before the war. Lee "corrected" Grant. Grant never forgot his humiliation. Lee didn't remember the incident.

Revenge must have been sweet for Ulysses.

7 posted on 04/04/2012 12:35:14 AM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: U-238

The second one will really be a bitch.


8 posted on 04/04/2012 12:37:45 AM PDT by BigCinBigD
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To: boop

I still think that Lee was one of the best generals in Western history but lacked the resources the North had. He inspired his men to fight, they stuck with him, even when they were starving and barefoot,and even where there no hope of victory.


9 posted on 04/04/2012 12:45:44 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238
From Wiki:

Based on 1860 census figures, about 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including about 6% in the North and approximately 18% in the South,[43]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States#Civil_War

10 posted on 04/04/2012 12:49:07 AM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Ken H

Thanks for the statistic. Just imagine losing 20 percent of the population in the South.Its staggering.


11 posted on 04/04/2012 12:50:57 AM PDT by U-238
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To: Ken H

The percentages in my previous post were based on the 620,000 figure.


12 posted on 04/04/2012 12:53:14 AM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Ken H

The numbers are still staggering. That is a huge number. The loss took decades for the South to recover.


13 posted on 04/04/2012 12:55:28 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238
Agree. Lee was a genius, who anticpated what the North would do. He just didn't have the resources. Gave me a whole new appreciation for what he COULD have done.

If he had the abilty, the Confederacy could have conceivably won.

But that's another argument for another day.

14 posted on 04/04/2012 1:15:54 AM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: BigCinBigD

Liberals won’t be hard to defeat though. Their fighting tactics are limited to defecating on cop cars and breaking the window of a Starbucks.


15 posted on 04/04/2012 1:16:02 AM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Someday our schools will teach the difference between lose and loose.)
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To: boop

If Judah Benjamin was able to convince the British and French to send troops to join the Confederacy, things would have been totally different. Lee might have taken the North


16 posted on 04/04/2012 1:24:09 AM PDT by U-238
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To: Ken H; U-238
Reminds me of when John Bell Hood was trying to get in a short breakfast after counter-attacking Joe Hooker in the Antietam cornfield, and suffering horrible casualties doing so.

Shanks Evans asks him where all his men were.

Hood points toward the front, "Dead in the field."

17 posted on 04/04/2012 1:28:34 AM PDT by abishai
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To: abishai

Antietam was the bloodiest single day battle in American history .Over 23,000 casualities on both sides.More Americans died on September 17, 1862, than on any other day in the nation’s military.


18 posted on 04/04/2012 1:34:38 AM PDT by U-238
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To: abishai

McClellan deserved to be relived of his duties after the battle.


19 posted on 04/04/2012 1:39:14 AM PDT by U-238
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To: boop

Grant was a humble man who didn’t have a vengeful nature.


20 posted on 04/04/2012 1:40:28 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!-Sam Adams)
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To: fortheDeclaration

Grant was also a drunk.


21 posted on 04/04/2012 1:41:07 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238

My Great X 3 grandfather fought at Bloody Lane with the 4th North Carolina under DH Hill there. Almost had a near disaster when the sunken lane got flanked and the Confederates were mercilessly cut down in droves.


22 posted on 04/04/2012 1:42:59 AM PDT by abishai
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To: abishai

I bet its great to say to your friends that you had a relative who fought in the Civil War.


23 posted on 04/04/2012 1:44:57 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238
Grant had a drinking problem but handled it while he was general.

When Lincoln was told about the problem, Lincoln said, I can't spare him, he fights'.

Grant was a great general.

24 posted on 04/04/2012 1:45:25 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!-Sam Adams)
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To: U-238
"Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals."

Abraham Lincoln

25 posted on 04/04/2012 1:45:55 AM PDT by abishai
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To: fortheDeclaration

Not as great as Lee. Lee was the best military tactician in Western history.


26 posted on 04/04/2012 1:46:50 AM PDT by U-238
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To: U-238
Not sure. If people do their homework, a great deal of them can trace a family line or two back to the founding of America or even to royalty. Just go around 7 generations back and your related to 32 different families, and that number doubles with each generation.

IIRC around 20% of Americans are direct descendants of royalty.

27 posted on 04/04/2012 1:59:06 AM PDT by abishai
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To: U-238

Possibly. But he was also extremely lucky in his opponents up to Meade and Grant.

Just ask yourself what would have happened at Chancellorsville or Antietam had he faced Grant.

At Chancellorsville Grant would have counter-attacked, as he did at Shiloh after a similar initial clobbering.

At Antietam he would never have fed his men in a little at a time and he would have got them all into the battle. He would also never have let Lee get away without another battle.


28 posted on 04/04/2012 2:10:56 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
At Chancellorsville Grant would have counter-attacked, as he did at Shiloh after a similar initial clobbering.

Yet if Lee was the one attacking Grant at Shiloh, do you think Grant would have been given the oppurtunity to counter-attack?

29 posted on 04/04/2012 2:20:56 AM PDT by abishai
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To: U-238

You are aware that casualties are different from deaths?

Total dead at Antietam was about 3500. I have no idea if this is the most in a single day for American troops, but it’s not a whole lot more than died on 9/11. Pearl Harbor was 2500.

Most troops dead during the war died from disease, 2x to 3x those who died as a result of combat. Most troops were farmboys. Bring them all together in unsanitary conditions and they all swapped diseases and a whole bunch died. Many regiments lost over 50% before they saw combat.

Which means we consistently under-estimate the violence of recent US wars. To a very considerable extent the lower death rate recently measures not the intensity of combat but better medical care.

Same is true of the murder rate. Recent declines are at least as much due to better emergency care as to less violence.


30 posted on 04/04/2012 2:24:40 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Ken H

FWIW, about the same time the nation of Paraguay lost 60% to 70% of its total population in a six year war. Around 85% of adult males.


31 posted on 04/04/2012 2:32:43 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: U-238

The correct date of the article is Sep. 21, 2011.


32 posted on 04/04/2012 3:02:51 AM PDT by iowamark (The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves)
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To: U-238

Grant may have gotten drunk a time or two but his bosses/Generals over him were far greater liars and back stabbers then Grant ever was a drunk. Most of the rumors about grant being a drunk were lies. Eventually those back stabbing political Generals over Grant were fired or knock down the ladder a few rings.


33 posted on 04/04/2012 3:09:15 AM PDT by ReformedBeckite (1 of 3 I'm only allowing my self each day)
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To: boop

In the end, it actually seems to have come down to starvation. Lee was “smarter” as a General than Grant,

Smarter... really??? That whole Pickett’s Charge idea was a real stroke of genius/sarc

The guy was a traitor.


34 posted on 04/04/2012 3:36:19 AM PDT by stevecmd
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To: boop

In the end, it actually seems to have come down to starvation. Lee was “smarter” as a General than Grant,

Smarter... really??? That whole Pickett’s Charge idea was a real stroke of genius/sarc

The guy was a traitor.


35 posted on 04/04/2012 3:36:35 AM PDT by stevecmd
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To: stevecmd

Lee had Pickett’s Charge but Grant had The Crater and Cold Harbor.


36 posted on 04/04/2012 3:41:51 AM PDT by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: U-238

Is it unusual elsewhere? I don’t think I knew anybody well who didn’t while growing up. All said, I’ve got over 120. One 2nd great uncle refused the oath, became an outlaw and disappeared out west.


37 posted on 04/04/2012 3:43:02 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: boop

“Lee was “smarter” as a General than Grant, but Grant was able to cut off supplies so that Lee literally couldn’t feed his men.”

Grant could also replace his losses with immigration, while the South couldn’t; when the Union realized this, they stopped prisoner exchanges.


38 posted on 04/04/2012 3:58:43 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: fortheDeclaration

“Grant was a great general.”

I like Grant, but the fact is that he sacrificed huge numbers of troops in ways the Confederacy could never afford to (and he knew it) to win the war. McClellan was replaced because he didn’t have the heart to do that.


39 posted on 04/04/2012 4:02:46 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: U-238

Just think, if not for the Civil War we would’t be rich in diversity with the likes of the Black Caucus, Black Panthers, Al Sharpton...


40 posted on 04/04/2012 4:03:09 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: abishai

I suppose the country lying between Corinth and Pittsburg Landing could boast a few inhabitants other than alligators. What manner of people they were it is impossible to say, inasmuch as the fighting dispersed, or possibly exterminated them; perhaps in merely classing them as non-saurian I shall describe them with sufficient particularity and at the same time avert from myself the natural suspicion attaching to a writer who points out to persons who do not know him the peculiarities of persons whom he does not know. One thing, however, I hope I may without offense affirm of these swamp-dwellers - they were pious. To what deity their veneration was given - whether, like the Egyptians, they worshiped the crocodile, or, like other Americans, adored themselves, I do not presume to guess. But whoever, or whatever, may have been the divinity whose ends they shaped, unto Him, or It, they had builded a temple. This humble edifice, centrally situated in the heart of a solitude, and conveniently accessible to the supersylvan crow, had been christened Shiloh Chapel, whence the name of the battle. The fact of a Christian church - assuming it to have been a Christian church - giving name to a wholesale cutting of Christian throats by Christian hands need not be dwelt on here; the frequency of its recurrence in the history of our species has somewhat abated the moral interest that would otherwise attach to it.

-What I Saw of Shiloh, by Ambrose Beirce

Could be the defining example of “the fog of battle”.

http://www.online-literature.com/poe/2037/


41 posted on 04/04/2012 4:04:42 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets ("Jihad" is Arabic for "Helter-Skelter", "bin Laden" is Arabic for "Manson".)
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To: volunbeer; U-238
Battles are won by soldiers. Wars are won by logistics.
. . . a point that was made in
Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution
Nathaniel Greene was a Washington loyalist, and Washington relied on Greene’s logistical skills. Which meant that Greene wasn’t in position to earn glory in the field (ultimately, however, Greene was sent to the South when it looked like the British were going to roll up the revolutionary cause from the South up. Starting from a very weak posture, Greene managed to get Cornwallis into a defensive position and in need of resupply, at Yorktown).

42 posted on 04/04/2012 4:06:41 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: U-238

I think the real loss is even greater. Many didn’t die in the war but had considerably shortened life spans due to wounds and deprivations of the war. My great great grandfather never recovered from wounds and disease but died several years after the war ended.


43 posted on 04/04/2012 4:06:56 AM PDT by Himyar
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To: U-238

To understand pacificism in Western Europe, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 Britain had nearly 60,000 casualties (of whom 20,000 were killed). In one day.

The troops didn’t know it at the time, but the French were about to lose Verdun (which may have taken them out of the war if breached); they relayed this to the British, who sent their troops over the top to draw German troops away from Verdun. By the end of the day, the British weren’t even running towards the German trenches any more; they simply walked towards them and were mowed down by machine guns.

25 years later they were asked to do it again, and much of Europe said “no thanks”; they realized all those men lost in the “war to end all wars” had died for nothing. It has given them a healthy skepticism that holds their governments much more accountable to their populations than we have here.


44 posted on 04/04/2012 4:09:03 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: volunbeer

The North grew economically much more than the South did during the 1850s. There’s your logistic problem, right there.


45 posted on 04/04/2012 4:11:36 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: nonliberal
..and Grant barely got out of Belmont alive.

He was unforgivably caught unaware at Shiloh

Bragg should have been shot for practically giving Grant Missionary Ridge

Grant lost BOTH flanks in the Wilderness...

But his saving grace was that Lincoln had his back

46 posted on 04/04/2012 4:20:37 AM PDT by abishai
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To: Himyar

My G-G Grandfather fought in Mississippi with thue 16th SC Volunteers (there was nothing “voluntary” about it. LOL). I have tried to find where he is buried to no avail. His last muster roll slip says “Sick in hospital-Corinth, MS.
Family legend says that he came home and died and was buried around here, but he is not with his wife in the family plot.
I always wondered if he had been counted among the dead.


47 posted on 04/04/2012 4:29:47 AM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: U-238
Grant was also a drunk.

That's a tricky question, but Grant didn't have a typical alcoholic pattern. He never drank when anything was going on. No drinking in inappropriate times and places. No drinking under pressure. It was a hard-drinking age, and the stories of Grant's drinking presumably had some basis in fact, but the stories were also all rumor and innuendo, mostly hearsay and mainly spread by people who had personal scores to settle. Grant continued to drink socially throughout his life after the war without any significant incident; he authored a minor literary classic, a model of clarity and precision, as he was dying of cancer; and he had an exemplary marriage and family life. This is not the pattern of a typical drunk.

One of the historians -- I think it may have been Shelby Foote -- concluded that Grant probably got drunk easily and had some accidents along the way, but that he was not a drunk. His Old Army reputation for drinking was based on his period in the Northwest, where by all accounts he terribly missed his wife, fell into what we would today probably diagnose as depression, and self-medicated. The Army was a small, ingrown, and gossipy place, and Grant never outran whatever happened at that time. But that is not the same thing as being alcoholic, which today we undertand as an addiction and view as being chronic and progressive.

Bottom line, if Grant was an alcoholic as we understand the term today, he spent the last 40 years of his life as the greatest dry drunk in U.S. history. But his personal demeanor, family life, and professional bearing don't look like a dry drunk. So I tend to agree with the "sloppy drinker but not a drunk" theory.

P.S. The definitional issue is important here. Most people in the U.S. today drink and are not drunks -- despite the fact that the vast majority of people who drink have an occasional drinking-to-excess episode on their records. If it's with your buddies on a fishing trip and no one falls into the lake and drowns, nothing comes of it. If you kill someone on the highway or humiliate your wife in public or disgrace yourself in front of your boss, it gets more serious. But such an event, however painful, does not necessarily mean you are a drunk. The pattern is the key.

48 posted on 04/04/2012 4:32:09 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: boop

I think that people need to realize that the brilliance of Lee as a general was brought forth precisely because the strategic situation for him was so desperate. He HAD to accept a higher level of risk in his dispositions.

Grant had a similar capacity when you look at his western campaigns. He also knew when to gamble. But the consensus view of Grant as a brute-force general was formed during the Wilderness Campaign & the Seige of Petersburg. It’s a view of Grant that still is with us today.


49 posted on 04/04/2012 4:36:19 AM PDT by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: sphinx
I like Grant's personal story, though. He probably thought he was pretty much finished and washed up, had to borrow money from Buckner just to get home from California after resigning from the military because of rumors. Tried and failed and farming, ending up in a dead end job in his dad's shop in Galena.

Then history steps in.

50 posted on 04/04/2012 4:45:26 AM PDT by abishai
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