Friday, June 28, 2013

Civil War Dead: The Gettysburg Casualties

One must look hard at Civil War casualties to get the full realization of the devastating loss of human life over the course of the 4-year conflict. There were over 1,000,000. casualties (dead, wounded, missing) on both sides and this represented 8% of the population at the time.
Of the 620,000 men who perished in the war, more than two-thirds were by disease. The number of Civil War dead amounted to more American deaths than in all other American conflicts combined. Roughly 8% of the white population aged 13-43 died in the war.
The Gettysburg casualties were nothing short of catastrophic and it survives to this day as the bloodiest engagement ever fought by Americans.
51,000 would be dead, wounded or missing at the end of the 3-day battle and the devastation left behind in the small Pennsylvania town was almost too much to bear for the local population.
Thousands of men and horse carcasses lay roasting in the summer heat and the grisly job of burying the dead fell upon civilians and contractors hired for the grim task.
The Civil War casualties were devastating beyond comprehension and it would take many years for the country to recover from the loss of so many young lives.


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