Casualties of The Civil War.

   Lesser battles are famous for their casualties.

   At Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864, General Hood's Confederate lost over 6,000 of 21,000 effectives -most of them in about two hours. Six Confederate Generals died there.

   Hood lost about 8,000 men in his assault before Atlanta, July 22, 1864; Sherman's Union forces lost about 3,800.

   The small battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861, was typical of the savagery of much of the war's fighting. The Union force of 5,400 men lost over 1,200; the Confederates, over 11,000 strong, lost about the same number.

   The first battle of Manassas/Bull Run, though famous as the first large engagement, was relatively light in cost: 2,708 for the Union, 1,981 for the Confederates.

    The casualty rolls struck home to families and regiments.

   The Confederate General, John B. Gordon, cited the case of the Christian family, of Christiansburg, Virginia, which suffered eighteen dead in the war.

   The 1st. Maine Heavy Artillery, in a charge at Petersburg, Virginia, June 18, 1864, sustained a "record" loss of the war - 635 of its 900 men within seven minutes.

   Another challenger is the 26th. North Carolina, which lost 714, of its 800 men at Gettysburg -in numbers and percentage the war's greatest losses. On the first day this regiment lost 584 dead and wounded, and when roll was called the next morning for G Company, one man answered, and he had been knocked unconscious by a shell burst the day before. This roll was called by a sergeant who lay on a stretcher with a severe leg wound.

   The 24th. Michigan, a gallant Federal regiment which was in front of the North Carolinians on the first day, lost 362 of its 496 men.

   More than 3,000 horses were killed at Gettysburg, and one artillery battalion, the 9th. Massachusetts, lost 80 of its 88 animals in the Trostle farmyard.

   A brigade from Vermont lost 1,645 of its 2,100 men during a week of fighting in the Wilderness.

   The Irish Brigade, Union, had a total number of 7,000 during the war, and returned to New York in 1865 with 1,000. One company was down to seven men. The 69th. New York of this brigade lost 16 of 19 officers, and had 75% casualties among enlisted men.

   In the Irish Brigade, Confederate, from Louisiana, Company A dwindled from   men to 3 men and a officer in March, 1865. Company B went from 100 men to 2 men.

   Experts have pointed out that the famed Light Brigade at Balaklava lost only 36.7% of its men, and that at least 63 Union regiments suffered losses of more than half their strength, including the well known Iron Brigade (886 of 1,538 engaged).

   Many terrible casualty tolls were incurred in single engagements, like that of the Polish Regiment of Louisiana at Frayser's Farm during the Seven Days, where the outfit was cut to pieces and had to be consolidated with the 20th. Louisiana. In this action one company of the Poles lost 33 of 42 men.

   One authority reports that of 3,530 Indians who fought for the Union, 1,018 were killed, a phenomenally high rate. Of 178,975 Negro Union troops, this expert says, over 36,00 died.

Some regimental losses in battle:

Regiment Battle Strength Per. Cent
1st. Texas, CSA Antietam 226 82.30%
1st. Minnesota, US Gettysburg 262 82%
21st. Georgia, CSA Manassas 242 76%
141st. Pennsylvania, US Gettysburg 198 75.70%
101st. New York, US Manassas 168 73.80%
6th. Mississippi, CSA Shiloh 425 70.50%
25th. Massachusetts, US Cold Harbor 310 70%
36th. Wisconsin, US Bethesda Church 240 69%
20th. Massachusetts, US Fredericksburg 238 68.40%
8th. Tennessee, CSA Stone's River 444 68.70%
10th. Tennessee, CSA Chickamauga 328 68%
8th. Vermont, US Cedar Creek 156 67.90%
Palmetto Sharpshooters, CSA Frayser's Farm 215 67.70%
81st. Pennsylvania, US Fredericksburg 261 67.40%

   Scores of other regiments on both sides registered losses in single engagements of above 50%.

(Last Updated: 11/09/2010)

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