Friday, June 24, 2011

Statistics from the Civil War

Interesting statistics from the Civil War, startling even, at least to me.  Stephen Ambrose, in his book To America, Personal Reflections of a Historian, provides the following statistics:  "...for the Confederacy 94,000 battle deaths, 164,000 killed by disease, and 194,000 wounded; for the Union, 110,000 battle deaths, another 225,000 deaths by disease, and 275,000 wounded."   I had just assumed that the South bore the brunt of casualties from the war.  Just in my family of ancestors, there was a great-great grandfather who died during the war, Jesse Potts (disease, Richmond VA), another was wounded at the Battle of Corinth (George Emerson Robinson), and W. T. Bishop, my great-great-great grandfather, spent two years as a prisoner of war in various Union prison camps as one of the Immortal 600.   I figure that most everyone in the South can claim ancestors who were Confederate casualties of the War Between the States; it just never really occurred to me that likewise, my Northern counterparts could claim a similar number of ancestors with casualties from the War, if not more.   In the South, we've probably overdone the memorializing of the war dead while in the North, there has been too little recognition of the soldiers who fought to keep our country united.  

I'm enjoying Ambrose's book, which was published the same year he died, 2002.  You may remember that he wrote Band of Brothers, and is largely responsible for the D-Day Museum (now World War II Museum) being located in New Orleans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since you frequently visit New Orleans, can you tell the rest of us if the "WWII Museum" has re-opened? We had a trip planned to visit the Museum after we had been in the one in Santa Fe, NM in 2002 which is dedicated mostly to the War in the Pacific, but Hurrican Katrina flooded New Orleans. We heard that the Ambrose backed museum was devastated and nothing has enticed us again!

I'm not sure which side of families "of the South" lost more to the Civil War - since so many families moved north during their faith in the Union was stronger than that for the newly formed government for the South.

When I got interested in genealogy I learned of the names who gave their lives to protect the belief of many proud southerners! My GGgrandfather, 1st Lt. George B. Dyer died at Ft. Donelson, TN with the surnames of Stone, Shotts, Wigginton, Summerford and possibly Clay or maybe a widowed Wigginton or Summerford only married a Clay!

I can remember when I thought the Civil War was much "further back down the road" - and suddenly as I near my 80th year, it doesn't seem all that long ago. Thank you for making history so much more interesting! bettye