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Old June 17th, 2006, 04:38 PM   #1
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Most Common Cause Of Death In The Civil War


The most common cause of death in the Civil War was dyssentary. Isn't that sick? Just wondering if anyone else knew this.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #2
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I did not know that, but it's not too surprising to hear. My first guess would have been gunshot wounds as being the number 1 cause of detah in the Civil War.

But I'm sure soldiers never got to eat properly and were forced to eat raw meats and stuff that would make them sick to the stomach.

What a way to go though
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #3
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did more people die from infections and disease then they did in battle?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #4
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That's something I actually did know.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Yes, it was disease in general. Mainly infections, I know that at least 90% of them were preventable.

It wasn't until much later was it discovered that germs caused sickness. Once that was known, everything was sanatized, and health was much improved.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 04:47 PM   #6
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Lpspider is right. For every one man killed in combat, 2 died from diseases. The main cause for this is that many of the men fighting in the war, both North and South, were farm boys who had never been around large groups of people at one time before. So, because of this they contracted diseases they had never been exposed to and were able to spread them quickly through out the camps.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: Most Common Cause Of Death In The Civil War


An estimate states that for every man killed in battle there was four who died of disease and dysentary.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #8

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Re: Most Common Cause Of Death In The Civil War


Wasn't WWII the first war in which deaths by battle outnumbered deaths by disease?
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Old June 16th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #9

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Re: Most Common Cause Of Death In The Civil War


Some figures from Muskets and Medicine.

THE total number of soldiers in the Union Army was
two million three hundred and thirty-five thousand nine
hundred and forty-nine (2,335,949). Of these fifty-nine
thousand eight hundred and sixty (59,860) were killed
in battle, two hundred and eighty thousand and forty
(280,040) wounded, of whom forty-nine thousand two
hundred and five (49,205) died of their injuries, making
a total of one hundred and nine thousand and sixty-five
(109,065) deaths among Union soldiers due to the
enemy's missiles.

About one shot wound in five proved immediately
fatal. However, to this rule there were exceptions, the
most remarkable one of which, perhaps, occurred at Fort
Donelson, where the 4th Mississippi (Confederate) sus-
tained a loss of 40 killed and only 8 wounded.

The relative area presented by various parts of the
body has been calculated with some degree of accuracy,
and for the head, face and neck is believed to be 8.51

It has been estimated that the Confederates sustained a loss
of fifty-one thousand four hundred and twenty-five (51,425)
killed and two hundred and twenty-seven thousand eight hundred
and seventy-one (227,871) wounded. Allowing that the fatality
among the Confederate wounded would not be less than that of
the Federals, the number dying from injuries received in battle
should be about forty-one thousand (41,000). Thus the Con-
federate total fatalities would in round numbers aggregate
ninety-two thousand (92,000).
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Old June 17th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #10

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Re: Most Common Cause Of Death In The Civil War


Related to this topic, here are a couple of links you might find interesting:

http://www.civilwarhome.com/casualties.htm

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
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