Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Greater Sacrifice 150 Years Later, the Civil War's Death Toll Rises

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Greater Sacrifice 150 Years Later, the Civil War's Death Toll Rises

Article excerpt

Last year, Americans marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, the deadliest war in the nation's history. Until recently, historians generally were satisfied that the combined fatalities of soldiers on both sides totaled 618,222.

William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore, two Union Army veterans turned amateur historians, took on the task of counting the dead. They studied battlefield reports, conscription lists, pension records and news accounts of remote battles. Their estimate of Union dead was 360,222. Because many records about the South had been destroyed, they made educated guesses about the Confederate dead, a total they put at 258,000.

Their estimates of the war's toll was accepted for over a century until J. David Hacker, a demographic historian figured out how to use other sets of data from that era to come up with a more accurate count. Mr. Hacker estimated that the number of Civil War dead is actually closer to 750,000.

Using a system called the two-census method, Mr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.