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Civil War Casualties by State

Civil War Casualties by State
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The American Civil War, an impactful conflict steeped in controversy and lasting from 1861 to 1865, was one of the most transformative periods in the nation's history. A battle prominently over the brutal practice of enslavement, it laid bare stark divisions between the Northern Union states and the Southern Confederacy. With the human cost of this war staggeringly high, understanding the casualty count is crucial to appreciating the extent of the rift and its geographical impact across the country. 

  • New York, sitting at the pinnacle of the list with an estimated 39,000 casualties, bore the brunt of wartime fatalities.
  • Southern states like Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina, which constituted the Confederacy, also saw a substantial share of the casualties—31,000, 31,000, 27,000 and 18,000 in turn.
  • Union states of Illinois and Ohio tied with the Southern state of Virginia, each accounting for 31,000 deaths.
  • Interestingly, the Confederacy states in the West like Texas (3,000) and Arkansas (7,000) had comparatively fewer casualties than their Eastern counterparts.

States that Lost the Most Soldiers During the Civil War

Claiming first place with the most significant human toll is New York, a Union state, which experienced staggering losses, with an estimated 39,000 casualties during the Civil War. Several significant wartime events, especially the bloody draft riots of 1863, account for New York's high mortality rate.

Three Union States – Illinois, Ohio – and two Confederate States – Virginia and North Carolina – saw death tolls of 31,000 soldiers each. Illinois, a critical rest and recuperation hub for the Union, saw several Civil War-related diseases decimating its ranks. Ohio, also a Union state, was actively involved in numerous campaigns and battles which led to its high casualty count. Virginia, often called the 'Cradle of the Confederacy,' was home to the Confederacy's capital and was also the site of significant and deadly battles like Bull Run and Appomattox Courthouse. The coastal state of North Carolina, despite its reluctance to secede, saw its casualty numbers soar due to its strategic significance to the Confederacy.

Alabama, another Confederate state, experienced high numbers of casualties as well, counting a total loss of around 27,000 soldiers.

Interestingly, Pennsylvania, a Union state, tied with Alabama in casualties despite its geographic location in the North. Major battles such as Gettysburg on Pennsylvania's soil partly explain this high number.

Indiana, a Union state, lost approximately 24,000 soldiers, while Confederate state South Carolina recorded around 18,000 wartime fatalities. Missouri, a strategic border state for both sides, had approximately 13,000 casualties.

Top Ten States with Most Civil War Deaths:

  1. New York - 39,000
  2. Illinois - 31,000
  3. Virginia - 31,000
  4. North Carolina - 31,000
  5. Ohio - 31,000
  6. Alabama - 27,000
  7. Pennsylvania - 27,000
  8. Indiana - 24,000
  9. South Carolina - 18,000
  10. Missouri - 13,000

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