States with highest Civil War death toll – 24/7 Wall St.


The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American history. An estimated 620,000 men—including an unknown number of women—fighting for the Union and Confederacy were killed, about 2% of the country’s population at the time. According to, if taken as a percentage of current population, this assessment would be 6 million people today. All in all, there was 1.5 million victims – dead, wounded, injured, sick, interned or missing.

At the time of the Civil War, there were 37 states and all suffered deaths. Not all were implicated to the same extent, however, and some states suffered more horrific losses than others. (These are the deadliest battles in US history.)

To determine the states with the most Civil War deaths, 24/7 Wall St. compiled the number of deaths from the American Battlefield Trust and historical tabulations by William F. Fox and Frederick H. Dyer shortly after the war.

Many death records, however, had already been destroyed, particularly in the South, by the time Fox and Dyer began their work, and many historians suggest Civil War deaths are grossly understated. Therefore, we used the highest death metric for each state. Data on each state’s side in the conflict also came from the American Battlefield Trust.

New military technology and improved Civil War logistics combined with inadequate tactical doctrine produced a scale of combat casualties unprecedented in United States history. Most Civil War casualties and deaths were the result of non-combat related illnesses. For every three soldiers killed in action, five more died of disease. The rudimentary nature of Civil War medicine meant that many injuries and illnesses were needlessly fatal.

Virtually all of the Civil War was fought on Southern soil, although Union forces suffered more casualties. The Southern States Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina suffered most of the Confederacy’s deaths. New York, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania suffered the most for the North and the most of all the states involved. (These are the most pivotal battles that made America what it is today.)

The number of casualties in at least 10 battles was over 19,000. More American soldiers were killed or wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg alone than in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 combined. Because the South was in full conscription, virtually every household was affected by the war. It is estimated that one on three Southern households have lost at least one family member.

Click here to see the state with the most Civil War dead


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