As if the casualties from America’s Civil War hadn’t seemed bad enough, it turns out they were significantly higher than previously estimated:
For 110 years, the numbers stood as gospel: 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South — by far the greatest toll of any war in American history.
But new research shows that the numbers were far too low.
By combing through newly digitized census data from the 19th century, J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York, has recalculated the death toll and increased it by more than 20 percent — to 750,000.
Keep in mind, the total population of the United States was only around 33 million at the time the war began. By my math, that means that the Civil War killed over two percent of the national population, not to mention the millions who suffered injuries in combat. To quote Axl Rose, that profound lyricist, “What’s so civil about war, anyway?”