Low numbers of casualties until the Civil War?

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by primalclaws1974, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. I was perusing death totals of American wars, and it was very evident that most other wars Americans have fought did not come close to the totals accrued in the Civil War. The Revolutionary War only had 25,000 casualties, and most of the other wars were far less than that. The War of 1812 ended with 15,000 American deaths, putting it at the closest. Even modern wars like Vietnam ended in only 58,000 deaths. Why was the Civil War so much deadlier at 625,000?
  2. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I wonder as to the accuracy of the figures you cite. Oh, I believe you, Claw, are probably quoteing accurately figures are you found them, but as there are differing ways of calculating causalties and death, I wonder if the original presenter was accurate.

    Up until WWII there was more deaths in armies at war by DISEASE rather than combat. Did the rates of deaths take non-combat deaths into the total?

    As to why ACW deaths seem inflated may be inflated could be the simple reason that BOTH sides were Americans.

    Another factor may be the 'improvements' in weaponry -- the Minnie Ball for example, or improvement in Artillery.
  3. I was quoting all deaths, not just combat casualties. I realize that most wars had high--if not higher--rates of death from disease and exposure, than actually fighting. The site that I was reading actually had three estimates (obviously from a variety of sources), and I chose the middle-ground, to average it out. There is no way to get an accurate count on such things, especially the further back one investigates. I agree, both sides were added together as American casualties, but that still tallies over 300,000 a side, which was not surpassed until WWII.
  4. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Member

    The Civil War was filled with more casualties because so many people were involved in the fight. It was the biggest internal struggle this country has had, obviously. There was a lot at stake and the tremendous number of casualties show that.

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