To Count or Not To Count... A Dilemma

Discussion in 'Civil War' started by Kate, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Good morning, all! I'd like to hear your thoughts on something that's been a dilemma to me for a long time now. It's one of those pieces of sand that rubs in a shoe... always bothersome but you can't quite get it out.

    I've talked (sometimes extensively.. sorry about that, it's my passion!) about the list I'm doing of the Gettysburg dead. It's hard work when you get right down to the nitty gritty. But there's one thing I've never been able to come to terms with.... so maybe someone can convince me one way or the other.

    My goal is to give everyone who died at Gettysburg (either KIA or as a mortal wound) a voice... a name.... a story. Pretty cut and dried to that point. Most rosters, etc. do not count the soldiers who died in prison camps and the hospitals of disease as a battle casualty... I don't either... small pox, typhoid, etc.... all rampant in those prison camps and hospitals, so no question there.

    BUT therein lies my dilemma... what if someone *was* wounded at Gettysburg and then captured... or even taken to a hospital for the wound but THEN died officially of small pox a month or more later? Official record says typhoid or chronic diarrhea was the cause of death, but if not for having been wounded, they wouldn't have BEEN there in the hospital.

    :( To add to the dilemma, many of the rosters and records don't list what the wound *was* so some were obviously non-fatal, but there's no way to know that.

    Anyhow... would you add them as a Gettysburg dead... or not? I'd be totally messing up the number of dead that is the official number... but I really hate the thought of missing anyone. This would also be a *huge* nightmare and basically going back more than 10,000 people and starting over to see who may have been missed in the records just because they were in a hospital from a wound and happened to contract small pox or whatever.

    Oh my. :( As I typed that out, I kind of got the feeling that this would be an impossible endeavor. Agree? Or no?

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