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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5009
Joined: 2004
A Tale of Two States
7/21/2021 4:24:51 AM
The newspaper articles that Larry posts are invaluable as a primary source.

More than that, they offer interesting and informative depictions of how things were perceived at the time.

That offers us great scope for interpretation.

Larry’s most recent contribution is to the fore here : the rendition of North Carolina’s casualty list, as far as it could be assessed at the time, barely a fortnight after the battle and with huge numbers yet to come in. Indeed, the phenomenon of under reporting in the Confederate ranks is itself a matter worthy of historical investigation.

Now that we are endowed with the scholarship of John Busey, we can get the most accurate and meticulous compilations possible, and for those who are interested in trying to construct an interpretation around these data, the prospects are enticing.

I’ve already posted this morning in regard to the two states that suffered disproportionate loss of life in the Battle of Gettysburg. New York for the Union and North Carolina for the Confederacy stand out in absolute, and , indeed, relative terms. To what might we attribute these disparities ? Why did New York lose more men than Pennsylvania, when the battle was fought on Pennsylvanian soil ? Likewise, why did North Carolina suffer more than Virginia, when the locations of the two states clearly exposed Virginia to the more direct consequences ?

Is there a discernible relationship between Abolitionist and Secessionist fervour and the mortality suffered by respective states ? How does Massachusetts compare with South Carolina in this respect ?

Obviously, the happenstance of battle determines so much. Some regiments were lucky : Larry’s article cites the 12th NC of Iverson’s Brigade escaping lightly because it enjoyed the cover of a little hill. It would be dangerous to extrapolate without bearing this feature in mind.

That said, I would like to compile a list of the record of the states that fought at Gettysburg , representing the proportion of the two armies that each state provided, alongside their percentage of the combat fatalities as a proportion of the total of killed and mortally wounded that the respective armies suffered. Bear in mind that this is for killed and died of wounds only, not the total casualty figures. A state might have a modest number of killed, but a high number taken prisoners and a better survival rate amongst its wounded, giving a high total casualty count but a relatively low mortality. There is also the fact that large numbers of unwounded prisoners died in the squalour and hardship of their captivity, and these victims are not included in my compilation. Forgive my lack of IT skills, I still haven’t mastered the art of Tabs, so if anyone might be kind enough to assist, I would be grateful.

Today I’ll get my head down and provide the figures, along with some tentative interpretation .

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5009
Joined: 2004
A Tale of Two States
7/21/2021 9:49:02 AM
Here were are ! Heavy lifting done, and with limited time to parade the figures, I hope that this makes sense.

Union Army at Gettysburg :

STATE .........................%of total army...................% of total army killed

Connecticut..................1.42...................................1.47

Delaware.....................0.54.....................................0.63


Illinois........................1.14.......................................0.29

Indiana......................2.27.....................................2.41


Maine.......................4.15....................................4.49

Maryland..................2.18.....................................0.69

Massachusetts.........6.47.....................................6.8

Michigan...................2.96...................................5.98

Minnesota..............0.42......................................1.55

New Hampshire......0.94......................................2.0

New Jersey............4.51......................................2.79

New York...............25.74....................................29

Ohio.......................4.91......................................5.14

Pennsylvania.........26.14...................................24.32

Rhode Island........1.05.....................................0.33

US Regular.........7.04........................................6.14

Vermont............4.86.......................................1.84

West Virginia......0.88......................................0.29

Wisconsin...........2.38...................................3.59


Confederate Army at Gettysburg :

STATE..........................................% of army.................................% of total killed at Gettysburg

Alabama.........................................8.56........................................7.1

Arkansas..........................................0.69.....................................0.88

Florida............................................1.07........................................2.0

Georgia............................................18.9......................................16.43

Louisiana..........................................4.38.......................................3.28

Maryland.......................................1.42.........................................1.4

Mississippi.....................................7.21........................................9.21

North Carolina.............................20.43.......................................28.74

South Carolina ............................7.12............................................7.28

Tennessee...................................1.05...........................................1.07

Texas............................................1.8.............................................2.16

Virginia.........................................27.48........................................20.27

This is a challenging task, and how I wish I could do the Tabs.

The equilibrium between the percentage of the army’s total that each state contingent represented and the total of the killed is apparent in many cases : look at South Carolina, for example. Now compare it with its Northern counterpart , Massachusetts ....the same equilibrium is apparent there. Both those states suffered numbers of killed that were very much in line with the proportion of men they deployed as a percentage of total army strength. Here we have the southern fire eaters and the northern abolitionists showing a remarkable consistency . A tale of two states, so to speak. There are outliers, sometimes the small contingents that were suddenly exposed to the harsh happenstance of battle : none better exemplifies this than Minnesota , which suffered a fatality that was nearly four times the figure of its total representation of the AOP at Gettysburg.

The disparity between North Carolina and Virginia is particularly remarkable : both fielded very large contingents, but one was much more severely handled than the other ; a state of affairs that rankled with North Carolinians as they felt that Virginia got too much credit. To a lesser degree, the same might be said of New York and Pennsylvania .

Regards, Phil


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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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