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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1304
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/22/2021 8:20:26 PM
From the Weekly Standard. Raleigh NC. July 22, 1863


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5100
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 7:49:58 AM
Larry,

What are we to make of the experience of North Carolina in the Civil War ?

Being interested in the statistics, the first thing that strikes me is the absolutely appalling toll that the war exacted from the state's manhood. We've already had in depth discussion about individual regiments and brigades in the Battle of Gettysburg ; what transpires when we look at the big picture is bordering on the incredible.

By the 1860 census, the white population of the state was recorded as just over 630,000. This implies a " military population" - men of 18 to 45 years of age - of about one fifth, or roughly 125,000. The Bureau of Confederate Archives provided immediate post war reports of the deaths in confederate armies in the war, aggregating a total of 74,524 killed or mortally wounded in battle, and 59,297 died of disease ; a total of 133,821. This is generally believed to reflect barely half the true total......the toll of disease being much greater, and the battle fatalities being a minimum of 94,000.

But even this official report cites North Carolina's military dead as 40,275, approximately evenly divided between battle and disease. By this reckoning close to one third of all the white males of military age in the state died in the war, a ratio exceeding that of France in World War One and even that of the Soviet Union in World War Two.

Viewed in the context of these figures, one has to wonder how - and why - North Carolina sustained its participation in the war throughout.......especially given the tone of those letters cited in that article.

Strange to see that a letter from Tennessee is included. I wonder if the point was being made that this disgust with the war was not confined to North Carolina.

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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6508
Joined: 2006
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 9:15:35 AM
Phil, & Larry,

Makes you wonder just how close, & on the same page the various Confederate States were? Was there resentments on the parts of states like N. Carolina for bearing to large of a load, & paying for it?

Regards,
Dave
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5100
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 10:16:28 AM
Those figures for North Carolina are so outlandish that I’m wondering whether they might be reliable. There might be an explanation : the care that North Carolina lavished on its soldiers was - I think that I’ve read this, please correct me if I’m wrong - superior to that of other confederate states : maybe a large number of men from other southern states sought to join NC regiments, and inflated the numbers beyond the figure that was implied by the state’s population. That’s a bit of a stretch, but it might be worthy of consideration. South Carolina combat fatalities were even heavier in proportion . Other rebel states were ludicrously incomplete in the tallying of their dead, especially Alabama.

The awful figures from NC are all the more hard to account for given the dissent that was extant in the western part of the state. There were thousands who deserted. A significant number donned the Union blue.

One of the things that catches my eye in Larry’s article is the mention of townsfolk being more in support of the war than the agrarian population.

This is an anomaly.

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: 5100
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 11:47:21 AM
Please let me present this tabulation to make my point. It might also serve me if I embark on further research. Using the data from Fox, here's how the Confederate archives tell the story of the two Carolinas compared with Mississippi - surely a fire eating state - and with Metropolitan France in WW1 and the Soviet Union in WW2. I'll also add Virginia's Civil War record for good measure.

1861-65

North Carolina : Military population, 115,369. Killed in action : 14,522 ( 12.59%). Died of wounds : 5,151 ( 4.46%). Died of disease etc. : 20,602 (17.86%). Total military dead : 40,275 (34.9%)

South Carolina : Military population, 55,046. Killed in action : 9,187 ( (16.69%). Died of wounds : 3,735 ( 6.79%). Died of disease etc. : 4,760 (8.65%). Total military dead : 17,682 ( 32.12%)

Mississippi : Military population, 70,295. Killed in action : 5,807 ( 8.26%). Died of wounds : 2,651 (3.77%). Died of disease etc. : 6,807 ( 9.68%). Total military dead : 15,265 (21.71%)

Virginia : Military population, 196,587. Killed in action : 5,328 ( 2.71%). Died of wounds : 2,519 ( 1.28%). Died of disease etc. : 6,947 ( 3.53%). Total military dead : 14,794 (7.53%)

Look at those disparities !

Surely, Va and Miss were under reported.

Metropolitan France, 1914-18

Military population : 7,900,000. Killed in action : 925,000 (11.7%). Died of wounds : 250,000 ( 3.16%). Died of disease etc. : 150,000 (1.9%). Total military dead : 1, 325,000 ( 16.78%).

Soviet Union, 1941-45

Military Population, 38,800,000. Killed in action : 5,187,190 ( 13.37%). Died of wounds : 1,100,327 ( 2.84%). Died of disease etc. : 2,381,000 ( 6.14%). Total military dead : 8,668,517 (22.34%)

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
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1304
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 11:52:19 AM
Quote:
Please let me present this tabulation to make my point. It might also serve me if I embark on further research. Using the data from Fox, here's how the Confederate archives tell the story of the two Carolinas compared with Mississippi - surely a fire eating state - and with Metropolitan France in WW1 and the Soviet Union in WW2. I'll also add Virginia's Civil War record for good measure.

1861-65

North Carolina : Military population, 115,369. Killed in action : 14,522 ( 12.59%). Died of wounds : 5,151 ( 4.46%). Died of disease etc. : 20,602 (17.86%). Total military dead : 40,275 (34.9%)

South Carolina : Military population, 55,046. Killed in action : 9,187 ( (16.69%). Died of wounds : 3,735 ( 6.79%). Died of disease etc. : 4,760 (8.65%). Total military dead : 17,682 ( 32.12%)

Mississippi : Military population, 70,295. Killed in action : 5,807 ( 8.26%). Died of wounds : 2,651 (3.77%). Died of disease etc. : 6,807 ( 9.68%). Total military dead : 15,265 (21.71%)

Virginia : Military population, 196,587. Killed in action : 5,328 ( 2.71%). Died of wounds : 2,519 ( 1.28%). Died of disease etc. : 6,947 ( 3.53%). Total military dead : 14,794 (7.53%)

Look at those disparities !

If the figures for VA are close to true I fully understand the hard feelings in North Carolina. Love all these figures and percentages.

Larry
Surely, Va and Miss were under reported.

France, 1914-18

Military population : 7,900,000. Killed in action : 925,000 (11.7%). Died of wounds : 250,000 ( 3.16%). Died of disease etc. : 150,000. Total military dead : 1, 325,000 ( 16.78%).

Running out of time, edit to come for Soviet Union,

Regards, Phil





If the VA are accurate I fully understand the hard feelings in North Carolina. Love all these figures and percentages.
Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5100
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 12:00:03 PM
Larry,

Virginia figures must be understated. It begs the question as to why the two Carolinas were so assiduous in reporting. Did increased political consciousness and activity in those states demand a more efficient system of recording ?

Even allowing for this, it still seems incredible that so many Carolinians, Northern and Southern, were killed.

Editing again, Those Mississippi percentages seem feasible, in terms of battle deaths. I wish I hadn’t written them off so quickly as understated. The disease deaths figure is too low, I reckon.

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: 5100
Joined: 2004
North Carolina feels the strain
7/23/2021 4:55:23 PM
Larry,

Browsing the web, I’ve encountered a database of Virginian military deaths in the Civil War, and recent research has revealed a total of 32,751, more than double the figure from those incomplete Confederate archives. That certainly looks more plausible .

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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