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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1324
Joined: 2004
October 2, 1862
10/2/2021 8:31:43 AM
From the Fayetteville Weekly Standard. Fayetteville NC.




From the Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia PA


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5136
Joined: 2004
October 2, 1862
10/3/2021 5:53:12 PM
Larry,

The information imparted by these casualty lists is truly engrossing for me : they stand as first rate primary sources, and are remarkable for the evidence they convey regarding how assiduous the compilers were in the most difficult circumstances.

In respect of the Sharpsburg casualties, there is a distressing admission by the Assistant Surgeon of the 3rd N.C. The above summary is as accurate as can be obtained at this time, many being left on the field without knowing the extent of their injury. . This reflects the difference from earlier battles in Virginia, in which the Confederates held the field : this time, in Maryland, Lee withdrew and the fate of those reported as MIA was unbearable for families to contemplate.

In this respect, it’s significant that the following citation from the 48th N.C. , supplied by Capt. Dowd in regard to his company, states : The 18th was occupied in burying dead . This reinforces my suggestion that Lee was loath to abandon the Sharpsburg battlefield - in part - because he realised the importance of recovering and burying as many of his dead as possible in order to sustain morale, not least of the families at home.

Look at the next section, which details the casualties of the 6th N.C. In the fighting of August 27-30. The intensity of big battles being fought so closely together - Seven Days, Cedar Mountain , Second Mannassas, South Mountain and Antietam entailed monstrous bloodshed and a commensurate labour of love in trying to record it. I think that the three months of fighting between the start of the Seven Days and the end of the Maryland Campaign cost the South more lives and blood than any other three months of fighting throughout the war, exceeding the toll of the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns, and the three months of May, June and July 1864.

Edit : Reconsidering.....in the May to July 1864 period, there was simultaneous heavy fighting in both Virginia and Georgia, so my claim about the losses doesn't bear scrutiny. In terms of the Eastern theatre alone, though, the bloodiest three month period for the South was undoubtedly that between the Seven Days and the Maryland Campaign . For the North, the three months of May to July 1864 were the worst by a huge margin.

Regards, Phil
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