Were Officers Much Safer than Enlisted Men in the US Civil War?

Approximately 625,000 men died in the US Civil War -- more American casualties than in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. And because they typically led the charge during battle – unlike in 20th century wars – generals were 50 percent more likely to die in the US Civil War than privates. For example, at the Battle of Antietam, three generals were killed and six were wounded – on each side. At the Battle of Franklin, six Confederate generals were killed and seven were wounded.

More about generals in the US Civil War:

  • Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. His death was a major setback to Confederate morale.
  • During the Battle of the Wilderness, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet took bullets in his shoulder and throat, but survived. The grizzled veteran later returned to his command. He lived until 1904, when he succumbed to pneumonia at age 82.
  • Rifles were the war’s deadliest weapons, but disease was even more deadly. Military camps were breeding grounds for epidemics such as mumps, chicken pox, measles and malaria.
More Info: History.com

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