View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2012 02:52 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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I don't know where the 6% figure came from. If I'd have to guess, I would have put the figure higher, but when one stops to think about it, more casualties were actually
from illness rather than bullets, bayonets, swords and artillery fire.

Also the term "casualties" is rather broad. It can include killed, wounded, captured and missing in action.

If one assumes that somehow the 6% figure is correct, plus more than fifty percent died from illness such as measles, malaria and cholera, for example, then what killed all the others? I can only think that there were many skirmishes and small engagements in which artillery was never used or was barely a factor.

I tend to think of major use of artillery at battles such as Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Antietam and the like. But battles that took place in heavily wooded areas where arty was less effective, some cavalry engagements and numerous close-in hand-to-hand combat scenarios may well have produced the balance of non-illness casualties.

But who kept accurate enough records to support any such suppositions? As was said above, how could you know for sure if a minie ball or cannister schrapnel caused a wound or death? Also, some men died of multiple wounds, perhaps arty and minie balls in combination, even bayonet. Or they died of freak injuries such as falling off a horse or drowning. Who kept accurate track of such details, especially in the heat of battle or a fighting retreat?

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