How Many Died in the American Civil War?

The Civil War was the deadliest of all American wars. Nobody agrees with that. But the death toll has long been a subject of debate.

For more than a century, the most accepted estimate was about 620,000 dead. A specific figure of 618,222 is often cited, with 360,222 Union deaths and 258,000 Confederate deaths.

This estimate was not an unreasonable guess, but a number that was established after years of research at the end of the 19e century by Union veterans William F. Fox, Thomas Leonard Livermore and others. Their work involved a comprehensive review of military documents, rolls of appeal, cemetery registers, census registers, pension registers, and other resources and documents. In 1900 Livermore published a 171 page book of his work, Numbers and losses in the Civil War in America 1861-1865.

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