Notes on the Numbers: Civil War

Hi Friends:

I was doing research on another war, when I ran into the statistics for the United States Civil War, and in relation, the statistics for the Battle of Gettysburg. I’ll share these below.

This year, I have decided to study the history of one country, a different country each day, in an effort to better understand what is going on, and has been going on, throughout the world. I have concentrated my studies on countries which restrict religious freedom, and in particular, countries where religious persecution is a part of everyday life, every day, today.

On this issue of “civil war” and internal “conflicts,” it is almost impossible to find a country which hasn’t experienced involvement in war, and I’ve found, equally difficult (almost impossible), to find a country which hasn’t experienced a “civil war” at some point in their history.

We may all agree on the idea of the definition of “civil war,” as meaning “battles among fellow citizens or within a community.” I researched to see when the exact phrase “civil” first came into use. Early use typically was in reference to ancient Rome. Indeed, the Latin term “bellum civile” was first used of the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC. The English term “civil war” was first used in 1651 to refer to the English Civil War.

I have found it very difficult to find current (2017) figures for wars and civil wars happening right now, around the globe. Most of the online information, for “total numbers” is not up-to-date, but you can get a clearer picture if you research a particular country. There are so few countries not involved, in one way or another, in a conflict, that the list of “countries not engaged in war activity” is really, really, really small. There are also so many countries with internal conflicts, civil wars, that the individual numbers are staggering.

However, there may be no greater current example of “war-torn” than what is happening in the country of Syria. Since 2011, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives in Syria. This, sadly, is just an example of what is happening in countries, “over there.” I read about Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. I see the photographs of refugee camps across the globe. And, see the children. As a teacher, in a public School, I am surrounded by so many who take for granted a free education, and the opportunities which surround them. Just going to School, having a family, being able to shop, work, and travel … just having a future that, and understand the context, is “within their control” … puts them so far ahead of so much of the population of the world. So many … I see, every day … have had no church or “religious” experience … so, the thought of the value of “religious freedom” is pretty far down the list.

Then … I think … it’s not just the kids, is it?
Is it?

That take freedom for granted. That don’t know, and, let’s face it (with sad honesty) don’t care what’s happening over there … or … really … what’s happening “over here” … I see so many, who live in this country … with all of their freedoms … yet, their lives … already … are “messed up.”
How true: No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, know Peace.

“There is nothing civil about war.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

As I survey the situation around the world … and look around … at my surroundings … Here I am, worried about a little snow in April …Man … we don’t know … we don’t understand what “messed up” is …

Even getting the actual figures for the Civil War is not that easy. Each list I’ve found, and I’ve looked at many, all seem to have different numbers. The numbers may not all match, from different accounts, but they all, regardless if they differ in number and amount, all show how devastating a Civil War can be. And, show the cost of war. As we look at the war-torn footage from around the globe, think of how we looked, “over here,” just 150 years ago.

Here’s the list from the “bookshelf blog.” Again, every list I saw, had different numbers, but I felt this was a fair representation. Keep in mind that the “American Civil War” is the second most written about subject in human history.

And, also note, that even this list was compiled in 2013, almost 4 years ago:

July 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought between July 1-3 in 1863. The battle is notable for several reasons: many historians recognize it as a turning point in the bitterly fought Civil War, it was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War (the highest casualties sustained in a single day of any U.S. war), and the cemetery at the battle’s site, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, was immortalized by Abraham Lincoln’s brief but poetic dedication on November 19, 1863. The battle’s ferocity and short-lived intensity captured the imagination and interest of historians and war buffs for generations. Bibliographers have estimated that more than 65,000 books have been written about the Civil War — and perhaps up to 50% of those are on the Battle of Gettysburg alone. Bookshelf presents some of the notable numbers behind this legendary battle:

Number of deaths at Gettysburg: 51,112
Total number of deaths during Civil War: 620,000
Total number of casualties in Civil War: 1.5 million (620,000 killed; 476,000 wounded; 400,00 captured/missing)
Comparison to number of deaths in other U.S. wars: Revolutionary War – 16,000; WWI – 116,000; WWII – 405,000; Vietnam – 58,000 (If Civil War were fought today, there would be more than 6 million deaths
Rate of death for soldiers: 25%
Population of Gettysburg (before battle): 2,400
Population of U.S. in 1863: 33.4 million
Percentage of the loss: .15% of total U.S. population; .3% of all males
Civilians killed: 1 (Jenny Wade, a resident)
Generals killed: 9 (out of 120)
Horses killed: 3,000
Average age of soldier: 25 (age range 12-80)
Occupation of soldiers: 50% of Union soldiers and 75% of Confederates were farmers
Number of African-American soldiers: about 1,000
Range of weapons: rifles – 1,200 feet; muskets – 375 feet; cannon – 1-1.5 miles
Monthly salary: Private – $210; Colonel – $3,420; General – $5,390
Estimated wartime cost of Civil War: $2.3 billion
Comparison to cost of other U.S. wars: Revolutionary War – $100-140 million; War of 1812 – $1.5 million; WWI – 23.7 billion; WWII – 260 billion; Vietnam War – 140.6 billion
Number of Civil War soldiers buried at Gettysburg: 3,706
Number of words in Abraham Lincoln’s speech: 272
Number of words in Edward Everett’s speech: 13,607

Here’s a direct link to this list:

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