Victims of the Confederate Fury
The superbly-equipped and fed Grand Army of the Republic, fortified with bounty-enriched enlistees and mercenaries scoured from Europe, faced a varied collection of barefoot, undernourished American country boys with mostly-captured muskets and equipment; or what slipped past the blockade. They would not be conquered easily.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Victims of the Confederate Fury:
“The Federal fatalities during the entire war were 359,528 men. Of this number, 110,070 were killed in battle or died of wounds; 249,458 died of disease or accident…Over 250,000 men were discharged for disabilities arising from wounds or disease rendering them unfit for service. Losses in the main battles of the Civil War ran high.
A comparison of the casualties at Gettysburg with those sustained in some of the European conflicts might prove illuminating. The Third Westphalia Regiment lost at Marc La Tour 49.4 per cent killed and wounded; the Garde-Schutze Regiment lost at Metz 46.1 per cent; the Light Brigade lost at Balaklava 36.7 per cent. These battles probably recorded the greatest losses in single engagements up to the time of the Civil War; yet it has been asserted “without fear of contradiction” that in the Union army at least 63 regiments lost more than 50 per cent in killed and wounded in single engagements. At least 23 regiments lost more than one half in killed and wounded in the three bloody days of Gettysburg. Native regiments made splendid records there—and paid for it, the Iron Brigade losing almost exactly 50 per cent of its number—but so did units of foreign-born, notably some Pennsylvania regiments.
The Fifth New York, Duryee’s Zouaves, in which there were many foreigners, lost in the Second Battle of Bull Run
(Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy, Ella Lonn, LSU Press, 1951, pp. 480-482)