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[8] exaggerate the result. To the thoughtful, the truth will be sensational enough: the correct figures are amply heroic, and are unsurpassed in the annals of war.

The number of men killed in a regiment during its term of service has thus far been considered only in respect to the maximum of loss, and the result is of value only so far as it defines the limit of casualties to which regiments of this size are exposed. But, though similar in formation, the regiments varied in numbers according to the recruits or transferred men received. Some regiments received large numbers of recruits to make good their losses, while other commands went through the war with constantly lessening ranks and carried only the original thousand, or less, upon their rolls. Some regiments which reenlisted at the end of their three years term received large accessions from other commands which, returning home, left detachments in the field composed of recruits with unexpired terms, or reenlisted men. Distinction must be made, in the matter of losses in action, between the regiments whose ranks were always kept full, and the ones which received no fresh material.

In short, the proper way to judge of the relative losses of regiments during their term of service is to accompany the statement of the losses with the figures of the total enrollment, and compare the percentages as well as the losses. The regiments in the following list can fairly claim the honor of having encountered the hardest fighting in the war. They may not have done the most effective fighting, nor the best fighting; but they evidently stood where the danger was thickest, and were the ones which faced the hottest musketry. They were all well-known, reliable commands, and served with unblemished records. The maximum of loss is reached in this table:

Killed and died of wounds: maximum percentages of Enrollment.

Regiment. Division.1 Corps. Enrolled. Killed. Per ct.
2d Wisconsin Wadsworth's First 1203 238 19.7
1st Maine H. Art'y Birney's Second 2202 423 19.2
57th Massachusetts Stevenson's Ninth 1052 201 19.1
140th Pennsylvania Barlow's Second 1132 198 17.4
26th Wisconsin Schurz's Eleventh 1089 188 17.2
7th Wisconsin Wadsworth's First 1630 281 17.2
69th New York Hancock's Second 1513 259 17.1
11th Penn. Reserves Crawford's Fifth 1179 196 16.6
142d Pennsylvania Doubleday's First 935 155 16.5
141st Pennsylvania Birney's Third 1037 167 16.1
19th Indiana Wadsworth's First 1246 199 15.9
121st New York Wright's Sixth 1426 226 15.8
7th Michigan Gibbon's Second 1315 208 15.8
148th Pennsylvania Barlow's Second 1339 210 15.6
83d Pennsylvania Griffin's Fifth 1808 282 15.5
22d Massachusetts Griffin's Fifth 1393 216 15.5
36th Wisconsin Gibbon's Second 1014 157 15.4
27th Indiana Williams's Twelfth 1101 169 15.3
5th Kentucky T. J. Wood's Fourth 1020 157 15.3
27th Michigan Willcox's Ninth 1485 225 15.1
79th U. S. Colored Thayer's Seventh 1249 188 15.0
17th Maine Birney's Third 1371 207 15.0
1st Minnesota Gibbon's Second 1242 187 15.0

1 Most regiments served under more than one division commander, and some of them in more than one corps; for lack of space, mention is made here only of the division which will best assist the reader in identifying the regiment and its campaigns.

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