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[531] muster-out roll, or “final statement,” with the marginal remark, “Died;” but with no further statement to show the cause of his death. Undoubtedly, the most of these men, or nearly all, died from disease; and although they cannot be so included in any statistical exhibit, they should be borne in mind as a probable addition to the number of deaths from that cause.

Many will deem it strange that, with over 2,300,000 three-year enlistments, the total strength of the army, present and absent, never reached half that number. This can be partly explained by the large number discharged for physical disability incurred in the service. Over 250,000 men were honorably discharged for disabilities arising from wounds or diseases which unfitted them for further service.

Another serious cause of depletion was the remarkably large number of desertions. The reported desertions during the war numbered 268,530. The Provost-Marshal-General estimated that 25 per cent. of these were wrongly reported; that these men were absent unintentionally or unavoidably.--and placed the number of actual desertions at 201, 397.1 Of this

The desertions were most frequent in the Regular Army, 16,365 men having deserted from that arm of the service during the war, a loss of over 24 per cent., while in the volunteer

1 Message and Documents, War Dept.; 1805-66. Part 3, p. 89

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