From the preceding figures it appears that South Carolina
lost in killed over 23 per cent. of her entire military population; and that North Carolina
lost over 17 per cent. Add to this the loss by disease, and the maimed or crippled for life, and the result becomes extraordinary in its heroic aspect.
The Confederate Armies lost, in the aggregate, nearly 10 per cent. in killed or mortally wounded.
The average loss in the Union Armies
was 5 per cent.1
But in the latter there were over 300 regiments which were not in action, with as many more which were under fire but a few times.
A large part of the Union Armies
was used in protecting communications, guarding lines of supplies, in garrison duty, and as armies of occupation.
The Confederate regiments were all at the front, and, although repeatedly filled up with recruits, were held there until many of them were worn out by the constant attrition.
For these reasons it is evident that although the Confederate Armies were much smaller, their losses were not necessarily smaller in proportion.
Their generals displayed a wonderful ability in always confronting the enemy with an equal force at the point of contact.
What mattered Hooker
's extra thousands at Chancellorsville
In two corps not a shot was fired.
What if Meade
did have 20,000 more men at Gettysburg
The Sixth Corps lay in reserve.
But in these battles, as in others, every Confederate regiment was put in and not relieved until they had lost killed and wounded men by the score.
The aggregate of killed and mortally wounded in the Confederate Armies during the war was 16,000 less than in the Union Armies
; or, adding the usual proportion of wounded, a difference of about 60,000, killed and wounded, in favor of the Confederates
Up to 1864 the aggregate of losses on each side was substantially the same.
There was a small percentage in favor of the Confederates
up to that time; but, if their casualty lists could be subjected to the same revision as that recently applied to the nominal casualty lists of the Union Armies
, it is probable that their official returns as thus corrected would show an increase which would largely offset the difference prior to 1864.
The excess of 16,000 killed, in the Union
aggregate — or, its equivalent of 60,000 in killed and wounded — occurred almost wholly in the campaigns of 1864-5.
The severity of the losses among the Confederates
, and the heroic persistency with which they would stand before the enemy's musketry, becomes apparent in studying the official returns of various regiments.
, the 26th North Carolina, of Pettigrew
's Brigade, Heth
's Division, went into action with an effective strength which is stated in the regimental official report as “over 800 men.”
They sustained a loss, according to Surgeon-General Guild
's report, of 86 killed and 502 wounded; total, 588.
In addition there were about 120 missing, nearly all of whom must have been wounded or killed; but, as they fell into the enemy's hands, they were not included in the hospital report.
This loss occurred mostly in the first day's fight, where the regiment encountered the 151st Pennsylvania2
's Battery, of Rowley
's Brigade, Doubleday
The Quartermaster of the 26th, who made the official report on July 4th, states that there were only 216 left for duty after the fight on the 1st inst. The regiment then participated in Pickett
's charge, on the third day of the battle, in which it attacked the position held by Smyth
's Brigade, Hays
's Division, Second Corps.
On the following day it mustered only 80 men for duty, the missing ones having fallen in the final and unsuccessful charge.
In the battle of the first day, Captain Tuttle
's company went into action with 3 officers and 84 men; all of the officers and 83 of the men were killed or wounded.
On the same day, and in the same brigade (Pettigrew
's), Company C, of the Eleventh North Carolina, lost 2 officers killed, and 34, out of 38, men killed or wounded; Captain Bird
, of this company, with the four remaining men, participated in the charge on the 3d of July, and of