previous next
[25] far different proportion, will in its aggregate of battles, show the usual ratio; particularly so if its losses are not complicated by too large a number of missing.

The exact number of wounded who die of injuries received in any battle is an important element in this matter of losses in action. The man who dies under the surgeon's knife should be included with the killed as well as the one who, a few hours before, slowly bled to death upon the field. The mangled soldier who survived a day belongs with the killed as much as the one who was buried where he fell. And, yet, they never are. Take Gettysburg, for instance. The official figures for the Union loss at Gettysburg have lately been revised and corrected at the War Department. This final statement shows that the Union Army lost at Gettysburg 3,063 killed, 14,492 wounded, and 5,435 missing. But, as usual, the mortally wounded are included in the 14,492 wounded. As no further statement of this loss will be made by the War Department, the question arises as to how many of the wounded died of their injuries. How many of the Union Army were killed or died of their wounds as a result of the battle of Gettysburg? What was the actual loss of life?

Hitherto, this important question has never been answered. The writer, impressed with its importance, has examined the rolls of each regiment which fought at Gettysburg, and picked off, name by name, the number of those who were killed or died of wounds in that greatest of historic battles. As a result, it appears that 5,291 men lost their lives, fighting for the Union on that field. To the recapitulation of losses, as published by Mr. Kirkley in 1886, I have attached here the number of killed, as increased by those who died of wounds, three-fourths of whom died within a week.

Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.

  Killed. Wounded. Captured or Missing. Total. Killed and Died of Wounds.
General Headquarters ---- 4 ---- 4 ----
1st Army Corps 593 3,209 2,222 6,024 1,098
2d Army Corps 796 3,186 368 4,350 1,238
3d Army Corps 578 3,026 606 4,210 1,050
5th Army Corps 365 1,611 211 2,187 593
6th Army Corps 27 185 30 242 46
11th Army Corps 368 1,922 1,511 3,801 724
12th Army Corps 204 810 67 1,081 320
Cavalry Corps 90 352 407 849 152
Reserve Artillery 42 187 13 242 70
Total 3,063 14,492 5,435 22,990 5,291

From these figures it appears that the Second Corps sustained the greatest loss in killed, although the First Corps is credited with the largest number of casualties. The strength of each Corps, in infantry, present for duty equipped, June 30, 1863, was:--

First Corps, 9,403 Fifth Corps, 11,954 Twelfth Corps, 8,193
Second Corps, 12,363 Sixth Corps, 14,516 Cavalry Corps, 14,973
Third Corps, 11,247 Eleventh Corps, 9,197 Artillery, 6,692

It is extremely doubtful, however, if any one of these corps carried into action four-fifths of this reported strength. The returns for the First Corps do not include Stannard's Vermont Brigade (three regiments), which joined July 2d; the two other regiments of this brigade were with the wagon train.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (5)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stannard (1)
Joseph W. Kirkley (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1886 AD (1)
July 3rd, 1863 AD (1)
July 1st, 1863 AD (1)
June 30th, 1863 AD (1)
July 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: