Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Numbers Game

I have been going over the casuality lists for several Civil War battles with Gettysburg being one of the battles that I am examining closely. I cannot believe the sacrifice of the 26th North Carolina. I have read so many Gettysburg books that discuss the sacrifice of the 26th along with scores of regiments both North and South but this regiment is so interesting.

During the three days at Gettysburg the 26th North Carolina went into the battle with 839 men. 687 of them were killed, wounded, or missing/captured. 172 were killed, an astonishing 443 were wounded & 72 were missing/captured. The regiment faced an overall loss of 81.9 percent! Granted, most Confederate casualities were unrecorded, overestimeted or underestimated but the truth is that I cannot imagine the loss of that many man. As Shelby Foote once said that whole towns saw their entire male population of military age died as a result of that brutual war. It was just madness.

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