Thursday, September 29, 2011
New data on number of Civil War deaths
Similar to the approach I have always advocated in my HIS 100 classes, Hacker thinks that the Civil War deaths have affected far more people than just the soldier indicate. And he agrees that the new estimate proves that Civil War military deaths are still greater than all the military deaths in all the other American wars combined. "A higher death toll," he says, "implies that more women were widowed and more children were orphaned as a result of the war than has long been suspected. The war touched more lives and communities more deeply than we thought, and thus shaped the course of the ensuing decades of American history in ways which we have not yet fully grasped."
Now, add to the numbers of people affected at the time the numbers of people affected since then. By that, I mean that we should imagine all the generations of people who were never born because their great-great-great-great grandfathers died on a Civil War battlefield, in a prisoner-of-war camp, or in a military hospital. That would be the really meaningful number, but I have no idea how that could be estimated.
at 12:43 PM