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12 Jaw-Dropping Civil War Facts

The Civil War is often called “the first modern war” because of efficient and deadly weapons that became available for the first time. Just how terrible was this war that pitted brother against brother? Consider these 20 jaw-dropping facts.

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Death Toll


Arlington Cemetery, National Geographic

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in our country’s history — and two-thirds of those who died were killed by disease. About 625,000 men died in the Civil War. That’s more Americans than died in both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined. This amounted to 2 percent of the population at the time, which would be the equivalent to about 6 million Americans dying today. Battles weren’t as deadly as disease, however. Diarrhea, typhoid fever, lung inflammation, dysentery, and childhood diseases like chicken pox were the cause of 67 percent of the deaths. And if those numbers aren’t bad enough, new estimates suggest that the death total may be higher.

Death Toll