Fox's Regimental Losses
Chapter III

Percentage of Killed in Regiments in Particular Battles--Comparison of Such Losses With Those of European Regiments.

        The loss sustained by a regiment in any battle can be properly estimated, only when the number of men engaged is known and taken into consideration The small battalion in which fifty men were killed must not be classed, in point of loss, with the large regiment losing the same number. The 31 men killed in the One Hundred and Forty-first New York, at Peach Tree Creek, was as severe a loss as the 102 killed in the Eleventh Illinois at Fort Donelson. The percentage of loss in each case was the same, and the one faced as hot a fire as the other.
        In proportion to the number engaged, the greatest loss sustained by any regiment, during the war, was that of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg. This regiment was then in Harrow's Brigade, Gibbon's Division, Second Corps. On the afternoon of the second day at Gettysburg, the Union line was driven back in confusion from its position along the Emmettsburg road. While Hancock was "patching" up a second line, he perceived a column of the enemy (Willcox's Brigade) emerging suddenly from a clump of trees near an unprotected portion of his line. The First Minnesota, alone and unsupported, was in position near by, and Hancock, desirous of gaining time until reenforcements could be brought forward, rode up to Colonel Colville and ordered him to take the enemy's colors.  A desperate fight ensued, in which the enemy was forced back, leaving their colors in the hands of the First Minnesota. Speaking of this affair afterwards, General Hancock is reported to have said:
        "There is no more gallant deed recorded in history. I ordered those men in there because I saw that I must gain five minutes' time. Reenforcements were coming on the run, but I knew that before they could reach the threatened point the Confederates, unless checked, would seize the position. I would have ordered that regiment in if I had known every man would be killed. It had to be done, and I was glad to find such a gallant body of men at at hand, willing to make the terrible sacrifice that the occasion demanded."
        The regiment took 262 officers and men into this affair. It lost 50 killed and 174 wounded, total, 224 casualties, nearly all of which occurred in this fight. A remarkable feature of this loss is that none were missing. Seventeen officers were killed or wounded, the latter including the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, and Adjutant. The killed, with those who died of their wounds, numbered 75, or over 28 per cent. of those engaged-- a percentage of killed unequalled in military statistics.
        The next largest percentage of killed occurred at Spotsylvania, in the Fifteenth New Jersey. This regiment belonged to the First Jersey Brigade, Wright's Division, Sixth Corps, and lost 116 killed or mortally wounded at Spotsylvania. Unlike the sudden loss of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg, its casualties occurred in three different actions: 31 were lost on May 8th, 5 on May 10th, and 80 on May 12th, at the Bloody Angle. It may be urged that, these being three different affairs, the losses should not be consolidated. If they had occurred at different places, as, for instance, South Mountain and Antietam, the criticism would hold good; but this fighting was done at one place, and the continuous nervous strain made it as heroic as if the loss had occurred in one brief charge. This regiment crossed the Rapidan May 5th, with 444 effective men.   It sustained but a slight loss at the Wilderness, and took 432 officers and men into action at Spotsylvania, of whom 116 were killed or died of wounds-- a loss of 26 per cent. Within nine days after breaking camp, it was reduced to 5 officers and 136 men available for action.
        Next, in percentage of killed in particular engagements, is the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts at Cold Harbor, then in Stannard's Brigade, Martindale's Division, Eighteenth Corps. This loss occurred in the assault on the earthworks at Cold Harbor, where it was subjected to a terrible fire. A Confederate officer, describing the advance of the Twenty-fifth against his works, writes that the heroic regiment struggled forward under a fire which seemed to literally annihilate them; that the whole line seemed to disappear; and he expresses wonder that any could have survived. The loss was 53 killed, 139 wounded, and 28 missing, "out of 310 reported for duty that morning. "On the following day there were only 4 officers and 62 men left on duty. Many of the missing were killed. The muster-out rolls of the Twenty-fifth bear the names of 74 officers and men who were killed or mortally wounded during the quarter of an hour which covered that assault; a loss of 24 per cent. in killed, and over two-thirds in killed and wounded. The small number taken into this action was owing to the heavy losses which the regiment had just sustained, a few days previous, in the Drewry's Bluff campaign. The Confederate officer just referred to, states further that his men were massed five ranks deep behind their breastworks; that the front rank alone fired, while the others passed up loaded rifles, which were discharged as rapidly as they could be fired; that, in addition to this, the artillery posted in the salients, poured a flanking fire of canister into the ranks of the doomed regiment.
        A smaller loss as to the number killed, but equally remarkable as to percentage, is found in the record of the One Hundred and Forty-first Pennsylvania at Gettysburg. This regiment was, at that time, in Graham's Brigade, Birney's Division, Third Corps. It had already lost at Chancellorsville 235 (killed, wounded, and missing) out of 417 engaged there. At Gettysburg, only 198 answered to the morning roll call, of whom 25 were killed, 103 wounded, and 21 missing; total, 149. The killed, with those who died of wounds, numbered 49, or 24 per cent. of those engaged. The One Hundred and Forty-first fought at Gettysburg in the famous Peach Orchard.
        One of the most remarkable losses in the war, both in numbers and percentage, occurred at Manassas, in Gen. Fitz John Porter's Corps, in the celebrated Duryeé Zouaves (Fifth New York), of Warren's Brigade, Sykes' Division. General Sykes, in his official report, states that the regiment took 490 into action. It lost 79 killed, 170 wounded, and 48 missing; total, 297. Many of the missing were killed. The deaths from wounds increased the number killed to 117, or 23 per cent. of those engaged, the greatest loss of life in any infantry regiment during the war, in any one battle. The regiment held an exposed position, and Gen. Warren states that when he endeavored to extricate them, "they were unwilling to make a backward movement." This is the regiment which, at Gaines' Mill, having been badly thinned, closed up its ranks and counted off anew "with great coolness while exposed to a most terrific fire !"-- (Official Report.)
        The following list of percentages will indicate fairly the extent of loss in killed, to which a regiment is liable in battle. The number engaged is, in most cases, taken from the official reports. In some instances, however, the number given was ascertained from statements in regimental histories.

PERCENTAGES OF KILLED IN REGIMENTS, IN PARTICULAR ENGAGEMENTS.

Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed   Per Ct
5th Connecticut  Cedar Mountain  Williams's  424  48  11+
7th Connecticut  Fort Wagner  Seymour's  191  28  14+
17th Connecticut  Gettysburg  Barlow's  369  39  10+
27th Connecticut  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  74  13  17+
7th Illinois  Allatoona Pass  Corse's  291  48  16+
8th Illinois  Fort Donelson  McClernand's  613  81  13+
9th Illinois  Shiloh  W H  Wallace's  578  103  17+
11th Illinois  Fort Donelson  McClernand's  500  102  20+
11th Illinois  Shiloh  McClernand's  239  24  10+
12th Illinois  Allatoona Pass  Corse's  161  17  10+
22d Illinois  Stone's River  Sheridan's  342  43  12+
22d Illinois  Chickamauga  Sheridan's  297  42  14+
28th Illinois  Shiloh  Hurlbut's  558  58  10+
34th Illinois  Stone's River  Johnson's  354  36  10+
35th Illinois  Chickamauga  Davis's  299  34  11+
38th Illinois  Chickamauga  Davis's  301  33  10+
41st Illinois  Jackson  Lauman's  338  44  13+
43d Illinois  Shiloh  McClernand's  500  78  15+
51st Illinois  Chickamauga  Sheridan's  209  26  12+
53d Illinois  Jackson  Lauman's  219  33  15+
55th Illinois  Shiloh  Sherman's  512  83  16+
75th Illinois  Chaplin Hills  Mitchell's  709  71  10+
79th Illinois  Stone's River  Johnson's  437  44  10+
82d Illinois  Chancellorsville  Schurz's  359  47  13+
84th Illinois  Stone's River  Palmer's  357  67  18+
93d Illinois  Alatoona Pass  Corse's  290  34  11+
14th Indiana  Antietam  French's  320  49  15+
15th Indiana  Stone's River  T J Wood's  440  52  11+
Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed   Per Ct
15th Indiana  Mission Ridge  Sheridan's  334  45  13+
19th Indiana  Manassas  Hatch's  423  62  14+
19th Indiana  Antietam  Doubleday's  202  28  13+
19th Indiana  Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  288  41  14+
22d Indiana  Chaplin Hills  Mitchell's  303  57  18+
26th Indiana  Prairie Grove  Huston's  445  52  11+
27th Indiana  Antietam  Williams's  409  41  10+
27th Indiana  Gettysburg  Williams's  339  40  11+
48th Indiana  Iuka  Hamilton's  434  48  11 +
73d Indiana  Stone's River  T J Wood's  331  38  11+
87th Indiana  Chickamauga  Brannan's  380  61  16+
3d Iowa (Cavalry)  Pea Ridge  ---------  235  27  11+
3d Iowa (Inf)  Jackson  Lauman's  241  36  14+
5th Iowa  Iuka  Hamilton's  482  62  12+
7th Iowa (8 Cos)  Belmont  Grant's  410  74  18+
9th Iowa  Pea Ridge  E A  Carr's  560  74  13+
13th Iowa  Atlanta (July 22)  Gresham's  410  55  13+
32d Iowa  Pleasant Hill  Mower's  420  86  20+
39th Iowa  Allatoona Pass  Corse's  280  43  15+
1st Kansas  Wilson's Creek  Lyon's  644  106  16+
8th Kansas  Chickamauga  Davis's  406  61  15 +
8th Kansas  Nashville  Beatty's  140  16  11+
5th Kentucky  Stone's River  Johnson's  320  32  10+
17th Kentucky  Shiloh  Hurlbut's  250  27  10+
1st Maine (H  A)  Petersburg  Birney's  950  210  22+
3d Maine  Gettysburg  Birney's  214  30  14+
4th Maine  Fredericksburg  Birney's  211  33  15+
4th Maine  Gettysburg  Birney's  202  27  13+
6th Maine  Rappahannock Sta  Wright's  321  56  17+
7th Maine  Antietam  W F  Smith's  181  25  13+
8th Maine  Ware Bottom Ch  Ames's  190  19  10+
9th Maine  Petersburg  Ames's  102  20  19 +
16th Maine  Fredericksburg  Gibbon's  427  76  17+
16th Maine  Gettysburg  Robinson's  248  27  10+
17th Maine  Wilderness  Birney's  507  54  10+
19th Maine  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  440  68  15+
20th Maine  Gettysburg  Barnes's  386  41  10 +
2d Massachusetts  Cedar Mountain  Williams's  474  56  12+
2d Massachusetts  Gettysburg  Williams's  316  45  14+
10th Massachusetts  Spotsylvania  Getty's  210  26  12+
12th Massachusetts  Antietam  Ricketts's  334  74  22+
15th Massachusetts  Antietam  Sedgwick's  606  108  17+
15th Massachusetts  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  239  38  15+
Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed   Per Ct
18th Massachusetts  Manassas  Morell's  421  54  12 +
19th Massachusetts  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  141  17  12+
20th Massachusetts  Fredericksburg  Howard's  238  48  20 +
25th Massachusetts  Cold Harbor  Martindale's  310  74  23+
57th Massachusetts  Wilderness  Stevenson's  545  94  17 +
9th Massachusetts Bat'y  Gettysburg  Reserve Artillery  104  11  10 +
5th Michigan (Cavalry)  Hawes' Shop  Torbert's  150  15  10+
6th Michigan (Cavalry)  Hawes' Shop  Torbert's  140  17  12+
1st Michigan (Infantry)  Manassas  Morell's  320  55  17+
2d Michigan  Knoxville  Ferrero's  150  28  18+
3d Michigan  Manassas  Kearny's  260  41  15+
4th Michigan  Gettysburg  Barnes' s  342  40  11 +
5th Michigan  Fair Oaks  Kearny's  330  43  13+
7th Michigan  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  165  27  16 +
8th Michigan  James' Island  Stevens's  534  61  11+
13th Michigan  Stone's River  T J  Wood's  225  32  14+
13th Michigan  Chickamauga  T J  Wood's  217  26  11+
16th Michigan  Gettysburg  Barnes's  218  29  13 +
17th Michigan  Spotsylvania  Willcox's  226  30  13+
22d Michigan  Chickamauga  Steedman's  584  88  15+
24th Michigan  Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  496  94  18+
1st Minnesota  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  262  75  28+
12th Missouri Vicksburg (May 22)  Steele's  360  39  10+
2d New Hampshire  Manassas  Hooker's  332  37  11+
2d New Hampshire  Gettysburg  Humphreys's  354  48  13+
3d New Hampshire  Deep Bottom  Terry's  198  28  14+
5th New Hampshire  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  308  51  16+
5th New Hampshire  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  177  34  19+
5th New Hampshire  Cold Harbor  Barlow's  577  69  11 +
6th New Hampshire  Manassas  Reno's  450  68  15+
7th New Hampshire  Fort Wagner  Seymour's  480  77  16+
9th New Hampshire  Spotsylvannia  Potter's  502  68  13+
12th New Hampshire  Chancellorsville  Whipple's  558  72  12+
12th New Hampshire  Cold Harbor  Brooks's  301  66  21+
2d New Jersey (5 Cos)  Gaines' Mill  Slocum's  261  34  13+
8th New Jersey  Chancellorsville  Berry's  258  32  12 +
11th New Jersey  Gettysburg  Humphreys's  275  40  14+
14th New Jersey  Monocacy  Ricketts's  350  40  11 +
15th New Jersey  Spotsylvania  Russell's  432  116  26+
Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed  Per Ct
4th New York  Antietam  French's  540  64  11+
5th New York  Gaines' Mill  Sykes's  450  55  12+
5th New York  Manassas  Sykes's  490  117  23+
7th New York  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  488  56  11 +
8th New York  Cross Keys  Blenker's  548  63  11 +
9th New York  Antietam  Rodman's  373  54  14+
13th New York  Manassas  Morell's  240  45  18 +
22d New York  Manassas  Hatch's  379  46  12+
25th New York  Hanover C H   Morell's  349  41  11 +
26th New York  Fredericksburg  Gibbon's  300  51  17 +
28th New York  Cedar Mountain  Williams's  33  41  12+
30th New York  Manassas  Hatch's  341  66  19 +
34th New York  Antietam  Sedgwick's  311  41  13 +
38th New York  Fredericksburg  Birney's  374  41  10+
40th New York (5 Cos)  Fair Oaks  Kearny's  231  24  10+
40th New York  Manassas  Kearny's  244  37  15+
42d New York  Antietam  Sedgwick's  345  58  16+
44th New York  Malvern Hill  Morell's  225  23  10+
48th New York  Fort Wagner  Seymour's  516  83  16+
49th New York  Wilderness  Getty's  384  39  10+
49th New York  Spotsylvania  Getty's  284  52  l8+
57th New York  Antietam  Richardson's  309  53  10+
57th New York  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  192  20  10+
59th New York  Antietam  Sedgwick's  381  71  18+
61st New York  Fair Oaks  Richardson's  435  44  10+
63d New York  Antietam  Richardson's  341  59  17+
64th New York  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  205  31  15+
66th New York  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  238  24  10+
67th New York  Wilderness  Wright's  270  28  10+
69th New York  Antietam  Richardson's  317  71  22 +
69th New York  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  238  34  14+
70th New York  Williamsburg  Hooker's  700  97  13+
71st New York  Manassas  Hooker's  250  37  14+
73d New York  Manassas  Hooker's  107  17  15+
76th New York  Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  374  48  12+
80th New York  Gettysburg  Doubleday's  287  47  16+
82d New York  Antietam  Sedgwick's  339  41  12+
82d New York  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  461  65  14+
83d New York  Fredericksburg  Gibbon's  292  35  11 +
88th New York  Antietam  Richardson's  302  38  12+
88th New York  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  252  38  14+
93d New York  Wilderness  Birney's  433  72  16+
96th New York  Fort Harrison  Stannard's  167  33  13+
100th New York  Fort Wagner  Seymour's  478  66  13+
101st New York  Manassas  Kearny's  168  26  15+
105th New York  Fredericksburg  Gibbon's  177  22  12+
107th New York  New Hope Church  Williams's  358  47  13+
111th New York (8 Cos)  Gettysburg  Alex  Hays's  390  88  22+
Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed  Per Ct
111th New York  Wilderness  Barlow's  386  59  15+
114th New York  Opequon  Dwight's  315  44  13+
114th New York  Cedar Creek  Dwight's  250  39  15+
121st New York  Salem Heights  Brooks's  453  97  21+
121st New York  Spotsylvania  Russell's  346  60  17 +
124th New York  Chancellorsville  Whipple's  550  57  10+
124th New York  Gettysburg  Birney's  238  32  13+
126th New York  Gettysburg  Alex  Hays's  402  64  15+
134th New York  Gettysburg  Steinwehr's  400  60  15+
137th New York  Wauhatchie  Geary's  206  31  15+
141st New York  Peach Tree Creek  Williams's  142  31  21+
147th New York   Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  380  76  20+
3d Ohio  Chaplin Hills  Rousseau's  502  64  12+
4th Ohio  Fredericksburg  French's  113  12  11+
5th Ohio  Cedar Mountain  Augur's  275  31  11+
6th Ohio  Stone's River  Palmer's  383  51  13+
7th Ohio  Cedar Mountain  Augur's  307  55  17+
7th Ohio  Ringgold  Geary's  206  25  12+
8th Ohio  Antietam  French's  341  43  12+
8th Ohio  Gettysburg  Alex  Hays's  209  28  13+
10th Ohio  Chaplin Hills  Rousseau's  528  84  15+
14th Ohio  Chickamauga  Brannan's  449  81  18+
25th Ohio  Gettysburg  Barlow's  220  25  11+
38th Ohio  Jonesboro  Baird's  360  72  20+
41st Ohio  Shiloh  Nelson's  371  43  11 +
41st Ohio  Pickett's Mills  T J  Wood's  271  40  14+
49th Ohio  Pickett's Mills  T J  Wood's  475  83  17+
63d Ohio (9 Cos)  Corinth  Stanley's  275  39  14+
65th Ohio  Stone's River  T J  Wood's  405  52  12+
73d Ohio  Manassas  Schenck's  335  39  11 +
73d Ohio  Gettysburg  Steinwehr's  300  40  13+
82d Ohio  Gettysburg  Schurz's  312  35  11+
101st Ohio  Stone's River  Davis's  460  51  11+
11th Ohio  Battery Iuka  Hamilton's  105  19  18 +
8th Penn  Reserves  Fredericksburg  Meade's  264  44  16+
11th Penn  Reserves  Fredericksburg  Meade's  394  49  12+
26th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Humphreys's  382  65  17 +
45th Pennsylvania  Cold Harbor  Potter's  315  41  13 +
46th Pennsylvania  Cedar Mountain  Williams's  504  55  10 +
49th Pennsylvania  Spotsylvania  Russell's  478  109  22+
52d Pennsylvania  Fair Oaks  Casey's  249  29  11 +
53d Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  283  39  14+
56th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  252  31  12+
58th Pennsylvania  Fort Harrison  Stannard's  237  34  14+
61st Pennsylvania  Fair Oaks  Couch's  574  92  16+
62d Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Barnes's  426  45  10+
Regiment  Battle  Division  Engaged  Killed  Per Ct
68th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Birney's  320  47  14+
69th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  258  56  21+
72d Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Gibbon's  473  64  13 +
75th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Schurz's  206  33  16+
81st Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  261  46  17+
83d Pennsylvania  Seven Days  Morell's  554  111  20 +
83d Pennsylvania  Manassas  Morell's  224  26  10+
84th Pennsylvania  Kernstown  Shield's  260  30  11+
97th Pennsylvania  Bermuda Hundred  Ames's  311  56  18+
105th Pennsylvania  Wilderness  Birney's  351  56  15 +
107th Pennsylvania  Antietam  Ricketts's  190  27  14 +
111th Pennsylvania  Antietam  Greene's  243  33  13+
115th Pennsylvania  Chancellorsville  Berry's  244  25  10 +
116th Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  247  25  10+
118th Pennsylvania  Shepherdstown  Morell's  737  78  10 +
121st Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Doubleday's  263  29  11+
132d Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  French's  251  26  10+
140th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  589  61  10+
141st Pennsylvania  Chancellorsville  Birney's  417  62  14+
141st Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Birney's  198  49  24+
142d Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Meade's  550  66  12 +
145th Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Hancock's  505  91  18 +
145th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  202  27  13+
148th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Caldwell's  210  31  14 +
149th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Doubleday's  450  67  14+
150th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Doubleday's  400  57  14+
151st Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Doubleday's  467  66  14+
2d Vermont  Wilderness  Getty's  700  80  11 +
3d Vermont (4 Cos)  Lee's Mills  W F  Smith's  192  35  18+
3d Vermont  Wilderness  Getty's  539  68  12+
3d Vermont  Cold Harbor  Getty's  293  30  10 +
4th Vermont  Wilderness  Getty's  575  84  14+
5th Vermont  Savage Station  W  F  Smith's  400  72  18 +
5th Vermont  Wilderness  Getty's  475  63  13+
6th Vermont  Wilderness  Getty's  441  69  15+
8th Vermont  Cedar Creek  Dwight's  156  26  16 +
10th Vermont  Cedar Creek  Ricketts's  277  27  10 +
1st Wisconsin  Chaplin Hills  Rousseau's  407  77  18+
2d Wisconsin  Manassas  Hatch's  511  87  17+
2d Wisconsin  Gettysburg  Wadsworth's  302  46  15+
3d Wisconsin  Antietam  Williams's  340  41  12 +
4th Wisconsin  Port Hudson  Paine's  222  45  20+
10th Wisconsin  Chaplin Hills  Rousseau's  376  52  13+
14th Wisconsin Vicksburg (May 22)  McArthur's  256  30  11 +
15th Wisconsin  Dallas  T J  Wood's  160  26  16+
19th Wisconsin  Fair Oaks (1864)  Marston's  197  26  13+
26th Wisconsin  Chancellorsville  Schurz's  471  53  11+
26th Wisconsin  Gettysburg  Schurz's  508  61  12 +
36th Wisconsin (4 Cos)  Bethesda Church  Gibbon's  240  49  20+
37th Wisconsin  Petersburg Mine  Willcox's  251  55  21+
7th U S  Infantry  Gettysburg  Barnes's  116  19  16+
10th U S  Infantry  Gettysburg  Barnes's  93  22  23+
11th U S  Infantry  Gettysburg  Barnes's  286  35  12+
17th U S  Infantry  Gettysburg  Barnes's  260  43  16+
18th U S  Infantry  Stone's River  Rousseau's  603  102  16+
5th U S  Colored  Chaffin's Farm  Paine's  550  85  15+
6th U S  Colored  Chaffin's Farm  Paine's  367  61  16+
79th U S  Colored  Poison Springs  Thayer's  463  111  23+

        Unlike other tabulations in these pages, the above list is not an exhaustive one. Although showing losses of over ten per cent., it does not include every loss which exceeded that ratio.
        It is impossible, in many cases, to ascertain the number of muskets taken into action; regimental commandants seldom stated it, although it always would have formed an important item in their official report.
        Morning reports are of little assistance in this matter, for there was always a wide difference between the number of men reported as "present for duty" and the number taken into action. Although the morning reports stated the "present for duty" separately from the "aggregate present," there were still a large number of non-combatants included in the "present for duty "; a large number of men detailed on special duties-- too often, contrary to orders; and in case of a hard march, immediately preceding a battle, many fell out from inability to keep up, to say nothing of disinclination. General McClellan, in his official report of the battle of Antietam, carelessly states the strength of his army at 87,164, when it is doubtful if he had 60,000 muskets on the field. Yet the morning reports would justify his statement.
        Let it be hoped that, in the future wars of the Republic, the army may have its corps of intendants, as in the German Army; that every wearer of the national uniform shall be a man-at-arms, serving as such only; and that the men attached to the trains and all other subsidiary departments shall be enlisted for such service and wear a different uniform. Then a morning report will be some indication of the strength of a regiment or of an army.
        The Confederates managed these things better. They counted their men as they went into action, and were careful to report no larger number. They were quick to see the important point involved. In General Cheatham's official report for Stone's River, he not only tabulates the number of killed and wounded in his division, but adds other columns in which he states the number of men taken into action by each regiment and the consequent percentage of loss.
        This mention of the actual force engaged is a frequent item in the reports of the Confederate colonels, while in the Union Army it is correspondingly rare. In the latter there were so many men detailed contrary to order -- officers' servants, for instance -- that, too often, a colonel did not care to call attention to the discrepancy between his morning report and his effective strength. The Union Armies generally outnumbered the Confederates, but the disparity was not so great as the official figures always implied.
        Although the reports of the Union commanders seldom mentioned the number taken into action by each regiment, General Hancock was thoughtful enough in his report for Fredericksburg to specify the number present on the field in each regiment of his division. As the loss in Hancock's Division, in its memorable assault on Marye's Heights, was one of the severest of the war, it is given here in full. In addition to the official figures, the number of killed, as increased by those who died of their wounds, is also given-- the number having been ascertained by examining the muster-out rolls of each regiment.
        Having the exact number engaged, these casualties are of interest as showing the outside limit of loss to which troops are subjected in action. There are on record some higher percentages in cases of individual regiments in certain engagements, but no greater percentage in any division.

HANCOCK'S' DIVISION
Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862

REGIMENTS Killed Wounded Missing Total Number engaged

Percentage of Casualties

Killed and Died of Wounds

Percentage of Killed

Caldwell's Brigade                
Staff  --  3  --  3  --  --  --  --
5th New Hampshire  20  154  19  193  303  63.6  51  16. 8
7th New York  26  184  33  243  488  49.7  56  11.4
61st New York  9  27  --  36}  435  24.8  26  5.9
64th New York  4  68  --  72} --  --  -- --
81st Pennsylvania  15  141  20  176  261  67.4  46  17.6
145th Pennsylvania  34  152  43  229  500  45.,8  91  18.2
Irish Brigade                
28th Massachusetts  14  124  20  158  416  37.9  37  8.8
63d New York  2  38  4  44  162  27.1  11  6.7
69th New York  10  95  23  128  238  53.7  34  14.2
88th New York  17  97  13  127  252  50.3  38 15.0
116th Pennsylvania  7  67  14  88  247  35.6  25  10. 1
Zook's Brigade                
27th Connecticut  10  83  20  113  384  29.4  36 9.3
2d Delaware  4  41  9  54  244  22.1  15  6.1
52d New York  6  37  --  43  160  26.8  12  7.5
57th New York  8  78  1  87  192  45.3  20  10.4
66th New York  11  55  9  75  238  31.5  24  10.0
53d Pennsylvania  21  133  1  155  314  49.3  39  12.4
4th U S  Artillery "C"  1  4  --  5  --  --  --  --
Total  219  1,581  229  2,029  4,834  41.9  561  11.6

        Nearly all the missing ones were killed or wounded men, who fell its front of the stone wall at Marye's Heights. Most of them belong with the killed, and were buried by the enemy. The number engaged may appear small; but it should be remembered that this division had already lost 3,290 men on the Peninsula and at Antietam.
        It may be of interest to know the maximum of percentage, as based on the total of killed, wounded and missing, instead of on the killed and mortally wounded alone. Such percentages, however, are apt to be unsatisfactory, as the missing includes the captured men. In the following table the missing are mostly, if not all, killed or wounded men.

MAXIMUM PERCENTAGE OF CASUALTIES.

Regiment  Battle  Corps  Engaged  Killed  Wounded  Missing  Per Ct
1st Minnesota  Gettysburg  Second  262  47  168  --  82.0
141st Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Third  198  25  103  21  75.7
101st New York  Manassas  Third  168  6  101  17  73.8
25th Massachusetts  Cold Harbor  Eighteenth  310  53  139  28  70.0
36th Wisconsin (4 Cos)  Bethesda Church  Second  240  90  108  38  69.0
20th Massachusetts  Fredericksburg  Second  238  25  138  --  68.4
8th Vermont  Cedar Creek  Nineteenth  156  17  66  23  67.9
81st Pennsylvania  Fredericksburg  Second  261  15  141  20  67.4
12th Massachusetts  Antietam  First  334  49  165  10  67.0
1st Maine H A   Petersburg  Second  950  115  489  28  66.5
9th Louisiana Colored  Milliken's Bend    300  62  130  --  64.0
111th New York  Gettysburg  Second  390  58  177  14  63.8
24th Michigan  Gettysburg  First  496  69  247  --  63.7
5th New Hampshire  Fredericksburg  Second  303  20  154  19  63.6
9th Illinois  Shiloh  -----  578  61  300  5  63.3
9th New York (8 Cos)  Antietam  Ninth  373  45  176  14  63.0
15th New Jersey  Spotsylvania  Sixth  432  75  159  38  62.9
15th Massachusetts  Gettysburg  Second  239  23  97  28  61.9
69th New York  Antietam  Second  317  44  152  --  61.8
51st Illinois  Chickamauga  Twentieth  209  18  92  18  61.2
19th Indiana  Manassas  First  423  47  168  44  61.2
121st New York  Salem  Church  Sixth  453  48  173  55  60.9
5th New York  Manassas  Fifth  490  79  170  48  60.6
93d New York  Wilderness  Second  433  42  213  5  60.0
2d Wisconsin  Gettysburg  First  302  26  155  --  59.9
41st Illinois  Jackson  Sixteenth  338  27  135  40  59.7
148th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Second  210  19  101  5  59.5
15th Indiana  Missionary Ridge  Fourth  334  24  175  --  59.5
7th Ohio  Cedar Mountain  Twelfth  307  31  149  2  59.2
80th New York  Gettysburg  First  287  35  111  24  59,2
63d New York  Antietam  Second  341  35  165  2  59.2
3d Wisconsin  Antietam  Twelfth  340  27  173  --  58.8
114th New York  Opequon  Nineteenth  315  21  164  --  58.7
59th New York  Antietam  Second  381  48  153  23  58.7
26th Ohio  Chickamauga  Twenty-first  362  27  140  45  58.5
2d Wisconsin  Manassas  First  511  53  213  32  58. 3
3d Maine  Gettysburg  Third  210  18  59  45  58.0
17th U S  Inf  (7 Cos)  Gettysburg  Fifth  260  25  118  7  57.6
126th New York  Gettysburg  Second  402  40  181  10  57.4
45th Pennsylvania  Cold Harbor  Ninth  315  18  141  22  57.4
49th Pennsylvania  Spotsylvania  Sixth  478  50  180  44  57.3
6th U S  Colored  Chaffin's Farm  Eighteenth  367  41  160  8  56.9
15th Massachusetts  Antietam  Second  606  65  255  24  56.7
26th New York  Fredericksburg  First  300  23  136  11  56.6
14th Indiana  Antietam  Second  320  30  150  --  56.2
96th Illinois  Chickamauga  Reserve  401  39  134  52  56.1
26th Pennsylvania  Gettysburg  Third  382  30  176  7  55.7
11th New Jersey  Gettysburg  Third  275  17  124  12  55.6
1st Michigan  Manassas  Fifth  320  33  114  31  55.6
19th Indiana  Gettysburg  First  288  27  133  --  55.5
12th New Hampshire  Cold Harbor  Eighteenth  301  23  129  15  55.4
61st Pennsylvania  Fair Oaks  Fourth  574  68  152  43  55.4
25th Illinois  Chickamauga  Twentieth  337  10  171  24  54.9
14th Ohio  Chickamauga  Fourteenth  449  35  167  43  54.5
2d New Hampshire  Gettysburg  Third  354  20  137  36  54.5
8th Kansas  Chickamauga  Twentieth  406  30  165  25  54.1
16th Maine  Fredericksburg  First  427  27  170  34  54.0
16th United States  Stone's River  Fourteenth  308  16  134  16  53.8
55th Illinois  Shiloh  ---------  512  51  197  27  53.7
69th New York  Fredericksburg  Second  238  10  95  23  53.7
35th Illinois  Chickamauga  Twentieth  299  17  130  13  53.5
22d Indiana  Chaplin Hills  Fourteenth  303  49  87  23  52.4
11th Illinois  Fort Donelson  --------  500  70  181  --  50.1

        There are other instances which deserve a place in the preceding list, but are omitted as it is impossible to ascertain definitely the number of men engaged.
        It is well to pause here, and consider what these figures mean; to think of what such extraordinary percentages imply. Perhaps their significance will be better understood when compared with some extraordinary loss in foreign wars; some well known instance which may serve as a standard of measurement. Take the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava. Its extraordinary loss has been made a familiar feature of heroic verse and story in every land, until the whole world has heard of the gallant Six Hundred and their ride into the Valley of Death. Now, as the Light Brigade accomplished nothing in this action,-- merely executed an order which was a blunder,-- it must be that it was the danger and its attendant loss which inspired the interest in that historic ride. What was the loss? The Light Brigade took 673 officers and men into that charge; they lost 113 killed and 134 wounded; total, 247, or 36.2 per cent.
        The heaviest loss in the German Army during the Franco-Prussian war occurred in the Sixteenth Infantry (Third Westphalian), at Mars La Tour. Like all German regiments of the line it numbered 3,006 men. As this battle was the first in which it was engaged,-- occurring within a few days of the opening of the campaign,-- it carried 3,000 men into action. It lost 509 killed and mortally wounded, 619 wounded, and 365 missing; total, 1484, or 49.4 per cent. The Garde-Schutzen Battalion, 1,000 strong, lost at Metz, August 18th, 162 killed and mortally wounded, 294 wounded, and 5 missing; total, 461, or 46.1 per cent.
        A comparison of these percentages with those of the Union regiments in certain battles just cited will give some idea of the desperate character of the fighting during the American Civil War.

This Page last updated 11/17/02

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