Civil War Casualties

by fifer1863 on December 18, 2008

In order to better understand the impact that the Civil War had on the United States, it is important for students to review data of how many soldiers were killed, died from disease, died as a prisoner of war, and died in accidents. Information such as this was collected during it is currently available online. The data can be obtained from Dyer’s Compendium (Union) Summary of Losses by State as listed on the website at Once students have obtained the required data, they will then be able to manipulate the data in order to determine totals and averages for states and/or categories.

The following could be some objectives for this lesson.

  1. Students will analyze data from Dyer’s Compendium (Union) Summary of Losses by State.
  2. Students will manipulate a spreadsheet in order to better understand the data provided.
  3. Students will focus on the following issues: participation in the war by state, casualties of the war by state, averages for the various statistics.

So, the teacher could take the data from the website and replicate this table into spreadsheet. Then the students would take the spreadsheet provided by the teacher perform the following:

  1. Enter formulas into the Total Deaths column to total the number of casualties for each state.
  2. Enter formulas into the Totals section at the bottom of the spreadsheet to calculate the totals for each category.
  3. Enter formulas into the Totals section at the bottom of the spreadsheet to calculate the averages for each category.
  4. Review the data and answer questions about the data such as which state had the highest number of Total Deaths.
  5. Additional questions for students to answer:
  • What is the total number of people who died of disease during the Civil War?
  • What was the cause of the most losses in Illinois during the War of the Rebellion?
  • How many more died as prisoners of war in Pennsylvania than in Massachusetts?

The following table shows the losses that are specific to Pennsylvania


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cary caldwell March 25, 2009 at 3:02 pm

May I please have the total number of casualties of Vermont soldiers during the Civil War ?
thank you


Isabella Davis April 28, 2009 at 3:14 am

For an excellent source of facts and figures on The Civil War, you could check out Shmoop. They have an in-depth section as well an interesting concept called Timeline which gives you a detailed build up of an historical event. Might prove useful.


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