Some Civil War Numbers ~Tanya Hanson

Ever since I read Gone with the Wind and saw the Jimmie Stewart classic Shenandoah, the Civil War has fascinated me. Recent visits to Gettysburg and Harper”s Ferry reinforced its allure. Peeking through a flea market find (Civil War Trivia and Fact Book by Webb Garrison) pointed out some wonderful tidbits that I thought inquiring minds might want to know.

1.  Only 28 percent of the 30,500 miles of railroads in 1860 lay in Confederate territory.


2.  The two warring capitals, Washington DC and Richmond, VA, are 100 miles apart.

3.  Seven states had announced their secession at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. (Can you name them?**  See below.)

4.  86 percent of the United States’ manufacturing firms were located in the North.

5.  38 percent of the Confederacy’s population were slaves.

6.  Diarrhea, including dysentery, was the most common ailment in the camps and claimed the lives of 44,000 Union soldiers.

7.  More than 68 American Revolutions could have been financed for the estimated cost of the Civil War.


8.  During the years of the conflict, 2,778,304 men were enlisted in all the branches of the Union forces.

9.  Four states were classified as “border states”, meaning they remained in the Union but had strong ties to the South. (Can you name them?*** See below.)

10. New Orleans was the Confederacy’s largest city, with an 1860 census of 168,000.

11. New York, with its 1860 population exceeding 800,000, was the North’s largest city.

12. Due to inflation in the Confederacy, the price of a pound of tea was $10.00 by the end of 1862.

13.  On New Year’s Day 1865, 55 percent of the Confederate fighting forces was listed as AWOL.

14. The tallest man in the Union forces was Captain Van Buskirk of the 27th Indiana.  Six feet, ten and one-half inches.

15.  The shorted man in the Union forces was a private in the 192nd Ohio.  Three feet, four inches.

16.  There were 33 states in the Union in 1860.

17.  In 1861, a Union soldier’s monthly salary was $13.

18.  As president of the United States, Abe Lincoln’s annual salary was $25,000.


19.  About 200,000 blacks eventually served in the Union army and navy.


20.  Union regiment, the First Minnesota, lost 82 percent at Gettysburg, the highest percentage of one-battle casualties.

21. By the war’s end, 12,912 graves had been filled at infamous Andersonville Prison. (total deaths is believed much higher.)



22.  When Harper’s Ferry fell to Stonewall Jackson, he seized 73 cannon and 13,000 small arms from the arsenal there. And 10,000 prisoners.

Harper”s Ferry Armory

23. Thirty six (36) horses were needed to pull the six guns of a standard field battery, three pairs in tandem per gun.

24.  Six Confederate generals were killed at Gettysburg.

25.  Black troops participated in 450 battles and skirmishes.

26.  The most popular handgun in the North with about 200,000 manufactured between 1860-1872 was the Colt Army and Navy revolver.

27.  The weight of a shell thrown by a 13-inch mortar (the largest in use then) was 220 pounds.

28.  Three of the 2,300 Federal chaplains received the Congressional

Medal of Honor.

I hope you didn”t mind a history lesson today! Which fact did you find the most interesting?


** South Carolina; Mississippi; Florida; Alabama; Georgia; Louisiana, and Texas.

*** Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri

Coming this summer:

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32 thoughts on “Some Civil War Numbers ~Tanya Hanson”

  1. Tanya, the numbers that make up the Civil War are mind-boggling. Thank you for sharing and I love your new cover!

    P.S. I hope the six foot ten guy fought on his knees.


  2. Some amazing facts about an unthinkable time in our history, Tanya. Given those figures, it’s surprising the South held out as long as it did. 55% of their men AOL? You can hardly blame them.

  3. Why can’t we figure out that war is a terrible thing. NO MORE WAR.
    Honestly, it does no good to re-fight the Civil War, I know. And I know those southerners were fighting for freedom as they saw it, but my mind is just unable to handle this vision of a wealthy southern landowner sending his sons off to war to fight for the right to keep slaves. I know to the south it was about more than that, but it was still LARGELY about that.
    Risk my sons life?
    Free my slaves?

    You know what, son, go to war… makes no sense.
    Especially when the Union Pacific Railroad was already being built by Chinese people who were NOT slaves but were being treated as poorly as slaves. So the concept of ‘free men’ who were charged their entire salary for food and shelter existed. Why didn’t the south just do that. Free their slaves and then more or less keep them as slaves.

    I’m not saying that’s right, it’s just mind boggling that they let so many of their sons die instead of doing that.

    I hate war.

  4. I have heard so much about the horrors of Andersonville Prison, that to me that is what most sticks in my mind when I think of the Civil War..

  5. Hi Tanya
    Wow…those bits of history are staggering. I love it all, but especially stuff about Lincoln…a truly great man.
    Great blog today!!

  6. Hi Margaret, I couldn’t believe a six-foot ten guy. My son is nearly six-six and to me, he’s GIANT. I couldn’t find a pic of the little guy, though. Thanks for the post. Glad you enjoyed it…oh and there’s tons more for another day LOL. xoxox

  7. #5 & #14.. but then I’m a Hoosier. Did you know that rural mail delivery came as a way to employ former soldiers?

  8. Hi Dora, thanks for liking my cover. It turned out great, that’s for sure. Yeah, I keep thinking about all those horses. I read in the Smithsonian that the stench of their unburied corpses lingered in Gettysburg for six months. Sheesh. What our animals do for us. I’m so glad you came by today!

  9. Hi Elizabeth, oh, yeah, it seemed a very lopsided war. And as you say, mind-bogglingly tragic. Oh and thanks about the cover and title. It’s a book I truly think turned out good on all counts LOL. xox

  10. HI Mary, I can’t wait for the Andersonville book. I never even heard the pplace’s name in high school or college U.S. History courses. I know what you mean about sending your son off…I’d SNEAK him off somewhere safe, my grandsons, too. I think of the baoynette battle at Gettysburg when the troop was out of bullets and absolutely cringe.

    War is the biggest curse. There’s got to better way. Grrrr.

  11. Hi Charlene, Lincoln really lives in my heart, too. We didn’t have time to get to Ford’s Theatre on our DC trip, so it’s going back to that for sure someday. We saw his top hat in the Smithsonian…very touching. I was fascinated all during the recent movie. Can’t believe anybody thought it was “slow.” Sheesh. Thanks for the post today! xoxx

  12. Fascinating facts, Tanya. And so many of the soldiers on both sides were so young. Even more tragic when you remember that 90% of Southerners had never owned slaves. It does sometimes seem like humanity never learns.

  13. Hi Jennie, yeah, I came across the numbers (for another time) as to the ages. Some were as young as 13, and not just buglers, either. They’d lie about their age. Wow. Unfathomable. Thanks for the post today xoxox.

  14. Hello, Tanya,

    I’ve always been appalled by the thought of war between our
    states! All the young men lost! And Andersonville, truly an abomination!

    #s 6, 8, & 13.

    Pat C.

  15. WHOA, great facts!! I got Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, but forgot Delaware. LOL… some women signed up as men, dressed the part and many were not discovered, so I read — somewhere. Most women who followed the camps served in other ways, as cooks or laundresses, or — ahem. Yes. Great post, Tanya!

  16. HI Pat, thanks for posting today. Family lore says my great-great grandfather, who marched with Sherman, got early release due to dysentery. I was always glad he wasn’t there to dismember Atlanta. I can’t even imagine the horrors. Shivering…

  17. Hi Meg, good to see you here! I spent about an hour in Delaware recently LOL, and I forgot it, too. Aw, yes, there were “camp followers.” Yuck. And in the early days, I guess proper womenfolk set up picnics in the distance so they would watch a battle. My heavens, didn’t they THINK? Sheesh.

  18. Intersting facts. My ancestors came from Germany after the Civil War. I can’t see how anyone would sign up to go to war, much less lie about his age. $25,000 was probably a lot then. My first teaching job in 1972 was $4750 for the year. My tax man asked if I worked part time!

  19. HI Nancy, oh I remember those early teaching salaries very well. Shameful. I do think $25,000 in the 1860’s had to be a fortune.

    I too don’t get the urge to fight in a war, much less die. Maybe it’s a guy thing. Sheesh.

  20. Very interesting, Tanya! Wow, I don’t think I’d have been a tea drinker back then. At $10 a pound that would’ve been outrageous. And if you figure in 2013 inflation rate….oh my dear Lord!

  21. Hi Linda, oh, I can’t even imagine what ten dollars would be. I think Mr. Garrison’s book has a chapter on the rates of inflation…I’ll try to see if that info might make a good future blog. Thanks for the post! xo

  22. I loved Gone with the Wind and have always enjoyed reading books during the Civil war time. I find it very interesting.

  23. Hi Guilt Lady, indeed a great book and I loved the movie too. Except for leaving out her two other kids, I think it portrayed Scarlett pretty close to the book. Thanks for stopping by today!

  24. Thanks for the interesting post, Tanya! The whole Civil War is filled with so many interesting and terrible facts I’d be hard pressed to find the most interesting. And like most wars, it amazes me how many innovations, inventions and progress rises from such horrific carnage.


  25. “War is a curse.”

    A bigger curse is someone who believes nothing is worth fighting for.

    A note about CW prison camps; Andersonville was the most notorious, but there were others, like the Federal Military Prison in Alton, Illinois, nearly as bad. Alton opened in February, 1862 on the site of a former state penitentiary. Originally approved to house 1,750 prisoners, over the next three years 11,764 captured Confederate soldiers would pass through its gates. The recorded death count was 1,534. Estimates of the unrecorded deaths range from one to five thousand.

    At least the south could argue that even their own soldiers went hungry. The north had no such excuse.

  26. Not sure why, but I find number 13. “On New Year’s Day 1865, 55 percent of the Confederate fighting forces was listed as AWOL.” interesting.

    Thanks for some interesting information on the Civil War.

  27. Very interesting. The Civil War holds a fascination for me, too. I’ve watched “Gettysburg” several times, and have to keep reminding myself that there wasn’t glorious music and people really died in the actual war.

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