CIVIL DIS­CUS­SION

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Sure to get Civil War buffs buzzing: Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity his­to­rian J. David Hacker says that the Civil War took a toll far more se­vere than pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated. Based on a new anal­y­sis of cen­sus data, Mr. Hacker says the war’s dead num­bered about 750,000, which is 20 per­cent higher than the com­monly cited fig­ure of 620,000. His find­ings will be pub­lished in Civil War His­tory in De­cem­ber.

“The tra­di­tional es­ti­mate has be­come iconic. It’s been quoted for the last hun­dred years or more,” Mr. Hacker says. “If you go with that to­tal for a minute — 620,000 — the num­ber of men dy­ing in the Civil War is more than in all other Amer­i­can wars from the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion through the Korean War com­bined. And con­sider that the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion in 1860 was about 31 mil­lion peo­ple, about one-tenth the size it is to­day. If the war were fought to­day, the num­ber of deaths would to­tal 6.2 mil­lion.”

Numbers, math, se­cu­ri­ty­minded commentary to jharper@ wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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