When I spoke to the United Daughters of the Confederacy this week, I tried to stress the things both sides had in common, not the things that drove us apart. Tops on my list were medical conditions. To show how terrible the Civil War was, I offered the following statistics on war casualties, as supplied by the Pentagon:
American soldiers who died in our wars:
But in the Civil War (including both sides), there were roughly 620,000 deaths, including 368,000 from disease. This makes the Civil War not only the deadliest war in our history, but deadlier than all other American wars combined.
On the brighter side, if there is one, I provided a list of medical improvements that can be traced back to the Civil War:
A bit of self-promotion: Beyond All Price tells the story of Nellie Chase, whose experiences as a nurse during the war offers many examples of these improvements.