Conditions and Diseases
US Civil War

How many soldiers died from diseases during the Civil War?

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September 02, 2012 12:47PM

200,000 recruits were physically unfit and discharged either

because they were ill or they suffered from other maladies, but

still many slipped through the cracks and enlisted while very ill.

Approximately three out of every five soldiers died of disease

especially during the first year of the Civil War. Approximately

half the deaths of soldiers were tuberculosis; pneumonia; diarrhea,

whooping cough; chickenpox; intestinal disorders; mumps and

measles. Because of the unhygienic shape of the Federal camps

(rotten food and garbage of all types) bacteria and viruses spread

throughout the camps and bowel disorders were common. Well over

three quarters of the soldiers would contract chronic diarrhea or

dysentery. Typhoid was treated with quinine and reduced fatalities,

but malaria struck one quarter of the soldiers. Exposure to the

elements, especially becoming damp and cold; pneumonia was the

third leading cause of death.

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