How many soldiers died from diseases during the Civil War?
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.