After 150 years, historians are taking a second look at the estimated death count of the war. A new thesis, based upon census data, suggests a significant boost in the numbers.
The true death toll was probably about 750,000 – 20 percent higher than the traditionally quoted figure of 620,000 – and might have been as high as 850,000, according to J. David Hacker of New York’s Binghamton University…
Hacker’s conclusions, published in the December issue of the journal Civil War History, are “already gaining acceptance from scholars,” the New York Times reported today.
The journal called the article “among the most consequential pieces” it has ever published, and Columbia historian Eric Foner told the Times the study “further elevates the significance of the Civil War” and “helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was.”