Civil War Battle of Gettyburg’s Numbers

Post and rider fence common around Gettysburg in 1863 — at Gettysburg Battlefield

 

 With the July 1st—3rd anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg approaching, I thought it would be fun to dig into some “number” facts pertaining to the battle.

How many soldiers fought in the famous Pennsylvania battle?

Sources disagree on this number due to inaccurate, incomplete, and missing records.

HistoryNet

 82,289 Union soldiers

75,000 Confederate soldiers

157,289 Total

Stone Sentinels

93,700 Union

 70,100 Confederate

163,800  Total

Book of Lists

93,693 Union (Corps Strength)

 70,136 Confederate (Corps Strength)

163,829 Total

Some sources reported round numbers:

Encylopaedia Britannica

94,000 Union

 71,000 Confederate

165,000 Total

The Civil War Battlefield Guide    

170,000+ soldiers fought

When the Smoke Cleared At Gettysburg

172,000+ soldiers fought

As you can see, some of these numbers are very close. The difference between the lowest and highest estimates is 14,711.

How many casualties did both sides suffer?

We first have to understand that casualties were broken down as follows: Killed, Wounded, and Missing. Sources also disagree on this number for the same reasons as above.

HistoryNet

3,155  Union killed

14,529 Union wounded

  5,365 Union missing

23,049 Total Union casualties

 

3,903  Confederate killed

18,735  Confederate wounded

  5,425  Confederate missing

28,063  Total Confederate casualties

 

23,049 Union (all casualties)

28,063 Confederate (all casualties)

51,112 Total casualties

Stone Sentinels*

3,150  Union killed

14,500 Union wounded

  5,165  Union missing

22,815  Total Union casualties

 

4,400  Confederate killed

12,950 Confederate wounded

  5,350  Confederate missing

22,700  Total Confederate casualties

 

22,815 Union (all casualties)

22,700 Confederate (all casualties)

45,515 Total casualties

*Stone Sentinel acknowledges their estimates are conservative, with actual casualties possibly as high as 51,000.

Book of Lists

22,807 Union (Corps)

22,557 Confederate (Corps)

45,364  Total casualties

When the Smoke Cleared At Gettysburg

3,155  Union killed

14,530 Union wounded

  5,365  Union missing

23,050  Total Union casualties

 

4,500  Confederate killed

18,750 Confederate wounded

   5,250 Confederate missing

28,500  Total Confederate casualties

 

23,050 Union (all casualties)

28,500 Confederate (all casualties)

51,550 Total casualties

 

Some sources reported round numbers:

Encylopaedia Britannica

23,000 Union casualties

28,000 Confederate casualties

51,000 Total casualties

The Civil War Battlefield Guide    

50,000+ Total casualties

Again, some numbers are close. The difference between the lowest and highest estimates is 6,186. It’s been surprising to find so many discrepancies in these numbers. As an author of a Civil War romance set during the Battle of Gettysburg, A Rebel in My HouseI’m often asked these numbers. It’s not an easy answer.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Sources

“Battle of Gettysburg,” Encyclopeadia Britannica, 2018/06/15 https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Gettysburg.

“Battle of Gettysburg,” HistoryNet, 2018/06/15 http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-gettysburg.

“Battle of Gettysburg Facts,” Stone Sentinels, 2018/06/15 http://gettysburg.stonesentinels.com/battle-of-gettysburg-facts/.

Compiled by Editors of Combined Books. The Civil War Book of Lists, Da Capo Press, 1994.

Edited by Kennedy, Frances H. The Civil War Battlefield Guide, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

Long, E.B and Long, Barbara. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac 1861-1865, A Da Capo Paperback, 1971.

Sheldon, George. When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg: The Tragic Aftermath of the Bloodiest Battle of the Civil War, Cumberland House, 2003.

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