The tables exhibit the number of casualties, and also the ratio per thousand to the total of men in service, under the following heads:
1. States and groups of States. 2. Regulars, volunteers, and colored troops. 3. Armies and arms of service. The rations have been calculated by proportioning the total casualties to the total number of men credited, and each item of casualty to the corresponding figure of total credit.
Highly interesting and valuable facts are deducible from these tables. Final deductions cannot, however, be drawn until additional and collateral information is obtained. For example, the comparative zeal and efficiency of the troops of the different arms and States cannot be inferred from the ratio of casualties in action, without considering in addition the more or less perilous character of the service demanded of each of them. Again, at respective periods, the proportion of deaths from disease should be considered in connection with the relative salubrity of the regions in which the troops from different sections of the country served, the exact nature of the service, whether field, camp, or garrison, and their supply, equipment, and discipline. Certain conclusions, however, can already be correctly drawn from this statistical exhibit, and these it will not be premature to state.
Comparative mortality of officers and enlisted men.*
From a careful compilation of the rolls, and without including deaths after muster out, which resulted from military service previously rendered, it appears that 280,739 men and officers have lost their lives in the Army. Of this number 5,221 commissioned officers and 90,886 enlisted men have been killed in action or died of wounds, while 2,321 commissioned officers and 182,329 enlisted men have died of disease or, in some few cases, from accident.
It will be observed that of killed in battle and died of wounds, there is one officer to every eighteen enlisted ortality on the part of the officers, who, supposing the organizations to be full, constitute about a twenty-fifth part of the forces.
On the other hand, only one officer to ninety men has died of disease. This remarkable disproportion, so greatly to the advantage of the commissioned class, is owing to several causes. Officers are better sheltered than men; and their food is generally better in quality and more varied in kind, so that they suffer less from diseases of the digestive organs. They are not so much crowded together in tents and quarters, and are therefore less subject to contagious and epidemic maladies. They have superior advantages in regard to personal cleanliness. As prisoners of war, too, they were generally treated more leniently, and so furnished fewer names to the mortality lists of Andersonville, Salisbury, and other similar dens of death. Another favoring circumstance, and by no means the least potential, was the superior morale, the hopefulness and elasticity of spirit, which is given to a man by investing him with a commission and its accompanying authority, responsibility, and chances advancement.
It is worthy of note that in the colored troops the disproportion between commissioned officers and enlisted men under these heads is still more remarkable. In killed or died of wounds the officers lost one in about forty-two, while the men lost but about one in sixty-six. But under the head of deaths by disease the officers show a loss of only one in seventy-seven, while that of the men rises to the enormous
* But see foot-note (+), pp.664, 665.