Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865, Second Wisconsin

Written on:December 20, 2012
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boothThe 2d Wisconsin Infantry was primarily raised in Madison, Racine, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and La Crosse and entered into Federal service on June 11, 1861. The regiment would have 1203 soldiers enroll into its ranks throughout its service with 238 killed or wounded in battle for a 19.7% rate.(1) Therefore, according to William F. Fox’s study, the 2nd Wisconsin suffered the highest rate of losses in battle. However, the figures of the Second Wisconsin losses should be much higher (as would all the other regiments) when taken into account the actual number of men who went into battle. Men got sick, died of disease, deserted and simply never made it onto the battlefield. Also, each regiment carried a number of “musicians, teamsters, company cooks, officers’ servants, Surgeon’s assistants, and Quartermaster’s men.” So as one can see, if the percentage was based on those who entered into the fray, the “figures would be still more startling.”

Regiment. Division.1 Corps. Enrolled. Killed. Per ct.
2d Wisconsin Wadsworth‘s First 1203 238 19.7
1st Maine H. Art’y Birney‘s Second 2202 423 19.2
57th Massachusetts Stevenson‘s Ninth 1052 201 19.1
140th Pennsylvania Barlow‘s Second 1132 198 17.4
26th Wisconsin Schurz‘s Eleventh 1089 188 17.2
7th Wisconsin Wadsworth‘s First 1630 281 17.2
69th New York Hancock‘s Second 1513 259 17.1
11th Penn. Reserves Crawford‘s Fifth 1179 196 16.6
142d Pennsylvania Doubleday‘s First 935 155 16.5
141st Pennsylvania Birney‘s Third 1037 167 16.1
19th Indiana Wadsworth‘s First 1246 199 15.9
121st New York Wright‘s Sixth 1426 226 15.8
7th Michigan Gibbon‘s Second 1315 208 15.8
148th Pennsylvania Barlow‘s Second 1339 210 15.6
83d Pennsylvania Griffin‘s Fifth 1808 282 15.5
22d Massachusetts Griffin‘s Fifth 1393 216 15.5
36th Wisconsin Gibbon‘s Second 1014 157 15.4
27th Indiana Williams‘s Twelfth 1101 169 15.3
5th Kentucky T. J. Wood‘s Fourth 1020 157 15.3
27th Michigan Willcox‘s Ninth 1485 225 15.1
79th U. S. Colored Thayer‘s Seventh 1249 188 15.0
17th Maine Birney‘s Third 1371 207 15.0
1st Minnesota Gibbon‘s Second 1242 187 15.0

[The photo of the three soldiers are the Booth brothers: Lt. Willam, Pvt. George, and Sgt. Samuel, all of the 2nd Wisconsin V.I. Company C, likely taken in May or early June 1862 at Fredericksburg.)]

1 – William F. Fox, Lt. Col. U. S. V., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865: A Treatise on the extent and nature of the mortuary losses in the Union regiments, with full and exhaustive statistics compiled from the official records on file in the state military bureaus and at Washington

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