Civil War Comparison

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Civil War Comparison of the North and South
A Comparison Between Northern and Southern States

Civil War Union and Confederate Comparisons
Total Populations, Manpower, Agriculture, Industry, Military, Casualties, Prisoners

Civil War comparison between the North and South covers many aspects of the conflict. From comparing Union military and Confederate army capabilities; total Northern and Southern populations, manufacturing, manpower, and industry; list of weapons in the respective inventories of the North and South at the beginning of the war; army totals by year, with attrition rates; types of infantry, cavalry, and artillery weapons with totals; military strength and casualties per army and year; agriculture and industrial production; battle casualties, including killed, mortally wounded, missing in action, died of disease, prisoner of war deaths, and grand total deaths by state, as well as for the Union and Confederate military. This page contains additional pages with unique, rich facts, data, tables, charts, and statistics. Information has been compiled from US Census Bureau, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, statisticians Fox, Dyer and Phisterer, The Union Army (1908), U.S. Military Academy, National Archives, National Park Service, Library of Congress, to numerous additional sources. Thanks for visiting and hopefully you will enjoy this site.

Civil War Comparison of the North and South
Northern, Southern, and Border States.jpg
Map of the Northern, Southern, and Border States

The States of the American Civil War (1861-1865)
The Union, also known as the North, included the states of Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Nevada, and Oregon. Although Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States, during the American Civil War he was principally known as President of the Union. While Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri were known as Border States, they remained under Union control. Because the Border States were critical to overall Union victory during the Civil War, separate and distinct statistics have been applied. President Lincoln, for example, said that to win the Civil War, "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky!"

The Confederacy, aka South, included the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Jefferson Davis was their President.

(Right) Map of Northern, Southern, and Border States. Two states were created during the four year Civil War. The western portion of Virginia seceded from Virginia and became the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863, and Nevada received statehood on October 31, 1864. West Virginia was heavily recruited by both the Union and Confederate armies and was host to major battles and campaigns during the conflict. Nevada, according to the 1860 US census, had a mere population of 6,857, but its main contribution to the Union effort was financing the war with $400 million in silver. Nevada, per capita, was the wealthiest state in the Union.  

Within the United States, the Union had $234,000,000 in bank deposit and coined money or specie while the Confederacy had $74,000,000 and the Border States had $29,000,000. See also American Civil War: From Cost to Casualties
The population of the Union was 18.5 million. In the Confederacy, the population was listed as 5.5 million free and 3.5 million enslaved. In the Border States there were 2.5 million free inhabitants and 500,000 enslaved people. Since the North controlled all the Border States, its population was included in the Union. Therefore the Union population was 21,000,000 free persons and an additional 500,000 slaves, and the Confederacy totaled 5,000,000 free persons and an additional 3,500,000 enslaved persons.

North and South Comparisons during the Civil War
North South Comparisons during the Civil War.jpg
Table of Civil War Military Comparisons between the Union and Confederacy

With the exception of rice and tobacco, the Union had a clear agricultural advantage. Particularly horses: the Union had twice that of the Confederacy, 3.4 million to the CSA's 1.7 million.
The Union led corn production with 400 million bushels compared to the 250 million bushels in the Confederacy and 150 million bushels in the Border States.
The Confederacy produced nearly all of the nation's rice which amounted to 225 million bushels.
The Confederacy led tobacco production with 225 million pounds compared to 110 million pounds produced in the Border States and 50 million pounds produced in the Union.
The Union led wheat production with 100 million bushels produced in comparison to 35 million bushels in the Confederacy and 20 million bushels in the Border States.
The Union was attributed with having 40 million heads of livestock compared to 35 million in the Confederacy and only 10 million in the Border States.
The Union had 101,000 factories, while the Confederacy had 21,000 and the Border States had 9,000.
The Union had 1.1 million factory workers, while the Confederacy had 111,000 and the Border States had 70,000.
The Union had 20,000 miles of railroad compared to 9,000 in the Confederacy and 1,700 in the Border States.

Comparison of Union and Confederate Military
Jefferson Davis.jpg
Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Civil War Comparisons of North and South
President Abraham Lincoln.jpg
United States President Abraham Lincoln

Enlistment strength for the Union Army was 2,672,341:

         2,489,836 white soldiers

         178,975 African American soldiers

         3,530 Native American troops

Enlistment strength for the Confederate Army ranges from 750,000 to 1,227,890. Soldier demographics for the Confederate Army are not available due to incomplete and destroyed enlistment records.

Civilian Occupations

Farmers comprised 48 percent of the civilian occupations in the Union. Others included mechanics, 24 percent; laborers, 16 percent; commercial, 5 percent; miscellaneous, 4 percent; and professional occupations, 3 percent.

Farmers comprised 69 percent of the civilian occupations in the Confederacy. Others included laborers, 9 percent; mechanics, 5.3 percent; commercial, 5 percent; professional occupations, 2.1 percent; and miscellaneous, 1.6 percent.

The bloodiest battles of the Civil War were:

         Gettysburg: 51,116 casualties

         Seven Days Battles: 36,463 casualties

         Chickamauga: 34,624 casualties

         Chancellorsville: 29,609 casualties

         Antietam: 22,726 casualties 

Note: Antietam had the greatest number of casualties of any single-day battle. Seven Days Battles was part of the Peninsula Campaign. Casualties included killed-in-action, mortally wounded, wounded, missing-in-action (any soldier unaccounted for). See also Total Union and Confederate Casualties.

Civil War Comparisons
Dead Civil War Soldiers.jpg
The purpose of the Civil War soldier was to fight a battle and win

Troop Strength

In July 1861, the two armies were nearly equal in strength with less than 200,000 soldiers on each side; however at the peak of troop strength in 1863, Union soldiers outnumbered Confederate soldiers by a ratio of 2 to 1. The size of Union forces in January 1863 totaled over 600,000. Two years later, that number had not changed dramatically for the Union Army but had dropped to about 200,000 for the Confederate Army.


The 642,427 total Union casualties have been divided accordingly:

         110,100 killed in battle

         224,580 died of disease

         275,174 wounded in action

         30,192 prisoners of war

The 483,026 total Confederate casualties have been divided accordingly:

         94,000 killed in action

         164,000 died of disease

         194,026 wounded in action

         31,000 prisoners of war


Of the 211,411 Union soldiers captured 16,668 were paroled on the field and 30,218 died in prison. Of the 462,634 Confederate soldiers captured 247,769 were paroled on the field and 25,976 died in prison. The mortality rate for prisoners of war was 15.5 percent for Union soldiers and 12 percent for Confederate soldiers.

See also

Sources: National Park Service; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Library of Congress; National Archives; US Census Bureau; The Union Army (1908); Fox, William F. Regimental Losses in the American Civil War (1889); Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (1908); Phisterer, Frederick. Statistical record of the armies of the United States (1883); Hardesty, Jesse. Killed and died of wounds in the Union army during the Civil War (1915) Wright-Eley Co.


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