Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More Dubious Figures

As I try to put the 12th Virginia Infantry's losses in killed and mortally wounded in perspective, another website I have come across with shaky figures is thomaslegion.net.  Take the 7th North Carolina Infantry of Pender's Division, Army of Northern Virginia, for example.  The 7th lost at least 184 killed, mortally wounded, or missing presumed dead of 1,450 enrolled, and the 7th did not participate in the March and April 1865 battles around Petersburg--it had been detached and surrendered with Johnston's army in North Carolina.  These figures are according to John W. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War between the States (5 Vols.) (Raleigh, 1882), 1:237-272.  According to Harris, Seventh Regiment North Carolina Troops, 9, 11, 15, 17, 20, 22-23, 27, 30, 37, 42, 45, 48, 51, 53, 55-57, the 7th lost 179 killed or dead of wounds.  The 7th lost more than 175 killed or dead of wounds according to Clark, Walter, ed., Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-‘65 (5 Vols.) (Raleigh, 1901), 1:361-386.  According to http://thomaslegion.net/7thnorthcarolinainfantryregimentstatistics.html, however, the 7th lost  245 killed or dead of wounds from 1,652 enrolled; I rely on the consistency between the Roster (184 killed or mortally wounded), Clark (175 killed or dead of wounds) and Harris (179 killed or mortally wounded).  thomaslegion does not cite specific pages of records in support of its figures.

This was particularly regrettable regarding the Army of Tennessee.  It's hard to get figures from that army, because most of its muster rolls disappeared for one reason or another.  thomaslegion provided a figure of 42 killed or dead of wounds for an interesting regiment, the 39th North Carolina, as well as a total enrollment of 1,090 (1,015 original and 75 transferred in).  I'd love to have used those figures in the chart.  The 39th captured cannon at both Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, at the latter of which it also incurred a remarkable loss--one in excess of forty percent.  But where thomaslegion's figures came from, heaven knows.

In the end, I got my examples of regimental killed and mortally wounded from histories of the 16th and 20th Tennessee.  They convinced me that I could not rely upon Military Annals of Tennessee's figures, which were substantially lower for the 16th and 20th Tennessee than their regimental histories.