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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Did Mahone's Brigade Do Its Fair Share of Fighting in the Civil War? Did Virginia?

After I compiled the statistics on the 12th Virginia Infantry, it was easy to compare the regiment with many of its Federal opponents.  I had only to look up their statistics in Fox's Regimental Losses and a couple of post-war compilations from New York and Pennsylvania.

It was harder to compare the 12th Virginia's statistics with statistics on other Confederate regiments.  Such statistics are difficult to come by, but they exist.  I found a lot of partial statistics, only a few complete ones.  Some were published, and others I had to count myself.  Here's what I came up with:

                                                                                    Killed or Died             Percentage
Regiment                     Division                                   of Wounds                  Lost during War
8th Alabama                Mahone’s                                300*                            21.1%*

8th Georgia                 Hood’s                                     168*                            13.3%*

22nd Georgia              Mahone’s                                164*                            13.2%*

30th Georgia               Walker’s                                    85                                7.3%

48th Georgia               Mahone’s                                200*                            14.3%*

60th Georgia               Early’s                                     162*                            12.2%*

18th Mississippi           McLaws’                                 214*                            14.9%*

21st Mississippi           McLaws’                                 210*                            17.0%*                       

42nd Mississippi          Heth’s                                     150[1]*                           15.1%*

7th North Carolina      Pender’s                                  184*                            12.6%*

58th North Carolina    Stevenson’s                               91                                4.5%

16th Tennessee            Cheatham’s                             209*                            16.7%*

20th Tennessee            Breckenridge’s                        147*                            12.3%*

6th Virginia                 Mahone’s                                124                                7.5%

9th Virginia                 Pickett’s                                    76                                4.5%

12th Virginia              Mahone’s                               159*                            10.3%*

16th Virginia               Mahone’s                                  92[2]*                          7.5%

41st Virginia               Mahone’s                                 105                                7.0%

49th Virginia               Early’s                                     153*                            12.3%*

54th Virginia               Stevenson’s                               83                                4.5%

61st Virginia               Mahone’s                                   76                                6.5%

63rd Virginia               Stevenson’s                               68                                4.4%

Average Confederate Regiment  (Fox)                                              “almost 10.0%”

* Meets criterion for Fox’s Fighting 300 Regiments (130 or 10% killed or died of wounds).

[1] Up to March, 1865; probably lost around 155 killed or mortally wounded.
[2] The 16th Virginia fought with only seven companies.  The equivalent of 130 killed or mortally wounded among ten companies for a seven company regiment is ninety-one.

Now it's true, this is by no means a complete study of Southern regimental statistics.  Such a study will probably never exist because of the gaps in the records.  To me, the questions seem to jump out.  Did Mahone's Brigade do its fair share of fighting?  Did Virginia?