Civil War Death Toll Continues to Rise


The ongoing death toll of the American Civil War continues to rise. Last week, the New York Times reported the death count was up to 750,000, and after a skirmish along the Mason-Dixon Line yesterday near the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border, the number continues to rise.

The 14th Battalion of Iowa engaged in an elongated crossfire yesterday with the 23rd of South Carolina. The southern troops forced a retreat by the northerners. Death tolls were heavy on both sides, with 29 Confederates being killed, roughly a third of the troops. Union casualties were even higher, with 39, roughly half.

The two small units are believed to be the last remaining troops on each side. With a magnificent courage and fighting spirit passed down three generations, they trade sieges about once a month. Believed to have missed word of the war’s end in 1865, they have carried on for nearly 150 years, waiting for orders from Generals Grant and Lee to cease fire.

Matters are complicated by the lack of remaining structure in the administration of the Confederacy. Many are skeptical that a peaceful resolution can be had in the near future, since both Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis are dead and neither has a successor to give orders to the Confederate troops. UN Peacekeepers went into the battle zone in 2009 to try to negotiate a cease fire, but Confederate Corporal Beauregard Singleton VI refused to negotiate or surrender, promising to fight until “all those Yankee scum are dead and gone.”

Although for the most part the war hawks do not pose much of a threat to the general public, they have been known to occasionally offer backup to civil war reenacters, which has several times led to the slaughter of dozens of civilians. Further, some civil rights activists have urged investigation of the status of the Confederate troops. While slavery itself is not suspected, it is believed that some of those fighting for the Confederacy believe they are doing so in exchange for their freedom, which would obviously be unnecessary under the 13th amendment and could put the officers under violation of brainwashing laws.


-Matt Gwin ’14

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