Highest Regimental Losses

AUG

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Forlorn Hope by Don Troiani. The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery in their charge at Petersburg.

The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery at Petersburg
The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery lost more men in a charge on Confederate lines during the Second Battle of Petersburg, June 18, 1864, than any other regiment in the entire war. Out of 900 men who made the charge 632 had been lost, with 7 officers and 108 men killed and 25 officers and 464 men wounded. They suffered a casualty rate of 67% - not the highest percentage of the war, but they lost a greater number of men than any other regiment in a single battle. The 1st Maine Heavies also suffered the greatest number killed throughout its service than any other Union regiment, with 423 killed out of an enrollment of 2,202.

They had only fought from 1864-65, having seen garrison duty in the defenses outside Washington until they were sent to the front in 1864. They first 'saw the elephant' at Spostsylvania, losing heavily in their first action there, and serving throughout the rest of the Overland Campaign on through Petersburg.

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Save the Colors by Keith Rocco. The 5th New York "Duryee's Zouaves" at Second Manassas.

5th New York Duryee's Zouaves at Second Manassas
On August 30, 1862, the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry "Duryee's Zouaves" were infamously decimated in their stand against Hood's Texas Brigade, holding off Longstreet's attack on Pope's flank.

It was a suicide mission, but as one of the best-drilled regiments in the Army of the Potomac the Zouaves were determined to stand their ground. Positioned on an open hill top and outlined against the sky in their red uniforms, they were struck from front and both flanks by three regiments of the Texas Brigade, pouring fire into their ranks. Before the 5th New York could put up a fight for long their ranks were already torn to shreds by the converging fire. "Where the Regiment stood that day was the very vortex of Hell," Pvt. Andrew Coats remembered; "Not only were men wounded, or killed, they were riddled." Col. Warren ordered the survivors to break for the rear. "I saw my comrades dropping on all sides," Pvt. Alfred Davenport wrote, "canteens struck and flying to pieces, haversacks cut off, rifles knocked to pieces; it was a perfect hail of bullets." In under eight minutes 330 of the 500 Zouaves engaged were casualties, 120 of them dead or dying - the highest fatality rate suffered by any Federal infantry regiment in the war, not counting heavy artillery.

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The Boy Colonel by Don Troiani. Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., commanding the 26th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg.

The 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg
On the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the 26th North Carolina was locked in a vicious stand-up fight against the 24th Michigan of the Iron Brigade in Herbst's Woods on McPherson's Ridge. Though the Iron Brigade was eventually driven back, the 26th North Carolina suffered heavy losses. The regimental colors were shot down fourteen times; the regimental commander Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., was killed; and his second-in-command, Lt. Col. John R. Lane, was seriously wounded. On July 3 the 26th NC would also take part in the charge on Cemetery Ridge, suffering even more losses. Out of 820 men engaged at Gettysburg, 588 men were killed, wounded, or missing, for 71.7%. It was not the highest percentage, but the 26th NC lost more men in number than any other Confederate regiment in the war.

Edit: The losses I listed for the 26th NC were only for the first day. I got the numbers from William F. Fox's Regimental Losses. According to Covered with Glory by Rod Gragg, the 26th had 800 officers and men engaged and lost 588 on July 1 and 99 on July 3, for a total of 687, or 86%.

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Lone Star by Don Troiani, depicting the 1st Texas Infantry fighting through Miller's Cornfield.

1st Texas at Antietam
The 1st Texas Infantry of Hood's Texas Brigade charged into Miller's Cornfield at Antietam on the morning of Sept. 17, 1862. They first slammed into the Iron Brigade, driving them through the cornfield. They kept going until they reached the northern edge of the field, where Anderson's brigade of Meade's division was posted. There, they were caught in a cross fire from several Pennsylvania regiments to their front and Campbell's Battery to their left. Though they fought like hell, 186 of their 226 men engaged were killed or wounded; the entire color guard was also shot down and both of their colors lost in the cornfield. The 1st Texas' loss of 82.3% was reportedly the highest casualty rate suffered by any Confederate regiment in the war.

Edit: note that Col. Philip A. Work later wrote in an 1891 letter that on the evening of Sept. 16, two men from each of the twelve companies were detailed for foraging. Only nine of them returned to the regiment by following morning, so it actually went into action with only 211 officers and men. With a loss of 186 (50 killed, 132 wounded, ad 4 missing), the 1st Texas’ actual casualty percentage was 88%.
 
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AUG

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The First Minnesota by Don Troiani.

The 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg

On July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg Brig. Gen. Camdus Wilcox's Brigade had broken through Sickles’ position on Cemetery Ridge. With a failed attempt at rallying Sickles’ men, Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock had ordered the 1st Minnesota, held in reserve nearby, to counterattack and fill the gap in the Union line until reinforcements could arrive. They attacked a force 3 times their own strength and successfully drove them from their position. Out of the 262 men that took part in the attack, 215 were killed, wounded, or missing, for a casualty rate of 82%. The 1st Minnesota reportedly suffered the highest percentage loss of any Federal infantry regiment in the war.
 
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kel1985

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#4
Hey, I've got pix of the monuments to these units if anybody cares to enjoy
1st Maine Heavy Artillery @ Petersburg​
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1st Maine Heavy Artillery (rear view)​
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5th NY (Duryee's Zoaves) @ 2nd Bull Run​
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26th North Carolina Monument (Merideth Avenue Gettysburg)​
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1st Minnestota @ Gettysburg (2 views, long shot from the Pa Monument is shown second)​
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And I know I have the Texas Monument from Antietam somewhere...I've been there a dozen plus times but can't seem to find the pic...sorry.​
 

AUG

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I had read somewhere, Co. F.. OF The 26th N C. No one was left, they were all killed, captured or wounded....
When roll was called the next morning for Company G of the 26th, one man answered, and he had been knocked unconscious by a shell burst the day before. This roll was called by a sergeant who lay on a stretcher with a severe leg wound.

Company F of the 1st Texas Infantry also lost 100% at Antietam and a few other companies were down to only a one or two men.

Company A of the 11th Mississippi Infantry, the University Greys, are also known to have lost 100% in the Picket-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge.

Those are the ones I'm aware of but there were undoubtedly other companies throughout the war that suffered 100% losses. I bet a number of companies in the depleted Confederate regiments at Franklin were totally wiped out, the regiments themselves being down to company strength and the companies only a dozen or so men.
 
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AUG

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Top five highest Confederate Brigade losses by percentage according to Fox's Regimental Losses:

Brigade: Garnett's (Va.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Pickett
Present: 1,427
Killed: 78
Wounded: 324
Missing: 539
Percent: 65.9%

Brigade: Perry's (Fla.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Anderson's
Present: 700
Killed: 33
Wounded: 170
Missing: 205
Percent: 65%

Brigade: Wofford's (Texas)
Battle: Antietam
Division: Hood's
Present: 854
Killed: 69
Wounded: 417
Missing: 62
Percent: 64.1%

Brigade: Anderson's (S.C.) [also commanded by Micah Jenkins]
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,250
Killed: 136
Wounded: 638
Misssing: 13
Percent: 62.9%

Brigade: Pryor's
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,400
Killed: 170
Wounded: 681
Missing: 11
Percent: 61.5%
http://www.civilwarhome.com/brigadelosses.htm

Edit:
A few brigades are missing from the entire list (see link), however.

Cockrell's Missouri Brigade lost 60.2% at Franklin, with a loss of 419 officers and men out of 696.

And according to member TomP in his post here, in the battle of Corinth and Hatchie Brigade (3 days) John C. Moore's brigade lost 1,295 men out of 1,892 engaged, for 68%. If true then Moore's brigade should be at the top of the list.
 
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FrazierC

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#7
Highest Confederate Brigade Losses
Brigade: Garnett's (Va.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Pickett
Present: 1,427
Killed: 78
Wounded: 324
Missing: 539

Brigade: Perry's (Fla.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Anderson's
Present: 700
Killed: 33
Wounded: 170
Missing: 205

Brigade: Wofford's (Texas)
Battle: Antietam
Division: Hood's
Present: 854
Killed: 69
Wounded: 417
Missing: 62

Brigade: Anderson's (S.C.)
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,250
Killed: 136
Wounded: 638
Misssing: 13

Brigade: Pryor's
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,400
Killed: 170
Wounded: 681
Missing: 11
http://www.civilwarhome.com/brigadelosses.htm
What makes this all the worse is that many of those listed as "missing" are either dead or captured and sent to POW camps.
 
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#9
Highest Confederate Brigade Losses
Brigade: Garnett's (Va.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Pickett
Present: 1,427
Killed: 78
Wounded: 324
Missing: 539

Brigade: Perry's (Fla.)
Battle: Gettysburg
Division: Anderson's
Present: 700
Killed: 33
Wounded: 170
Missing: 205

Brigade: Wofford's (Texas)
Battle: Antietam
Division: Hood's
Present: 854
Killed: 69
Wounded: 417
Missing: 62

Brigade: Anderson's (S.C.)
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,250
Killed: 136
Wounded: 638
Misssing: 13

Brigade: Pryor's
Battle: Seven Days
Division: Longstreet's
Present: 1,400
Killed: 170
Wounded: 681
Missing: 11
http://www.civilwarhome.com/brigadelosses.htm
Those figures for Garnett's Brigade are almost certainly too high. I'll get out Nothing But Glory and double check the figures from that book (which, IMO, are probably as close as is possible for numbers on Pickett's Division at Gettysburg.

R
 
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#10
Here's what Nothing But Glory gives in regards to numbers in Garnett's Brigade (pages 457-461):

Garnett's Brigade: 1851 engaged with 181 killed/213 wounded/286 wounded and captured/225 captured (905 total, 48.9% casualties)
8th Virginia: 242 engaged with 34 killed/33 wounded/49 wounded and captured/52 captured (168 total, 69.4% casualties)
18th Virginia: 371 engaged with 44 killed/55 wounded/84 wounded and captured/48 captured (231 total, 62.3% casualties)
19th Virginia: 426 engaged with 40 killed/44 wounded/49 wounded and captured/35 captured (168 total, 39.4% casualties)
28th Virginia: 376 engaged with 35 killed/44 wounded/50 wounded and captured/42 captured (171 total, 45.5% casualties)
56th Virginia: 430 engaged with 27 killed/36 wounded/53 wounded and captured/47 captured (163 total, 37.9% casualties)

As a comparison, they give Armistead's casualties as 1057 out of 2188 (48.3%) and Kemper's as 678 out of 1781 (38.1%).

R

PS: The brigade numbers are slightly off because it is counting the brigade officers and staff.
 

FrazierC

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#11
Here's what Nothing But Glory gives in regards to numbers in Garnett's Brigade (pages 457-461):

Garnett's Brigade: 1851 engaged with 181 killed/213 wounded/286 wounded and captured/225 captured (905 total, 48.9% casualties)
8th Virginia: 242 engaged with 34 killed/33 wounded/49 wounded and captured/52 captured (168 total, 69.4% casualties)
18th Virginia: 371 engaged with 44 killed/55 wounded/84 wounded and captured/48 captured (231 total, 62.3% casualties)
19th Virginia: 426 engaged with 40 killed/44 wounded/49 wounded and captured/35 captured (168 total, 39.4% casualties)
28th Virginia: 376 engaged with 35 killed/44 wounded/50 wounded and captured/42 captured (171 total, 45.5% casualties)
56th Virginia: 430 engaged with 27 killed/36 wounded/53 wounded and captured/47 captured (163 total, 37.9% casualties)

As a comparison, they give Armistead's casualties as 1057 out of 2188 (48.3%) and Kemper's as 678 out of 1781 (38.1%).

R

PS: The brigade numbers are slightly off because it is counting the brigade officers and staff.
Hmmmmm.... My reenacting unit is the 19th Virginia Infantry and I'm certain that they lost far more than 39% of their strength during Pickett's Charge. I've read in numerous sources that they had only around 350 engaged and lost just over 50%. I'm not saying your wrong; I'm saying the book might be a little off. I'll get back to you when I can find a physical source to back up my memory.
 

FrazierC

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Hmmmmm.... My reenacting unit is the 19th Virginia Infantry and I'm certain that they lost far more than 39% of their strength during Pickett's Charge. I've read in numerous sources that they had only around 350 engaged and lost just over 50%. I'm not saying your wrong; I'm saying the book might be a little off. I'll get back to you when I can find a physical source to back up my memory.
Okay, I found one source: the official report of Major Charles S. Peyton of the 19th Virginia Infantry, who wrote the brigade after-battle report, as he was acting commander because of the high number of ranking officer casualties. His report states: " The brigade went into action with 1,287 men and about 140 officers, as shown by the report of the previous evening, and sustained a loss, as the list of casualties will show, of 941 killed, wounded, and missing, and it is feared, from all the information received, that the majority (those reported missing) are either killed or wounded."
I'll try to get more sources, as his report could be off.
 

JerseyBart

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When I go to Gettysburg each year, I stand at the 1st Minn. and 26th North Carolina monuments on Cemetery Ridge and stare into the direction in which they charged and wonder how the h#ll they did it. ...giant cajhones and looking and the guy next to you and saying, if you go I go.
 
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I have a few relatives in the 26th NC, Co. H.

Pvt. Bradly Brady - Wounded severely in arm and leg, captured.

Pvt. Henry Yow - Wounded badly in the arm, captured.

A letter from Lt. McGilvary, written while recuperating from wounds at Winchester:

Winchester, July 8 …….the battle was grand, sublime, awful. Neither language nor pen can describe the s cene. The enemy were strewn in piles—some in rows just as they were standing when they fell—the ground was literally BLUE. Our brigade (Pettigrew’s) that day was opposed to the Iron Brigade—never having been repulsed before (so I heard from a prisoner) but they said “we were compelled to yield this time”. One asked “what men fought us that day” and when told the 26th North Carolina he said “I don’t want to fight them again.”
You will see that our company did its duty. The regiment went into action with about 750 men and lost in killed and wounded 549. Col. Burgwyn was killed on the field while gallantly leading his men in battle—bearing our colors and calling upon them to push on to victory. Just before he died about the last words he said were “I am dreaming; I know my gallant men are doing their duty nobly; where is my sword?” Such were the last words of our colonel; he sleeps under a tree on the battlefield away from his friends in the land of strangers yet he is not forgotten—no! His memory will be cherished, fresh and green in the hearts of men who have followed him until they too shall be as silent as he. Lt. Col. Lane was badly wounded and I hope will recover soon.


 
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#17
Relatives in the 26th:

BRADY, BRADLEY: Co.H
BRADY, CHRISENBERRY: Co.E
MANESS, IRAL.: Co. H
MANESS, ISAAC W.: Co.H
MANESS, JOHN W.: Co.H
MANESS, JOHN: Co. H
MANESS, JONAS S.: Co.H
MANESS, THOMAS SWAIN: Co. H
PHILLIPS, GEORGE W. P.: Co.E
PHILLIPS, JOHN HORACE: Corp., Co. E
PHILLIPS, RICHARD: Co. E
PHILLIPS, THOMAS H.: Corp., Co. E
PHILLIPS, WILLIS R.: Co.E
PHILLIPS, WINSHIP: Co. E
YOW, HENRY C.: Co.H
 

AUG

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#19
What makes this all the worse is that many of those listed as "missing" are either dead or captured and sent to POW camps.
You also have to consider that about 15% or more of the wounded died of their wounds days to weeks later, but were never switched from wounded to killed in the casualty reports.
 
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You also have to consider that about 15% or more of the wounded died of their wounds days to weeks later, but were never switched from wounded to killed in the casualty reports. Like for instance recent studies have found that if you add the known men who died of wounds suffered at Antietam to the 3,654 killed at Antietam, it adds up to a number around 7,000. A lot of these regiment's casualty reports only list the killed in action, but not the many of the wounded who died later. Theres a lot of info on Civil War casualties in Fox's Regimental Losses By William F. Fox, Lt. Col., U.S.V. http://www.civilwarhome.com/foxspref.htm
Heres the page on Porportion of wounded to killed
http://www.civilwarhome.com/foxschapter2.htm
Tabe of Federal regiments with their died of wounds added to their KIA in certain battles http://www.civilwarhome.com/foxslosseschapt2table3.htm
It had to do with how the casualties were counted. In the Union army, generally speaking, men who died within a relatively short time after a battle were listed as having been killed while the Confederates generally counted the mortally wounded as wounded. But you are correct. I've heard estimates that as many as 20% of the wounded at Antietam would succumb to their wounds.

R
 



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