Pneumonia, typhoid, diarrhea/dysentery, and malaria were the predominant illnesses.
Altogether, two-thirds of the approximately 660,000 deaths of soldiers were caused by uncontrolled infectious diseases, and epidemics played a major role in halting several major campaigns.
What disease killed the most people in the Civil War?
At the beginning of the war, soldiers routinely constructed latrines close to streams contaminating the water for others downstream. Diarrhea and dysentery were the number one killers. (Dysentery is considered diarrhea with blood in the stool.) 57,000 deaths were directly recorded to these most disabling maladies.
Why was disease so common during the Civil War?
The cause for the disproportionate number of deaths was attributed to filthy living conditions in army camps, nonexistent surgical equipment, spoiled and poorly prepared foods, unwashed surgeon’s hands, and other poor health conditions. The Civil War was a breeding ground for diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.
What was the leading cause of death during the Civil War?
Diarrhea and dysentery became the leading causes of death with casualty figures showing that roughly twice as many soldiers died from disease as from the most frequent type of battle injury – the gunshot wound (shown in Latin terminology on military medical records as Vulnus Sclopet).
What life was like during the Civil War?
The life of a soldier during the civil war wasn’t easy. Not only did soldiers face the possibility of getting killed in battle, their daily lives were full of hardships. They had to deal with hunger, bad weather, poor clothing, and even boredom between battles.