Oregon Senator Edward Dickinson Baker became the only sitting U.S. senator to ever be killed in a military engagement when he was shot and killed at the Battle of Ball's Bluff.
Oregon Senator Edward Dickinson Baker became the only sitting U.S. senator to ever be killed in a military engagement when he was shot and killed at the Battle of Ball's Bluff.

The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States between the Union (states that remained loyal to the federal union, or "the North") and the Confederacy (states that voted to secede, or "the South"). While the total death toll of the war is not fully known, it is generally agreed that it resulted in at least 1,030,000 casualties (3 percent of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease—and 50,000 civilians.[1] Some experts, including Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker, believe the number of soldier deaths was at least 750,000, and possibly as high as 850,000.[2] The Civil War remains the deadliest military conflict in American history.

During the first year of the war, both sides had many more volunteers than they had the time or resources to effectively train. However, this initial enthusiam began to wane and both sides enacted conscription laws to amass more volunteers. In April 1862, the Confederacy passed a draft law aimed at men aged 18 to 35, with exemptions for overseers of slaves, government officials, and clergymen.[3] Three months later, the United States Congress authorized state militias to draft from local populations when they couldn't met their quotas with volunteers. In total, the Union Army had 2,200,000 soldiers, including 698,000 at their peak. The Confederacy had 750,000 to 1,000,000 soldiers, with a peak of 360,000.[4]

This list contains notable holders of political office who died as a result of their personal involvement in the Civil War, from both the Union and Confederate sides. Many of the politicians listed perished directly in battle, while others died because of the result of injuries sustained on the battlefield or smaller skirmishes, or as a result of the difficult circumstances they experienced as a soldier or prisoner of war. A few others were casualties of personal accidents or violence unrelated to battle. In addition to the offices they held and their allegiance during the war, this list also contains, when known, the politician's political party, profession, and circumstances surronding their death.

Deaths

Name Date of death Age Political office(s) held Party Allegiance Profession Circumstances of death Ref.
Josiah M. Anderson November 8, 1861 53 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 3rd district (1849–51)
Member of the Tennessee Senate (1843–45)
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives (1833–37)
Whig Confederacy Lawyer Stabbed in Marion County, Tennessee by Union forces just after having made a pro-secession speech [5]
William Waightstill Avery July 3, 1864 48 Member of the North Carolina Senate (1857–59)
Member of the North Carolina House of Commons (1843–45; 1851–55)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Died from wounds received in a skirmish with a party of Tennessee Unionists after a raid on Camp Vance by the Union's 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry [5][6]
Edward Dickinson Baker October 21, 1861 50 United States Senator from Oregon (1860–61)
Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois's 6th district (1849–51) and Illinois's 7th district (1845–47)
Member of the Illinois Senate (1840–44)
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives (1837–40)
Republican Union Lawyer Killed in the Battle of Ball's Bluff while leading a Union Army regiment [5]
William Barksdale July 3, 1863 41 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Mississippi's 3rd district (1855–61) and Mississippi's at-large district (1853–55) Democrat Confederacy Lawyer & newspaper editor Mortally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg [5]
Francis S. Bartow July 21, 1861 44 Member of the Georgia Senate (1845–47)
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives (1841–45)
Whig Confederacy Lawyer Killed at the First Battle of Manassas [5]
Samuel W. Black June 27, 1862 45 Governor of Nebraska Territory (1859–61) Democrat Union Lawyer & judge Killed at the Battle of Gaines' Mill [5]
Lawrence O'Bryan Branch September 17, 1862 41 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 4th district (1855–61) Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Killed at the Battle of Antietam [5]
Edward Bullock December 23, 1861 39 Member of the Alabama Senate Democrat Confederacy Lawyer [7]
Patrick E. Burke May 20, 1864 ~34 Member of the Missouri House of Representatives (1855–57) Democrat Union Lawyer Died of gangrene three days after being shot in the leg at the Battle of Rome Cross Roads [8]
Thomas Drummond April 2, 1865 ~32 Member of the Iowa Senate (1860–62)
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives (1858–60)
Republican Union Newspaper editor Died of injuries sustained during the Battle of Five Forks [9]
Edward F. W. Ellis April 6, 1862 42 Member of the California State Assembly (1851–52) Whig Union Lawyer & school teacher Killed at the Battle of Shiloh [10]
Harvey W. Emery October 13, 1862 34 Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1861) Republican Union Lawyer Died of disease in second year of the war [11]
Asa W. Farr October 6, 1863 42 Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1856–57) Democrat Union Lawyer Killed at the Battle of Baxter Springs [12]
Daniel E. Frost July 19, 1864 45 Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates (1861–62)
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1859–61; 1855–57)
Republican Union Journalist Killed at the Battle of Cool Spring [13]
John Gregg October 7, 1864 36 Deputy from Texas
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
(1861–62)
Democrat Confederacy Judge Killed at the Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads [5]
Stephen F. Hale July 18, 1862 46 Deputy from Alabama
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
(1861–62)
Member of the Alabama Senate (1857–61; 1843–45)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Killed at the Battle of Gaines' Mill [5]
Louis P. Harvey April 19, 1862 41 Governor of Wisconsin (1862)
Secretary of State of Wisconsin (1860–62)
Member of the Wisconsin Senate (1854–58)
Republican Union Newspaper editor Drowned while trying to step from a tethered boat to a moving steamboat [5]
Robert H. Hatton May 31, 1862 35 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 5th district (1859–61)
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives (1855–57)
Whig & Opposition Confederacy Lawyer Killed at the Battle of Seven Pines [5]
Philemon T. Herbert July 23, 1864 38 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from California's at-large district (1855–57)
Member of the California State Assembly (1853–55)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Died from injuries sustained at the Battle of Mansfield [5]
John Edwin Holmes May 8, 1863 53 Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin (1848–50)
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1853–54)
Democrat (before 1856) and Republican (after 1856) Union Lawyer & minister Died from illness acquired while a prisoner at Libby Prison [5]
James S. Jackson October 8, 1862 39 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky's 2nd district (1861) Unionist Union Lawyer Killed at the Battle of Perryville [5]
Albert G. Jenkins May 21, 1864 33 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 11th district (1857–61) Democrat Confederacy Lawyer & planter Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Gettysburg and Battle of Cloyd's Mountain [5]
George W. Johnson April 8, 1862 50 Confederate Governor of Kentucky (1861–62)
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives (1838–40)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer & farmer Killed at the Battle of Shiloh [5]
Albert Sidney Johnston April 6, 1862 59 Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas (1838–40) Confederacy Military officer Killed at the Battle of Shiloh [5]
William High Keim May 18, 1862 48 Surveyor General of Pennsylvania (1860–61)
Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 8th district (1858–59)
Mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania (1848–49)
Whig Union Military officer Died of typhus while serving as a general in the Union Army [5]
Laurence M. Keitt June 2, 1864 39 Member of the Confederate Provisional Congress
from South Carolina (1861–62)
Member of U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina's 3rd district (1853–60)
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1848–53)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer & planter Killed at the Battle of Cold Harbor [5]
John Basil Lamar September 15, 1862 49 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's at-large district (1843)
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives (1837–38)
Democrat Confederacy Lawyer & planter Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Crampton's Gap [5]
Thomas Marshall 1861 ~35 Member of the Maine Senate (1859–60)
Member of the Maine House of Representatives (1857–58)
Republican Union Merchant Died from fever acquired while serving in the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment [14]
Benjamin McCulloch March 7, 1862 50 Member of the Texas House of Representatives (1846)
Member of the Republic of Texas House of Representatives (1839–42)
Confederacy Military officer Killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge [5]
Randal William McGavock May 12, 1863 36 Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee (1858–59) Confederacy Lawyer & planter Killed at the Battle of Raymond [5]
David McKee December 31, 1862 34 Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1852–53) Democrat (before 1855) and Republican (after 1855) Union Lawyer & pioneer Killed at the Battle of Stones River [15]
Burton Millard April 7, 1862 ~34 Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1858–59) Republican Union Machinist Killed while on duty in Lee's Mill Earthworks, Virginia [16]
Sydenham Moore August 20, 1862 45 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama's 4th district (1857–61) Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Killed at Battle of Seven Pines [5]
Isaac Parsons April 24, 1862 48 Member of Virginia House of Delegates (1854–57) Democrat Confederacy Planter Died during a skirmish with Union Army cavalry near Grassy Lick Run [17]
Horace Patch June 22, 1862 47 Member of Wisconsin State Assembly (????–1852) Democrat Union Lawyer Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing [18]
George W. Pratt September 11, 1862 32 Member of New York State Senate (1853–54) Democrat Union Leather manufacturer Died from injuries acquired at the Second Battle of Bull Run [5]
Samuel Allen Rice July 6, 1864 36 Attorney General of Iowa (1856–61) Republican Union Lawyer Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry [5]
Francis M. Rotch November 28, 1863 41 Member of New York State Senate (1860–61) Union Farmer Died from fever contracted while serving in the Army of the Potomac [5]
Thomas Hart Ruffin October 17, 1863 43 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 2nd district (1853–61) Democrat Confederacy Lawyer Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Bristoe Station [5]
Nicholas J. Rusch September 22, 1864 42 Lieutenant Governor of Iowa (1860–62)
Member of the Iowa Senate (1858–60)
Republican Union Tutor & farmer [19]
Robert Eden Scott May 3, 1862 54 Member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1839–42; 1845–49; 1850–52) Whig Confederacy Lawyer & planter Killed by Union deserters when he confronted them for using his land [5]
Henry Marchmore Shaw February 1, 1864 44 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 1st district (1853–55; 1857–59) Democrat Confederacy Doctor Shot while assembling other Confederate troops for an expedition [5]
Eliakim Sherrill July 4, 1863 50 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 10th district (1847–49)
Member of the New York Senate (1854–55)
Whig & Republican Union Tanner Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Gettysburg [5]
Isaac Stevens September 1, 1862 44 Governor of Washington Territory (1853–57)
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington Territory's at-large district (1857–61)
Democrat Union Military officer Killed at the Battle of Chantilly [5]
Richard Hanson Weightman August 10, 1861 44 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico Territory's at-large district (1851–53) Democrat Confederacy Military officer Killed at the Battle of Wilson's Creek [5]
William Sydney Wilson November 3, 1862 45 Member of the Mississippi Legislature (1858–59; 1860–61) Democrat Confederacy Died from injuries acquired at the Battle of Antietam [5]
John Wimer January 11, 1863 52 Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri (1843–44; 1857–58) Democrat Confederacy Blacksmith Killed at the Battle of Hartville [5]
David E. Wood June 17, 1862 38 Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (1850–51) Whig (before 1854) and Republican (after 1854) Union Lawyer Died of unspecified disease [20]
Felix Zollicoffer January 19, 1862 49 Member of U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 8th district (1853–59)
Member of the Tennessee Senate (1849–52)
Whig & American Confederacy Newspaper owner and editor Killed at the Battle of Mill Springs [5]

References

  1. ^ Nofi, Al (June 13, 2001). "Statistics on the War's Costs". Louisiana State University. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
  2. ^ "U.S. Civil War Took Bigger Toll Than Previously Estimated, New Analysis Suggests". Science Daily. September 22, 2011. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Albert Burton Moore. Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (1924) online edition Archived 2012-05-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Facts". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2018-12-14. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai "Politicians Killed in the Civil War (1861-1865)". Political Graveyard. Archived from the original on July 29, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "Avery, William Waightstill". NCPedia. Archived from the original on July 29, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  7. ^ "Bullock County". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Archived from the original on July 10, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  8. ^ Barker, Lorenzo A (1994). With the Western Sharpshooters. Huntington, WV: Blue Acorn Press. p. 173. ISBN 1-885033-02-8.
  9. ^ "Representative Thomas Drummond". Iowa General Assembly. Archived from the original on 8 March 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Bio on Edward F.W. Ellis (excerpts from Edward F.W. Ellis, The Man, The Mason, The War Hero)". Archived from the original on 21 November 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  11. ^ Norwich University, 1819–1911; Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor. Vol. 2. The Capital City Press. 1911. pp. 505–506. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  12. ^ Quiner, Edwin B. (1866). "Regimental History–Third Cavalry". The Military History of Wisconsin. Clarke & Co. p. 916. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Daniel Frost Helped Chart W.Va.'s Statehood". Archived from the original on 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  14. ^ "Thomas H. Marshall, Belfast, ca. 1860". Maine Memory Network. Maine Historical Society. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  15. ^ Quiner, Edwin B. (1866). "Biographical Sketches: Lieutenant Colonel David McKee". The Military History of Wisconsin. Chicago: Clarke & Co. pp. 1012–1015. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  16. ^ Marathon County, Wisconsin Historical Society-Burton Millard Archived 2014-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ MacCabe 1913, p. 269.
  18. ^ "Death of Capt. H. D. Patch". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, WI. July 5, 1862. p. 1. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  19. ^ "Senator Nicholas John Rusch". Archived from the original on 8 June 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  20. ^ Quiner, Edwin B. (1866). "Regimental History–Fourteenth Infantry". The Military History of Wisconsin. Chicago: Clarke & Co. pp. 598–612.