The American Civil War was by far the deadliest conflict in U.S. history. From the start of the war in April 1861, with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, until General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox four years later, over 620,000 people were killed, about 100,000 more than the combined number of Americans killed in the First and Second World Wars.
The war resulted from decades of tension between Northern and Southern states, particularly over the issue of state’s rights and whether the institution of slavery would expand into Western territories. South Carolina, where the first shots of the war were fired, was the first of what would become 11 states to secede from the Union and fight for independence from the United States.
Throughout the war, fighting was largely concentrated in areas around the border between Southern slave states and Northern free states. Still, Civil War battles spread across a total of 23 states and territories, including Washington, D.C.
Using historical data from the National Archives Catalog, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the most Civil War battles. States were ranked by the number of conflicts that took place there during the Civil War. All conflict types, as classified by the government, were counted, including skirmishes, sieges, actions, advances, massacres, bombings, raids, and others. All information, including the number of battles the catalog identifies as having unusually high casualties, also came from the National Archives.
The northern most state in the Confederacy, and home to Richmond, the capital of the Confederate States of America for most of the war, Virginia saw more violent conflicts than any other part of the country during the Civil War. According to the National Archives Catalog, 123 battles were fought in Virginia, more than three times the number fought in Tennessee, the state with the second most battles. (Here is a look at the states with the highest Civil War death toll.)
Though over 200,000 Union and Confederate troops were killed in combat in the states on this list, most deaths in the Civil War did not occur on the battlefield. Well over half of the fatalities resulting from the war were attributed to factors like disease, starvation, and accidents. (Here is a look at every war where disease killed more Americans than combat.)
Click here to see the states with the most Civil War conflicts.
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