INside Story

Indiana suffered heavy casualties during Civil War

We’re taking a look back at Indiana history. All this week, News 8’s Adam Pinsker is taking a look at Indiana’s role in the Civil War. This is the final part of five entries in our latest INside Story series.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

It’s estimated that 750,000 soldiers died during the American Civil War.

Huntington County, Indiana, which is just south of Fort Wayne, lost 250 men in battle during the four-year war.

Gib Young, a Civil War historian from Huntington, said, “Approximately 1,800 people from the county actually joined Union army or rejoined once their first enlistment was up.”

Huntington was home to a man named James Slack who became a brigadier general during the war. “He was involved in raising men for a regiment or a company to go and fight in the war,” Young said.

A total of 250 men from Huntington County died In the Civil War. Indiana as a whole lost 25,000 men during the war between the states.

Young said,

“One of every 8 men that Indiana lost in combat, who were killed or mortally wounded in combat, were killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga in northern Georgia,” which was from Sept. 18-20, 1863.

Even if soldiers survived combat, it didn’t necessarily mean they would make it through the war. Young said, “You had a much better chance of dying from measles than you did from a rebel bullet.”

Young, who is a member of the Sons of the Union, has a personal connection to the the Civil War. “I have a great-grandfather and then his three brothers, which would be great-great uncles fought.”

Young spends most of his time educating people about the Civil War. He reminds us about the old saying, “Those who repeat history are doomed to repeat it.”

“Everything that we do has a coincidence in leading up to the moment we are in right now, the way we think and all that. How can we just live our life and ignore all those variables?”