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Died/Killed in War by Disease

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    PVT. Craven P. Grainger (1889 - 1918)
    From Army - WWI Died of Flu (1918) at Camp Jackson (Base Hospital). Pvt. Craven P. Grainger, Bat. A., 2nd Regt. F.A.R.D. ------------------------------------ Pvt Btry A 2nd Regt 1st Brg Enlisted...
  • Pvt James F Atchley (1836 - 1863)
    Civil War Soldier - James F Atchley, PVT Co K 5th Inf MO (C.S.A.). Inscription: " These Confederate Soldiers & Sailors died in Indianapolis while Prisoners of War. Transferred here from Greenlawn C...
  • PVT George W Stone, (CSA) (1840 - 1862)
    Civil War Soldier Died of typhoid fever at the Confederate General Hospital in Farmville, VA while serving with the 4th South Carolina Regiment Source:
  • Abraham Ringelspaugh (1824 - 1863)
    Enlisted on Aug 22,1862, at age 33, and was mustered into Co. C, 99th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Died of disease. Information courtesy of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (#48353502). Refer...
  • SC Project photo
    James T. Alford (1831 - 1862)
    From Pvt., Co. G, 10th South Carolina Infantry. Enlisted: Whitebridge, SC, Sept. 4, 1861. Age: 30. Died from rubella.

Please add the profiles of those who died as a result of disease during a war.

Profiles added to this project may also be added to one of the Infectious disease projects.

Throughout history, the deadly comrades of war and disease have accounted for a major proportion of human suffering and death.
Infectious diseases ruthlessly exploit the conditions created by war, affecting both armies and civilians.

  • During the Napoleonic wars, eight times more people in the British army died from disease than from battle wounds.
  • In the American civil war, two- thirds of the estimated 660 000 deaths of soldiers were caused by pneumonia, typhoid, dysentery, and malaria, and this death toll led to a 2-year extension of the war. These diseases became known as the “third army”.
  • During WWI of every 100 American soldiers and sailors who took part in the war with Germany, 2 were killed or died of disease during the period of hostilities.
    • “In Europe's bloody wars, for every ten men slain by the enemy, pestilence has killed its thousands. In the Thirty Years' War, an estimated 8,000,000 Germans were wiped out by flea-borne bubonic plague and louse-borne typhus fever. On Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, typhus, dysentery and pneumonia killed 450,000 of the Grand Army's 500,000 men. World War I was the first war in history in which guns were more deadly than germs. Battlefield deaths totaled 8,000,000; deaths from disease, 3,000,000. Yet, despite the great achievements of medical science, disease was still a potent wartime killer.” (from Time magazine on 29 April 1940)
  • The intestinal diseases such as dysentery, the typhoids, bubonic plague, cholera, and typhus, have ravaged and even obliterated armies in the past.
  • During the Spanish-American War typhoid fever alone caused 85 per cent of the total number of deaths.
    • More than 40,000 died of the disease. Of these, probably 25,000 resulted from the influenza-pneumonia pandemic which swept through every camp and cantonment in this country and caused thousands of deaths in the expeditionary forces. Up to September 14, 1918, only 9,840 deaths from disease had occurred in the Army, and the death rate for the period of the war up to that time was only 5 per year for each 1,000 men. During the eight weeks from September 14 to the 8th of November 316,089 cases of influenza and 53,449 of pneumonia were reported among troops in this country.
  • Venereal disease was another disease that was often gotten while serving in the military.
  • Two thirds of those killed in the Civil War died of disease. Germ theory had not been widely accepted in the medical world at the time of the Civil War and modern antiseptics, which could have greatly reduced the spread of bacteria and the outbreak of disease, did not exist. Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War.

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