"By combing through newly digitized census data from the 19th century, J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York, has recalculated the death toll and increased it by more than 20 percent — to 750,000.
The new figure is already winning acceptance from scholars. Civil War History, the journal that published Dr. Hacker’s paper, called it “among the most consequential pieces ever to appear” in its pages. And a pre-eminent authority on the era, Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University, said:
“It even further elevates the significance of the Civil War and makes a dramatic statement about how the war is a central moment in American history. It helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was.”" NY Times
I have always thought the old numbers were too low, particularly for the South. In looking at the aftermath of the war in demographic terms in rural areas I have found that whole communities were devastated to the extent that they were virtually re-settled by sometimes distant Northern male relatives who came south and claimed the widows and the young girls for whom there was no prospect of husbands. This was particularly true in rural Virginia where extended family often existed in places like Pennsylvania.
The observaion contained in the article that people from rural areas were actually more susceptible to camp disease rings true from personal experience. Villagers and tribesmen are often nothing like as hardy as others imagine. In fact their bodies are full of foreign organisms that are empowered by privation and exhaustion.
The North won because it could absorb the personnel losses that the much smaller Southern population could not. IMO the Northern victory was produced by this and not by a shortage of materiel. pl