States Where The Most Battles Were Fought During The Civil War

The Civil War was the bloodiest and most destructive conflict in American history. From the beginning of the war in April 1861 to the end in April 1865, over 620,000 people were killed, about 100,000 more than the number of Americans killed in World Wars I and II combined. 

After decades of simmering tension between Northern and Southern states, particularly over the issue of state’s rights, slavery, and whether or not the institution of slavery would expand into Western territories, multiple Southern states, starting with South Carolina, seceded from the Union to form their own government. The war began only months later, when Southern troops attacked and captured the federally held Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Over the next four years, the 11 states that ultimately joined the Confederacy were pitted against armies from the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast, dedicated to preserving the Union. The conflict drew resources and manpower from nearly every corner of the divided nation. And though the fighting was concentrated in areas around the border between Southern slave states and free Northern states, 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.

Home to Richmond, the capital of the Confederate States of America for most of the war, Virginia was home to more violent conflicts than any other part of the country during the 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 most violent Civil War battles.)

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. (These are the ways Civil War soldiers died in Union prison camps.

Click here to see the states with the most Civil War conflicts.

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