Costliest 15 Battles of the Civil War

Eleven of the fifteen costliest battles of the Civil War were fought in the Eastern Theater (in bold):

battle date

casualties

1

Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863

51,000

2

Chickamauga* Sept. 18-20, 1863

35,000

3

Spotsylvania May 8-21, 1864

30,000

4

The Wilderness May 5-7, 1864

29,800

5

Chancellorsville May 1-3, 1863

24,000

6

Shiloh* April 6-7, 1862

23,700

7

Stones River* Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 2, 1863

23,500

8

Antietam Sept. 17, 1862

22,700

9

Second Bull RunĀ (Manassas) Aug. 28-30, 1862

22,200

10

Fredericksburg Dec. 11-15, 1862

17,900

11

Fort Donelson* Feb. 11-16, 1862

17,400

12

Cold Harbor May 31-June 12, 1864

15,500

13

Gaines’ Mill June 27, 1862

15,500

14

Seven Pines May 31-June 1, 1862

13,700

15

Harpers Ferry Sept. 12-15, 1862

12,900

Notes:

Eastern Theater battles are in bold. Western Theater battles are marked with an asterix.

“Casualties” includes killed, wounded and captured or missing from both sides. Almost all the casualties from Harpers Ferry consisted of the captured Union garrison and 70% of the casualties from Fort Donelson were of the captured Confederate garrison.

Antietam, one of two single day battles in the top 15, was the bloodiest single day of the Civil War and in American military history.