Unknown Union army soldiers, c. 1861

Lincoln’s Army

Altogether, 2.1 million men served in the Union army and navy during the Civil War. Most soldiers were young white men, with a median age of twenty-four. Nearly half came from farming backgrounds, while a fourth were skilled laborers. An estimated 67 percent were native born, 24 percent were immigrants, and 9 percent were black. Approximately 360,000 Union soldiers lost their lives in the war, while another 280,000 were wounded.