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620,000 soldiers died during the Civil war. However, three-thirds of this number died of disease and not of wounds or battle. There are several reasons as to why diseases took the lives of more soldiers than the war.

The first reason is poor hygiene. The soldiers rarely took showers since there was no time. In addition to this, there was no need since they would sleep in the burrows on the ground anyway. Many of them were also tired by the time they got to their barracks, which taking a shower seemed too tedious. This encouraged the accumulation of bacteria in the barracks.

In the same breath, poor sanitation did not help the situation. Latrines were put very close to where the soldiers lived. This allowed easier transmission of diseases from the human wastes to the food, and the soldiers themselves. The second problem relates closely to the third problem of contaminated water.

Diseases like dysentery and cholera took the lives of very many soldiers on both sides of the war. Such diseases were a result of consumption of contaminated water. The building of latrines, near to where the men lived and close to their water sources made the situation worse.

Also, the doctors were not well skilled. They could not relate the contaminated water to the diseases that the soldiers were suffering. Lastly, the bad living conditions also encouraged disease. The soldiers lived in burrows and would often sleep in the cold. The mosquitoes would also feast on them and several died of Malaria due to this. The evolution of medicine that occurred during and after the war ensured that more soldiers were saved from disease.