Historians now estimate that 750,000 people died in the American Civil War, two-and-a-half percent of the population.
The Union and the Confederacy were both ill-equipped to deal with the carnage as the fighting escalated.
Filmmaker Ric Burns’ new documentary, Death and the Civil War, which premieres tonight on public television, focuses on how the war forced Americans to improvise ways of coping with battlefield casualties and honoring their war dead.
Death and the Civil War airs tonight on PBS as part of the American Experience series.
Ric Burns spoke with WFPL’s Rick Howlett.