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The Cost of War

Short bits of history you know, and some you may not!

  • Cost of a War: Thursday, August 31, 1865 – After the end of the Civil War, as with anything, a cost was placed on it. The Federal Government would estimate that the war cost nearly 5 billion dollars, in 1860 dollars. At the start of the war the US Government was around $65 million in debt, by the end of the war it was $5.2 billion! In todays dollars the government started with around $2.1 billion in debt and ended with around $167 billion. 1,030,000 Americans would become casualties, around 3% of the total US population, that includes the Union and Confederacy. Totals vary some but it is commonly accepted that around 750,000 Soliders were killed. That was around 8% of the total white male population would be killed, based off a 1860 census. The Civil War remains the most deadly war in US history to this day.
  • The G.A.R: Wednesday, August 31, 1949 – The last national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic is held, with six of the few remaining members attending. The G.A.R was an organization founded by veterans of the Civil War from the Union. The organization was a way to bring those veterans from across the different services together to foster support among each other and would eventually become a powerhouse that could easily impact local and national politics and policies. G.A.R posts were set up all over the country, with some posts have few member and others membership in the thousands. Many of the ceremonies and traditions within the G.A.R were based of Masonic traditions, as many members had roots in lodges. Members wore military style uniforms similar to what they would have worn while in service. Encampments were annual and could encompass state wide post events to national level reunions and events.
  • Ho Chi Minh: Sunday, September 2, 1945 – Within hours of Japans formal surrender that ended WW2, Ho Chi Minh declared an independent Vietnam from France. France would become embroiled in a costly war following this, only for the USA to become involved heavily by the 1950’s.

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