What did Johnny Reb look like?

Though records for Confederate soldiers are more sparse than those for Union soldiers, we do have good data on the average soldier who fought for the Army of Northern Virginia (Lee’s army). About 800,000 men fought for the Confederacy. Most Confederate reenactors like the ones in this picture (from a Jackson, MI event in August 2014) tend to be older and more plump.  The average Rebel was abut 5’7″ and 145 pounds.

148 Rebs

Source: The Civil War Monitor (2015)

Average age: 25

Birth origin: 96.6% born in U.S.

Of those, only 4% born in the north.

Foreign born: 3.4%

Marital status: 62.5% single, 37.5% married

Of those married, 31.2% had children at home.

Economic class:

Lower: 41.7%
(Less than $799 in combined assets)

Middle: 22.8%
(Assets between $800-$3999)

Upper: 35.5%
(Assets $4000 or more)

Prewar Occupations:

Farmers: 53.7%

Students: 13.8%

Unskilled workers: 13.2%

Professionals: 10.2%
(Teachers for example)

Skilled workers: 9.2%

Slaveholding

Personally owned slaves: 13%

Resided in slaveholding households: 44.4%

Check out the Civil War battlefield tours CivilWarTours.US is hosting this year.
Check out the Civil War battlefield tours CivilWarTours.US is hosting this year.

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