Weird History The 14 Bloodiest Battles Ever Fought On American Soil  

Aaron Edwards
13.4k views 14 items

List Rules Battles are listed in ascending order according to the total number of casualties.

Today, it's easy to think of America as a power that fights everywhere in the world, but never at home. However, battles have been fought inside the borders of the United States, and the bloodiest battles on American soil have left an indelible mark on its development. Some of the most important battles in American history were fought in the United States. The American battles with the highest body counts weren't in exotic locales during WWI or WWII, but rather in places like Pennsylvania and Virginia during the battles against the Union and the Confederacy in the 1800s. The pictures from those battlegrounds are chilling.   

The worst battles fought in America far eclipse the lives ended by American soldiers abroad. The Battle of Gettysburg, for instance, stands as the most bloody in US history. Over 50,000 people were slain over three days and the conflict became a deciding engagement. These individuals who perished helped forge the future of the nation, but that doesn't make them any less tragic. 

Battles of Saratoga is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 14 Bloodiest Battles Ever Fought On American Soil
Photo: Davepape/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Conflict: American Revolution
Duration: Two Non-Consecutive Days (September 19th and October 7th)
Place: Saratoga County, New York
Number of Combatants: 22,000
Number Perished: 510
Number of Wounded: 935
Number of Missing/Captured: 6,222

This battle is hailed as the moment the Americans secured victory over the British in the Revolution. When the British led a large invasion force into New York City, they were surrounded by American forces and eventually surrendered.  

Also Ranked

#11 on The Most Important Battles in US History

see more on Battles of Saratoga
Battle of Cold Harbor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 14 Bloodiest Battles Ever Fought On American Soil
Photo: Tony Wills/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Conflict: Conflict Between the Union and the Confederacy
Duration: May 30 - June 12, 1864
Place: Virginia
Number of Combatants: 170,000
Number Perished: 1,927
Number of Wounded: 12,457
Number of Missing/Captured: 2,948

When Union troops, under orders from General Grant, forced Confederate forces into a defensive entrenchment, a bloody battle ensued over mere inches of land. Attack and counterattack were carried out under the darkness and fog of swamps. The forces fought to a standstill, each side allowing the other to retrieve their wounded from the field afterward. 

see more on Battle of Cold Harbor
Battle of Franklin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 14 Bloodiest Battles Ever Fought On American Soil
Photo: FaleBot/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Conflict: Conflict Between the Union and the Confederacy
Duration: November 30, 1864
Place: Franklin, Tennessee
Number of Combatants: 63,000
Number Perished: 1,939
Number of Wounded: 4,833
Number of Missing/Captured: 1,806

After failing to catch the Confederates in a trap at Spring Hill, Union general John Bell Pope faced a head-on advance of their lines. The Confederates charged and almost broke through Union lines. The Union army was able to use the terrain to its advantage and repel the Confederate advance. Ultimately, the Confederates took massive losses and had to withdraw. 

see more on Battle of Franklin
Battle of Stones River is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 14 Bloodiest Battles Ever Fought On American Soil
Photo: Huntster/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Conflict: Conflict Between the Union and the Confederacy
Duration: December 31, 1862 - January 2, 1863
Place: Murfreesboro, Tennessee 
Number of Combatants: 76,400
Number Perished: 2,971
Number of Wounded: 15,488
Number of Missing/Captured: 6,186

Part of a fresh offensive, a Union army marched out to fight forces led by Confederate general Braxton Bragg. After six hours, the Confederates had nearly won but a last second defensive action saved the Union from total defeat. When the Union strengthened their defenses after several days, they repelled a last ditch charge by Bragg’s men and he ordered a retreat. President Lincoln aptly called this a "hard earned" victory.

see more on Battle of Stones River