Graphing Military Advantages in the Civil War

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Graphing Military Advantages in the Civil War

To understand the reasons why the Confederacy lost the American Civil War, it is helpful to consider the resources available to the North and the South during the war. Different types of graphs best illustrate the differences between the two sides.

Follow the directions below to:

• Create three different types of graphs, using the data given.

• Pose questions about the geographic distributions and patterns represented on the graphs.

• Draw conclusions from the data by creating a thematic map or model.
1. Create a line graph using the following data:


Union soldiers

Confederate soldiers

July 1861



January 1862



March 1862



January 1863



January 1864



January 1865



2. Create two pie graphs showing the North’s economic advantages.

Manufacturing: National Wealth:
North 90% North 75%
South 10% South 25%

3. Create a bar graph that shows the North’s advantage in miles of railroad track.

Miles of Railroad Track:
North 21,000 miles
South 9,000 miles

4. Pose at least five questions about the data from the three graphs you just created that reveal differences between the North and South. Find a partner and have your partner answer your questions. Then answer your partner’s questions.

Extension: Use the map on page 295 of History Alive! The United States and the data you have just plotted to create a Civil War map or model that shows the advantages of the North over the South during the Civil War. Your map or model should include:

colors that indicate Confederate states and Union states.

symbols for size of armies, miles of railroad, national wealth, and manufacturing in both sections of the nation.

Graph Instructions
Charts should be appropriately titled and contain a legend where needed. Please save as new sheet.
Line graph:

Open Excel, type ALL data (data range) for the line graph

Highlight data, select Chart Wizard and follow the directions
Pie graph:

Type ALL data for both graphs, include percentages in graphs

Highlight North, 90%, South, 10%

Select Chart Wizard and follow the directions

Bar/Column graph (no legend necessary):

Type ALL data for graph, include values in graph

Highlight North, 21,000, South, 9,000

Select Chart Wizard and follow the directions

Extra Practice:

Create a pie graph of the following data:

Lives Lost

Civil War 620,000

World War II 407,000

World War I 107,000

Vietnam War 58,000

Korean War 54,000

Revolutionary War 25,000

Mexican War 13,000

Other major wars 5,000

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