The Red Badge of Courage

why did wilson think the rebels had killed half his regiment

this from the red badge of courage

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So many men were missing or disjointed from the group after that battle that he'd thought they'd almost all been kiiled; it turned out to be about half.

"Th' reg'ment lost over half th' men yestirday," remarked the friend eventually. "I thought 'a course they was all dead, but, laws, they kep' a-comin' back last night until it seems, after all, we didn't lose but a few. They'd been scattered all over, wanderin' around in th' woods, fightin' with other reg'ments, an' everything. Jest like you done."