Dysentery is an infectious disease that results in diarrhea with blood. Other symptoms may include fever and abdominal pain. It is caused by several types of infections such as bacteria, viruses and parasitic worms. Dysentery accounted for 50,000 Confederate deaths and 45,000 Union deaths during the Civil War. The reason Dysentery and so many other diseases were able to spread so rapidly through both armies was primarily because of a lack of sanitation practices and contaminated water. Medicine was not yet advanced enough during the Civil War to connect a lack of hygiene with disease.