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T.L. Livermore

T.L. Livermore

Federal (USV)


Thomas Leonard Livermore

(1844 - 1918)

Home State: New Hampshire

Education: Lombard University (IL)

Command Billet: Company Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 5th New Hampshire Infantry

Before Antietam

Livermore was born in Illinois and raised in Milford, New Hampshire. Immediately before the war he was studying at Lombard in Galesburg, Illinois. At the outbreak, he traveled to Washington, possibly seeking an appointment to West Point. Instead, he enlisted as Private on 24 June 1861 (age 18) in Company F, 1st New Hampshire Infantry. He mustered out 9 August back in Concord, then signed up in Company K of the 5th NH Infantry. He was promoted Sergeant 12 October and 2nd Lieutenant 5 April1862. He was wounded in action on 30 June on the Peninsula.

On the Campaign

He remembered his Regiment's part in the fight in Caldwell's Brigade of Richardson's Division -

On looking about me I found that we were in an old sunken road and that the bed of it lay from one to three feet below the surface of the crest along which it ran. In this road there lay so many dead rebels that there formed a line which one might have walked on as far as I could see, many of whom had been killed by the most horrible wounds of shot and shell and they lay just as they had been killed apparently amid the blood which was soaking the earth. It was on this ghastly flooring that we kneeled for the last struggle.

As the Rebel advance became apparent we plied the line with musketry with all our power and with no doubt with terrible effect but they still advanced. A color bearer came forward within fifteen yards of our line and with the utmost desperation waved the flag in front of him. Our men fairly roared "shoot the man with the flag!" and he went down in the twinkling and the flag was not raised in sight again.

As the fight grew furious the Colonel cried out "Put on the war paint!" and looking around I saw the glorious man standing erect with a red handkerchief, a conspicuous mark, tied around his bare head..Taking the cue somehow we rubbed the torn ends of cartridges over our faces, streaking them with powder like a pack of Indians and the Colonel, to complete the similarity, cried out, "Give 'em the war whoop" and all of us joined him in the Indian war whoop until it must have rung out amid the thunder of the ordinance.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 14 December, and Captain on 3 March 1863.

He transferred to the 18th New Hampshire and was made Major of that Regiment 28 October 1864. Soon after he served in several staff assignments including chief of the ambulance corps, and acting assistant inspector-general of the Second Army Corps under Major-General Humphries. On 17 January 1865 he was appointed Colonel, though his appointment was voided because the unit was too small to authorize a Colonel's billet. In April he was successfully re-appointed Colonel, and mustered out with the Regiment at that rank 23 June 1865 at Delaney House, Washington, DC.

After the War

After the War he studied law and entered the New Hampshire Bar. He moved to Boston in 1868 and practiced there. He married Sarah E. Daniel in Milford in 1869. Returning to New Hampshire in 1879, he managed a manufacturing company, then went back to Boston in 1885. He afterward practiced law and was vice-president of a mining firm.

Colonel Livermore is best remembered today as the post-war author of numerous historical works, notably histories of New Hampshire soldiers and units in the War. His most enduring work is Numbers and Losses.., the standard reference work for statistics about Civil War unit strengths and casualties.

References & notes

Livermore's Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America 1861-651, with additional biographical details from Bench and Bar2. His photograph is from one in the collection of the US Army Military History Institute, as reproduced in Soldier Life3. His gravesite is on Findagrave.


02/07/1844; Galena, IL


01/09/1918; Boston, MA; burial in West Street Cemetery, Milford, NH


1   Livermore, Thomas L., Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America 1861-65, Cambridge (Ma): Riverside Press of Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1901  [AotW citation 726]

2   Davis, William Thomas, Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2 volumes, Boston: The Boston History Company, 1895, pg. 569  [AotW citation 725]

3   Woodhead, Henry, editor, Voices of the Civil War: Soldier Life, Alexandria (Va): Time-Life Books, 1996, pg. 86  [AotW citation 727]