Thomas L. Livermore Diary, 1860-1866

Collection number: MC 267
Size: 2 boxes (0.10 cu.ft.)

About Thomas Leonard Livermore

Thomas Leonard Livermore (1844-1918) was born in Galena, Illinois and grew up in Milford, New Hampshire. Prior to the Civil War, Livermore was a student at Lombard University in Galesburg, Illinois. Once the war commenced, in April 1861, Livermore joined the 1st New Hampshire Volunteers Regiment, a three-month regiment. After he was mustered out in August 1861, he joined the 5th New Hampshire, in which he rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant and later Captain. Livermore was wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill in July 1862 and was present when Colonel Edward Cross was mortally wounded at Gettysburg a year later. Livermore later transferred to command the 18th New Hampshire at the rank of Colonel. After the war, he returned to New Hampshire where he studied law and became a member of the New Hampshire bar. Livermore wrote a diary, “Days and Events,” based on his own experience as a soldier in volunteer regiments in the Union army. His narrative provides an insight into the cultural, social, and military circumstances of the Civil War. “Days and Events” covers the period from the beginning of the Civil War in 1860 until 1867, about the time began to write. He was a 22 year-old veteran when he began writing.

About the Thomas L. Livermore Diary

The collection consists of Thomas Livermore’s handwritten 493 page manuscript draft of what was later published as Days and Events, 1860-1866. It is contained in two 8.5” x 13” quarter-bound volumes. Livermore wrote this diary between 1867 and 1872. It is accompanied by Walter Holden’s 615 page transcription of the manuscript, with notes. Days and Events was first published, with many revisions, in 1920, two years after Livermore’s death. Livermore resisted having his diary published during his lifetime to avoid embarrassing or rebuking those who were still alive. Although his children wrote in the foreword that “this book is offered to the public, without alteration, and substantially without omission,” it is clear that the published volume does vary from Livermore’s original manuscript. For example, the editor of the 1920 edition only provides the initial of a colonel who Livermore describes as “a dark little man, as erect as a drill sergeant, terribly profane, a Mexican soldier, and a splendid one when sober, which was perhaps half the time.” Holden’s typewritten transcription does not omit anything from Livermore’s original manuscript with the exception of the introductory “Author’s Note,” which is present in the 1920 edition. Holden does provide detailed endnotes for each chapter, which include biographical information about many of the individuals mentioned in the diary, as well as historical information about various events or regiments. Some notes correct inaccuracies, such as dates and the names of regiments, which appear in Livermore’s original.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

Thomas L. Livermore Diary, 1867-1872, MC 267, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated: James Loder, September 2012 (Accession # 2012.29)

Catalog record for published version: Days and Events 1860-1866 by Thomas L. Livermore.

Online version scanned at the Internet Archive

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Bound manuscript diary, volume 1
Box 1, Folder 2Bound manuscript diary, volume 2
Box 1, Folder 3Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 1-4
Box 1, Folder 4Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 5-8
Box 1, Folder 5Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 9-11
Box 1, Folder 6Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 12-15
Box 1, Folder 7Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 16-19
Box 1, Folder 8Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 20-23
Box 1, Folder 9Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 24-27
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 28-30
Box 2, Folder 2Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 31-32
Box 2, Folder 3Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 33-35
Box 2, Folder 4Walter Holden’s transcription, chapters 36-38
Box 2, Folder 5Walter Holden’s transcription, chapter 39
Box 2, Folder 6Walter Holden’s transcription, notes


Manuscripts & Typescripts