Private 6th Iowa Cavalry, October, 1862; Sergeant-Major; Second Lieutenant, January 31, 1863; died at White Stone Hill, Dacotah Territory, September 4, 1863, of wounds received September 3.
Thomas Joseph Leavitt was the son of Joseph Melcher and Eliza (Yendell) Leavitt, and was born in Boston, October 31, 1840. His father died in 1848, after which his mother removed to Hampton Falls, N. H., and five years later to Woburn, Mass., where she still resides. The son was fitted for college at Rockingham Academy and at the Woburn High School. He entered college in 1857, and continued there till December, 1860, when he was offered a situation in the employment of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad Company in Iowa. This offer seemed too good to be refused; and since, in accepting it, he would not be prevented from graduating with his Class, he decided to go. The decision was to cause an entire change in his life. Cambridge with its pleasures, and the home and friends which he dearly loved, were to be left, and he was to occupy a responsible place, in a new country and among new friends. But he was blessed with a happy, buoyant disposition, a hopeful nature, and the rare gift of attracting all people to himself. Add to these graces a strength of will which no difficulties could daunt, and his character appears well suited to his new experiences. A very short and inadequate idea of his Burlington life is all that can be given, and his own words shall give it.