Thomas A. Desjardin

Thomas A. (Tom) Desjardin (born 1964) served as Maine's Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education.[1] He is an American historian who has written books on the American Civil War and American Revolutionary War.

Dr. Thomas Desjardin
NationalityUnited States
Alma materFlorida State University
University of Maine
Known forAmerican Civil War historian, Maine Acting Commissioner of Education

Desjardin was born at St. Mary's Hospital, now Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center (Maine) in Lewiston, Maine.

Academic careerEdit

Desjardin earned a bachelor's degree in government and a master's degree in communication from Florida State University, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Maine and has taught at his alma mater (FSU), at Bowdoin College, and the University of Maine. He is also a former fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City.


  • Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign (Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-19-514082-6
  • These Honored Dead: How the Story of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory (DaCapo Press) ISBN 0-306-81267-3 - "Utterly magnificent." - Esquire. "A literary masterpiece." - UK Guardian. "Wonderfully written, provocative and informative." - Civil War News.
  • Through A Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold's March to Quebec, 1775 (St. Martins Press) ISBN 0-312-33904-6
  • Joshua L. Chamberlain: A Handbook (Greystone Communications) ISBN 1-892636-15-8
  • Joshua L. Chamberlain: A Life in Letters (Osprey Publishing) ISBN 1-84908-559-5

Television & FilmEdit

1993 - Feature Film Gettysburg (1993 film). Historical advisor to actor Jeff Daniels - In 2011, Daniels said publicly of his role as Joshua Chamberlain: "For me, whatever people think that role was, it is because of Tom Desjardin."
1999, 2006, 2013 C-SPAN's Book TV
1999 - History Channel - Unknown Civil War series - on air historical consultant
2000 - History Channel - Joshua L. Chamberlain
2000 - A&E Network - Biography
2015 - The Gettysburg Address (film) - In Production.

Seminole TriviaEdit

While a student at FSU in 1984, Desjardin was the emcee at a pep rally and introduced the famous "Seminole War Chant" to FSU fans for the first time.[2]


A former archivist/historian at Gettysburg National Military Park, much of his historical research has been devoted to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, on the mythology of the Gettysburg story, and Maine history. His work was twice nominated for the prestigious Lincoln Prize. Desjardin has appeared in nationally televised documentaries numerous times and was the historical consultant for actor Jeff Daniels in his role as Chamberlain in the 1993 movie Gettysburg. He has also served as the Chief Archivist and Historian for Maine's Department of Conservation.

In 2014, Maine governor Paul LePage appointed Desjardin to serve as the state's Acting Commissioner of Education. In 2015, he was replaced by former Husson University President Bill Beardsley (see William Beardsley (politician)).[3]