Brigadier General Leopold
Newman: A Hero of the Civil War
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Leopold Newman received his promotion to Brigadier General posthumously before President Abraham Lincoln could reach him in the military hospital to commission him. He died of wounds received in the Battle of Fredericksburg, 1863.
When the South started the Civil War by attacking and capturing Fort Sumter, it aroused many Northerners. Leopold Newman was a lawyer in New York City. He and two of his friends, who were also lawyers, joined the newly formed Thirty-first Regiment of New York State Volunteers.
He was commissioned as a Lieutenant and he quickly rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant Colonel. He was in every battle of the Thirty-first Regiment. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he led the troops into every battle.
In the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Sedgwick ordered the Thirst-first Regiment to carry the heights. Newman responded to the order and cried, “Now, gentlemen over with you!” With a banner in one hand and a sword in the other hand, Newman led them into battle.
Newman was mortally wounded and died before President Lincoln could personally commission him. He was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The Twenty-eight Regiment of the National Guard with the Band and Drum Corps presented him with full military honors.