(1842 - 1899)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Unit: 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry
He was a student at the University of Pennsylvania 1859-1860 and a member of the Philadelphia City Troop (militia) from May to August 1861. His grandfather had been a founder of the Troop in 1774, and his father had also been a member.
On 7 September 1861, then age 18, from Philadelphia, he enrolled and mustered into service there as First Lieutenant, Company C, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
On the Campaign
He was with the regiment in Maryland and
On the 7th [September 1862], Lieutenant Charles L. Leiper was placed in command of Company "A," which he retained until the beginning of October. On the march to Antietam, when near Frederick, Maryland, on the 13th of September, he came upon a body of dismounted rebel cavalry in a wood. Although largely outnumbering his small force, he drove them in confusion, and made some prisoners. The enemy were armed with carbines, and though our men had only the lance and their pistols, by one determined charge they succeeded in dislodging the enemy, who fled in dismay.
The rest of the War
He was promoted to Captain of Company L on 20 November 1862. He was seriously wounded in action at Beverly Ford (Brandy Station), VA on 9 June 1863 by a saber cut to the head, and again at Old Church, VA on 30 May 1864, while in command of the regiment, shot in the right foot. He returned to duty on 7 August, was appointed Major on 1 September, and led the regiment for the rest of the war. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 February 1865 and Colonel to date from 20 March 1865.
On 11 April 1865 he wrote to his mother from Appomattox Court House, VA:
Day before yesterday was the proudest and happiest day of my life. Lee surrendered his whole army to Grant. Sheridan and his cavalry were the cause of his destruction. Our two divisions, the 1st and 3rd did an awful lot of work. April 9th, the day of the surrender, was the 11th day of fighting for us. We were in the saddle the whole time nearly. I have not yet learned the different names of the battles we have fought. Since April 2nd my regiment consisting of 60 men has been escort to Major Gen. Merritt, and I have been on his staff. I have never enjoyed better health, though worked almost to the death. I will endeavor to find out the names of the different places we marched to and fought at ...He was honored by brevet on 13 March 1865 to Brigadier General of Volunteers and transferred to the 2nd Provisional Cavalry on 17 June 1865.
After the War
He lived in Chester and was a noted baseball player, along with his brother Callender "Cal" Irvine Leiper. He was a paper-maker in Funkstown, MD in 1870. By 1880 he was a manufacturer of cotton goods in Philadelphia and later owned a yarn brokerage.
References & notes
Service information from Bates1 and the Card File.2 Further details and the battle quote above from Chaplain Samuel Gracey's Annals of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (1868). Personal details from Morris et al in Base Ball Founders: The Clubs, Players and Cities of the Northeast ... (2013), a sketch in the University of Pennsylvania's Biographical Catalogue of the Matriculates of the College (1894), and the 1870 and 1880 US Census. The letter quoted above from the Friends of the Leiper House, posted online by Mary Ann Fiebert. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a CDV sold by Cowan's in April 2014.
He married Henrietta Maria Stockton (1844-1891) and they had at least two children together.
12/25/1842; "Avondale", Nether Providence Township, PA
05/14/1899 Philadelphia, PA; burial in Middletown Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Elwyn, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 23361]
2 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Adjutant-General, Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866, Published <2005, first accessed 01 July 2005, <http://www.digitalarchives.state.pa.us/archive.asp?view=ArchiveIndexes&ArchiveID=17> [AotW citation 23362]