(1840 - 1892)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Branch of Service: Cavalry
In 1860 he was a 20 year old apprentice living with his widowed mother Hetty and 2 younger siblings in Pottsville, Schuykill County, PA. He enlisted as a Private in Company B, 25th Pennsylvania Infantry (the Washington Artillery) on 18 April 1861, but was commissioned less than two weeks later as 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd United States Cavalry and he was promoted to First Lieutenant on 10 June. They were redesignated the 5th Cavalry in August 1861.
On the Campaign
He was with his Company on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.
The rest of the War
He was in the actions of his regiment through 1863 and into 1864, promoted to Captain in April 1864. He was assigned as Inspector and Chief of Cavalry, 8th Army Corps in July 1864 and with Generals Torbert and Sheridan to Five Forks, VA, where he was seriously wounded in action by a gunshot through his arm and lungs on 1 April 1865.
He was honored by brevets to Captain Major, and Lieutenant Colonel for his war service.
After the War
He continued in the Regular Army with service in the South and West; he was at Fort McPherson near Cottonwood Springs, NE at the 1870 Census. He was court-martialed for drunkenness and conduct unbecoming an officer and dismissed from the service on 9 May 1877. He began receiving an invalid veteran's pension later that year.
An 1888 appeal to Congress that he be reinstated in the Army and retired honorably at his previous rank, noted that [in 1876 and 1877] he had "labored under severe and depressing domestic affliction" and
It is well known in the Army that Colonel Leib had an affair of honor some years previously with the principal prosecuting witness, the officer before referred to, which grew out of animadversions said to have been made by the said prosecuting witness upon the honor of this officer's wife.He was apparently not reinstated and by 1880 he was living alone in a Washington, DC boarding house, a clerk in the office of the Commissioner of Pensions. He retired to Millersville, PA and died there at age 51 in 1892.
References & notes
His service from Heitman1 and Henry,2 with details from a Report to Congress (for S. 119) of 27 April 1888, online in PDF from the University of Oklahoma School of Law, and a bio sketch in George Frederic Price's Across the Continent with the Fifth Cavalry (1883). Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860-1880. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in an album owned by his friend Myles Keogh, online from the Historical Society of Millersburg & Upper Paxton Township.
He married Ellen Louise Dickerson (1847-1937) in February 1867 and they had 2 children. They do not appear to have been living together by 1880.
More on the Web
His cavalry officers sword was sold by the Horse Soldier, Gettysburg.
Frohne's Historic Military sold a late-1865 carte-de-visite of Captain Leib and another officer in about 2010.
10/19/1840; Pottsville, PA
05/22/1892; Dauphin County, PA; burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Millersburg, PA
1 Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 627 [AotW citation 28849]
2 Henry, Guy Vernor, Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, 2 Volumes, New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, Vol. 1, pp. 165-166 [AotW citation 28850]