His parents were Charles Newman
and Eliza Morange, who were married on October 3, 1838 in a New York synagogue by Reverend Edward Miers. (In 1879 Congregation Baith Israel engaged Rabbi Miers.) Nothing is known of Newman's early childhood, his schooling, or his family's circumstances, other than that when Leopold was about eight years old his father served as a colonel in the Mexican War.
suffered from kidney disease and impaired vision, and was unable to do manual work.It is not known when Newman
father joined our Synagogue, which was founded in 1856, one year after his
On May 27th, 1861 just six weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter, Newman
and two close friends were among the first to enlist in the 31st Infantry Regiment of New York Volunteers.
Organized in Williamsburgh, the regiment was mustered in on May 24, 1861 under Col.
At the time of his
was twenty-two and engaged to be married.He
was well known as a good orator, a man of ability, and a lawyer of merit and distinction.More importantly, he displayed leadership, for he was a founding member of the Young Men's Democratic Association of Brooklyn.
was commissioned as a lieutenant in Company B of the 31st Regiment
...Newman was in every one of these battles and he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel by two promotions earned for valor.
With only a few weeks left to serve, he
returned home on leave only to be peremptorily recalled."I'll be home in a week father," he
said as he
returned to Virginia for battle at Fredericksburg.
, turning to his
men cried, "Now gentlemen, over with you" and with banner in one hand and sword in the other he
dashed into battle.The effort was successful, with the 31st Regiment
making two of the most brilliant charges of the entire campaign and its flag the first to reach the rebels' works, but Newman
suffered a severe grape shot wound in his
left foot. [see: 31st Regiment New York Volunteers Civil War Newspapers, New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center.]
was buried with military honors in our Synagogue's first cemetery "Union Field" in Cypress Hills.
For example, the grave of Leopold Newman's father, Charles
, who died in 1885, is located in our ground at Machpelah Cemetery in Cypress Hills.