Birth Date: Dec. 8,1839
Date of Death: January 15, 1922 at Brooklyn NY.
Enlistment Date: April 18, 1861, at Brooklyn, to serve 3 years.
Mustered In:May 23, 1861 as private.
Muster Out Date: Discharged for physical disability, as Sergeant, July 27, 1863.
Corporal, November 1, 1861.
Sergeant. No Date.
In action, July 21, 1861, at First Bull Run.
In action, lost an arm, and had a leg shattered August 29, 1862, at Groveton, VA.
Marriage Date and Place:
Wife's Maiden Name:S. Virginia Head
Born: Jan. 5,1839
Died: Feb. 23,1909
Wife's Father's Name:
Wife's Mother's Maiden Name:
Mother's Maiden Name:
Occupations: Pre War:
Occupations: Post War:
1) City Auditor 1865
2) Pension Commissioner 1873
3) Brooklyn Postmaster 1877
G.A.R. Post: #327
Last Pension Rate:
McLEER - On Sunday, January 15, 1922, at his home, General JAMES McLEER,in his 83rd year. Funeral at Our Lady of Victory R.C. Church, at Throop ave. and McDonough st., on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1922, at 10 a.m.
All old Brooklyn mourns the death of General James McLeer at the age of 83. We are inclined to think that in public life of the city, as in public life of the borough, no man was more loved, no man more respected. He had shed his blood for the Union, he had come back to civil existence with one arm gone and one leg permanently injured, and yet a strong constitution and normal habits of life enabled him to render fine service to the community, fine service to the National Guard of the State for fifty-six years.
When the Fourteenth Regiment, later the "Fighting Fourteenth," made up largely of working boys of the Second, Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh wards, was camped for weeks at Fort Greene before starting for the front in 1861, it was colloquially called the Regiment of "Red-Legged Devils," from its conspicuous Zouave trousers. McLeer was a private. He got his baptism of blood at the first battle of Bull Run. He went back, and got his worst wounds at Groveton. After his return to Brooklyn he was never free from painful irritation of the arm stump, and his shattered leg made a day on horseback a day of agony. Yet his geniality of spirit was insuperable.
Elected City Auditor in 1865, and later Street Commissioner, before he was made Pension Commissioner in 1873, he saw within the Republican organization the growth of the Tracy-Dutcher-Jourdan leadership, and with that leadership he was in full harmony. His appointment by President Hayes as Postmaster of Brooklyn in 1877 was unopposed. His efficiency was never doubted. Then in 1885 Grover Cleveland became President and Democrats urged a Democratic postmaster. Now, the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was a good Congregationalist, as McLeer was a good Roman Catholic, but Beecher knew manliness everywhere, and Beecher had been one of the forces to which Cleveland owed his narrow victory over Blaine. A strong straightforward letter from the clergyman of Plymouth asking McLeer's retention was respected. The later years of McLeer's life were devoted to the National Guard. As brigadier general commanding the Second Brigade he was untiring in his efforts to strengthen our force of citizen soldiery.
Sons and grandsons find example and stimulation in General McLeer's career. Courage, enthusiasm, kindness, fortitude, on so broad a field, however have a wider influence. They reach and touch friends, acquaintances, the entire community. The general effect on character-making is their chief contribution to a common humanity.