March 18, 1819|
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
|Died||October 10, 1886
St. Paul, Minnesota
|Buried||New Castle, Pennsylvania|
|Allegiance|| United States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Army
|Years of service||1861–64|
|Other work||Physician, politician, and trustee of Greersburg Academy|
Leasure was born in 1819 near Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He attended Greersburg Academy in nearby Darlington in Beaver County from 1838 to 1840. Afterwards, he spent time in medical school in Pittsburgh.
Leasure held the rank of colonel in the IX Corps through most of the war. His regiment, the 100th Pennsylvania Regiment, was known as the "Roundheads" because it was recruited from descendents of the followers of Oliver Cromwell. The regiment first saw action in the command of Brig. Gen. Isaac I. Stevens at the Battle of Secessionville in South Carolina on June 16, 1862.
Transferred to the Virginia theater of the war, Leasure participated in the Second Battle of Bull Run, and the Battle of Chantilly. Wounded at Second Bull Run he subsequently missed the Maryland Campaign. Leasure returned for the Battle of Fredericksburg where he took command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division in the IX Corps.
Moving to the Western Theater with IX Corps, Leasure continued in brigade command under Maj. Gen. John Parke during the Siege of Vicksburg and Blue Springs. Returning to command of the 100th Pennsylvania he took part in the Siege of Knoxville. Returning to Virginia, Leasure now commanded the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division in the IX Corps at the Battle of the Wilderness and the Battle of Spotsylvania. When division commander, Brig. Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson was killed during the fighting at Spotsylvania, Leasure was the ranking subordinate and took command of the division for 3 days until relieved of this capacity by Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden. Returning to command the 2nd Brigade, Leasure was wounded a few days later and never returned to field command.
When the war ended, Leasure returned to Pennsylvania where he practiced medicine in the borough of Darlington. While in Darlington, Leasure became a trustee of Greersburg Academy where he was educated nearly thirty years before. He later served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, and afterwards, moved to New Castle, Pennsylvania.
The borough of Darlington erected a monument the year following Leasure's death. The monument was placed across from the Greersburg Academy school building where Leasure spent a considerable amount of time in his life. (Other notable Civil War alumni to go through the academy were the abolitionist John Brown and John W. Geary.)
- Cole, Wayne A., The Greersburg Academy and the Station House, Wayne A. Cole, 2003, ISBN 0-9727397-1-8.