Our Camp's Namesake
Leonard Camp No.168
The Sons of Spanish American War Veterans is a patriotic organization, affiliated with the United Spanish War Veterans, Inc.
Copyright 2006- 2014;
Camp No. 168,
All rights reserved.
The Camp Was Named after
SGT. Joseph (Melvin) Leonard
Aug 28, 1876 - Sept 23, 1946
Born in Cohoes, NY the son of James Leonard and Mary Melvin of Irish Immigrants. Joseph Leonard entered the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as Joseph Melvin (his Mother's maiden name) at Brooklyn, NY on 7 June 1897.
Pvt. Leonard (Melvin) arrived in the Philippines with the Marine Detachment with the U.S.S. Helena PG-9. As one of three Marines recognized being attached to the 8th Army Corps, Pvt. Leonard (Melvin) was involved in the jungle fighting in the Philippine Insurrection and was cited for "distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battle" for actions on March 25, 27, 29 and April 4, 1899. During this time, the 8th Army Corps was involved in clearing the insurgents from the vicinity of Manila and captured the rebel capital of Malolos. This action forced insurgent leader Emilio Aguinaldo's "government" northward into the mountains.
For Pvt. Leonard’s “distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battle” he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor via Navy G.O. No. 55, on July 19th, 1901 and was honorably separated on June 6th, 1902 at Washington, D.C.
The other men awarded Medals of Honor for these actions in this incident were:
Private Howard Buckley and Corporal Thomas Prendergast.
Later in life he was a Copper Miner in Montana where he married Grace Cunningham in 1911. Joseph Leonard re-entered the USMC in time for World War I on 19 April 1918 at Cleveland, Ohio and was honorably discharged once again on July 3, 1919 at Quantico, VA. He did good service and ranked out of his career in the service as a Sergeant.
Later in life as a widower he migrated to California and lived the rest of his days, passing at the age of 70 on September 23rd, 1946 in Yountville, CA at the Veterans Home of California Cemetery.
This History of Sgt. Leonard was researched and written by Raymond W. LeMay III, PNP.