Thomas Ward Custer
The only soldier to win two Congressional Medals of Honor during the Civil War was the brother of General George A. Custer, Tom Custer.
Although only a teenager, Custer enlisted as a private in Company H, 2lst Ohio, on September 2, 1861. He saw action at Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and in the Atlanta Campaign, before being mustered out of the service at the completion of his three-year term on October 10, 1864.
Appointed second lieutenant in the 6th Michigan Cavalry, on November 8, 1864, Custer was promptly assigned to the staff of his brother in the Shenandoah Valley. He moved with Custer's Division to the lines around Petersburg and participated in the final victory at that place and in the campaign to Appomattox.
On April 3, 1865, he captured a rebel flag in a fight at Namozine Church. Later that month he was given the Medal of Honor for this exploit. Three days after his first heroic display, he earned a second medal at the battle of Sayler's Creek. In this action, according to General Sheridan, "he leaped his horse over the enemy's works, being one of the first to enter them, and captured two stand of colors, having his horse shot under him and received a severe wound." In this charge, with the 2nd Ohio Cavalry, Custer was wounded in the face but after turning the captured colors over to his brother he wanted to return to the fray. General Custer had to place his younger brother under arrest to get him the needed medical attention. Lieutenant Custer was also honored by being brevetted through grades to major of volunteers and later to lieutenant colonel in the regulars.
After the war he was commissioned directly into the regular army and soon joined his brother's regiment, the 7th Cavalry, with which he went to his death at the Little Big Horn. (Mitchell, Joseph B., The Badge of Gallantry)
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