US Civil War hero sole ‘Czech’ to have received Medal of Honour


Sergeant Leopold Karpeles, born to a Jewish family in 1836 and a later hero in the US Civil War, is the only 'Czech' to ever receive a Congressional Medal of Honour – the highest US military distinction, Czech Radio reported. According to the public broadcaster - which cited archivist Wendy Turman of the Jewish Historical Society in Washington - Karpeles showed extreme courage in battles against the Confederate Army. While little is known about the hero and his family, it is thought he immigrated to the US after 1848. He was wounded twice in battle and reportedly joined the Civil War because he wanted to fight against slavery. Karpeles is registered in the Washington-based archive of the American Jewish Historical Society as a native of Prague, but he was also officially listed as a native of Hungary. It is possible he was actually not born in Prague but only later moved there with his family.