The Blue & the Gray
The Blue: Leopold Karpeles
Medal of Honor Recipient (1838-1909)
Leopold Karpeles immigrated from Prague to Texas in 1849. After moving to Massachusetts, he enlisted as a flag-bearer in the Union Army.
Sergeant Karpeles carried regimental colors into more than 14 battles, including Gettysburg. He helped turn the tide of the Battle of the Wilderness by rallying the retreating Union troops. Karpeles was later awarded the Medal of Honor for this bravery, one of the first Jews to receive that honor.
Karpeles became a clerk in the U.S. Postal Department following the war. He is buried in Washington Hebrew’s cemetery.