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Benjamin Levy

(1845 - 1921)

Benjamin Levy was a Jewish American soldier who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor during the American Civil War.

Levy was born on February 22, 1845, in New York City and enlisted in the Union Army from Newport News, Virginia in October 1861.

A private in Company B of the 40th New York Infantry, Levy served as a drummer boy. After his drum was destroyed during the Battle of Charles City Crossroads in Virginia, Levy took the weapon of his ill tent mate, Jacob Turnbull, and joined the battle. Shortly thereafter he saw the color bearer, Charley Mahorn, fall from a bullet wound to the chest, and picked up Mahorn's flag and joined the charge.

On March 1, 1865, Levy was awarded the Medal of Honor for his galantry, the highest military decoration in the United States. His citation reads:

This soldier, a drummer boy, took the gun of a sick comrade, went into the fight, and when the color bearers were shot down, carried the colors and saved them from capture.

Levy died on  July 20, 1921, and was buried at Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Sources: Jewish Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor Compiled by Seymour "Sy" Brody;
“Benjamin Levy,” Wikipedia;
Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

Photo: Public Domain