This is from Wikipedia and Home of the Hero’s.
Thomas was the first soldier to receive the dual honor during the Civil War.
He was one of four soldiers or sailors to get the honor during the Civil War.

Thomas Ward Custer 


He was born in New Rumley, Ohio, the third son of Emanuel and Maria Custer. He enlisted in the Union Army, in September 1861, at age 16, and served in the early campaigns of the Civil War as a private in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He saw action at numerous battles, including Stones RiverMissionary Ridge and the Atlanta Campaign. He mustered out in October 1864 as a corporal. Commissioned a second lieutenant in Company B of the 6th Michigan Cavalry, he became his brother’s aide-de-camp and accompanied him throughout the last year of the war.
Tom Custer distinguished himself by winning successively the brevets of captainmajor, andlieutenant colonel, although he was barely 20 years of age when the Civil War ended. He was awarded two Medals of Honor. He was the first soldier to receive the dual honor, one of only four soldiers or sailors to receive the dual honor during the Civil War, and one of just 19 in history

Medals of Honor

Original Army Medal of HonorOriginal Army Medal of Honor
The President of the United States
in the name of
The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor

Both actions that earned Custer the Medal of Honor involved capturing Confederate regimental flags (2nd North Carolina Cavalry flag at Namozine Church on April 3, 1865, and again at Sayler’s Creek on April 6, 1865). Such battle flags “denoted individual persons, or units, on the field of battle. The flag symbolized the honor of the regiment…In combat, with the field full of noise and smoke, the soldiers watched their regimental flag and if it advanced or retreated they followed. The names of the battles that the regiment participated in were sometimes stitched onto the flag. The loss of a regimental flag was a disgrace to the command.”[1] 

First Award

Custer won his first Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Namozine Church, April 3, 1865. Among Union forces charging Confederate barricades, Custer had his horse leap a barricade while coming under fire. The Confederates fell back in confusion before him, while he saw a color bearer. Racing forward he seized the flag of the Second North Carolina cavalry from the bearer and commanded those around him to surrender. He took three officers and eleven enlisted men prisoner, took them behind the federal column and requisitioned another horse as his had been shot in the charge.[1]

[edit]Second Award

Similar actions in the Battle of Sayler’s Creek resulted in Custer being the first American soldier to receive two Medals of Honor. Riding alongside Colonel Charles E. Capehart when the command to charge was given, he raced his horse toward the enemy barricades through a line of rifle fire, then lept the barricade to be surrounded by the enemy. He discharged his pistol to both sides, scattering the enemy. He noticed Confederates attempting to make a new battleline and saw the color bearer they were rallying to.[1] Custer charged the bearer. Colonel Capehart reported the rest of the events in a letter to Libbie Custer:
“I saw your brother capture his second flag. It was in a charge made by my brigade at Sailor’s Creek, Virginia, against General Ewell’s Corps. Having crossed the line of temporary works in the flank road, we were confronted by a supporting line. It was from the second line that he wrested the colors, single-handed, and only a few paces to my right. As he approached the colors he received a shot in the face which knocked him back on his horse, but in a moment he was upright in his saddle. Reaching out his right arm, he grasped the flag while the color bearer reeled. The bullet from Tom’s revolver must have pierced his heart. As he was falling Captain Custer wrenched the standard from his grasp and bore it away in triumph.”
— Colonel Capehart[1]

(Pictures taken shortly after the battle show a scar “with minor soft tissue damage to his lower jaw extending to a point just below the right ear”;[1] though the wound to Tom’s face was across blood rich tissue and covered him in his own blood, had the bullet gone through the mouth or the soft tissue of the neck it would have likely struck a major vessel and have caused him to bleed to death.)[1] Having captured the flag Custer held it aloft and rode back to the Union column. An officer of the Third New Jersey cavalry, seeing Custer ride back with the banner flapping, tried to warn him that he might be shot by his own side: “For God’s sake, Tom, furl that flag or they’ll fire on you!”[1] Custer ignored him and kept riding towards his brother Armstrong‘s personal battle flag and handed the captured flag to one of Armstrong’s aides while declaring, “Armstrong, the damned rebels shot me, but I’ve got my flag.”[1] Custer then turned his horse to rejoin the battle, but Armstrong (who had only seconds before seen another of his aides be shot in the face and fall from his horse dead) ordered Custer to report to the surgeon. Tom ignored the order and his brother placed him under arrest, ordering him to the rear under guard.[1]