Medal of Honor received by Tazewell County Civil War veteran now on display

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)- A Medal of Honor earned by a Central Illinois Civil War veteran is now on display at the Tazewell County Clerk’s Office.

Dr. Thomas Murphy received the honor on June 23rd, 1916.

During the siege of Vicksburg, records show Murphy crossed the line of heavy fire of Union and Confederate forces, carrying a message to stop one Union regiment from firing on another.

The Tazewell County Clerk said this signifies that there are local military heroes.

“I want to provide the public with an opportunity to come down and see heroes do walk amongst us. These individuals lived here in Tazewell County, they worked here in Tazewell County just like everybody else. Any citizen out there can be a hero for our nation and that’s what these gentlemen have done,” said John Ackerman, Tazewell County Clerk.

Hal Fritz, a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in Vietnam, said the display represents the sacrifice servicemen and servicewomen make.

“We want to voice and carry the voice of those that are serving in public places so that everyone that comes in to use that service, or passes a monument, or sees a memorial, they remember,” Fritz said.

Murphy is one of three Tazewell County residents who have received a Medal of Honor, but he is the only one buried in the county.

The two other recipients are William Reed and John Ayers, both served during the Civil War as well.

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