Born on August 29, 1840, according to his tombstone, Perry E. Helpman was 22 years old when he enlisted in Company H, 118th Ohio Infantry on August 22, 1862. He must have decided to marry his sweetheart before he left because the marriage of Perry E. Helpman and Juliann Parrish took place just four days after he signed up, on August 26, 1862.
His company set out for Kentucky and then Tennessee where they spent the first year of their enlistment guarding the railroads. Their first real battle was at Mossy Creek, Tennessee where forty of their men were killed or wounded.
In May, 1864, the company set out for Georgia and engaged there in the Battle of Resaca. According to an ancestry.com account of this company in battle, of 300 men, 116 were lost in less than 10 minutes. More were lost soon after at Kennesaw Mountain, and at some point, Perry, himself, was seriously wounded. The account noted that after June 1, 1864, the unit never had more than 250 men and, at their lowest, they were down to 120. Perry Helpman experienced much during his three years of service. He was mustered out on June 24, 1865 at Salisbury, Tennessee.
Perry and Juliann (Julia) seemed to disappear for the 1870 census, although his obituary suggested they may have lived in Napoleon. They appeared in 1880 in Defiance, Ohio. Perry, 39, had a job as a stationary engineer (operated and/or maintained industrial equipment). By now, they had two children: William, 16, and Edelbert (known as Del), 13, and these would be their only children.
The couple continued to live in Defiance, at 527 Washington Street, until their deaths. They always had a live-in domestic servant until the 1920 census, and Perry continued to work into his elderly years.
In May, 1922, Perry lost his wife and in 1924, his son, Del, died of heart failure. Perry, himself, died on June 24, 1927 and he was buried at Riverside Cemetery.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)