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    Johnstown Tribune, 15 Mar 1921, Contributed by Lisa Baker


Glassport Octogenarian Was Literally Cut to Pieces in Virginia in 1864


Henry Helsel, aged 83 years, a native of Richland Township, this county, died early in March at his home on Michigan avenue, Glassport, near Pittsburg. His death was due to pneumonia and paralysis. He became ill of pneumonia early in February and was stricken with paralysis shortly before his death. the funeral services were held at the Helsel home in Glassport, and were in charge of the Rev. C. Hernster, of the Lutheran Church, and the Rev. P. S. Kohler, of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Helsel was a soldier in the Civil War, serving with Co. I, 54th Pa. Volunteer Infantry, and was wounded in 1864 at New market, Va., where he lost his right arm. In this battle, Mr. Helsel was wounded nine times with a period of 2 minutes, and for 20 years he carried one of the bullets in his leg, finally cutting it out himself. He enlisted on September 26, 1861, in this city under Capt. William B. Bonacker. His injuries at New market were so serious that Mr. Helsel was thought to be dead for a day or so after the fight. When his comrades visited the field after the battle they pined "dead" on his breast and the word "hospital" on a wounded soldier lying next to him, but when Mr. Helsel made an investigation some time later he exchanged placards with his wounded comrade, as the latter died before the arrival of the litter bearers.

The deceased was a son of George Helsel, a Cambria County soldier, who starved to death in Libby Prison in the South in 1864 or 1865. He was a brother of Mrs. Elizabeth Crouse, of Good street, Eighth Ward. A sister and two brothers died here since the Johnstown Flood of 1889. They were Mrs. James T. Murty, Michael Helsel, and Harry Helsel. Mr. Helsel's widow was formerly Miss Catherine Huffman, who was born and reared in this county. He and His wife attended the annual reunion of the 54th Regimental Association in G. A. R. hall. Besides his widow, Mr. Helsel is survived by a daughter, Mrs. W. E. Bradley, of Glassport; one step-son, A. W. Sutton, of this city; one step-daughter, Mary Sutton, of Baltimore, Md. He was a member of Col. Sam W. Black, Post No. 59, G. A. R.

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