(1825 - 1872)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Education: Haverford College, Class of 1841
Branch of Service: Infantry
Age 37, from a wealthy Quaker family and an original founder of the Philadelphia Corn Exchange, he was in the flour and grain commission business when he enrolled and was commissioned First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry on 30 August 1862.
On the Campaign
In action at Boteler's Ford near Shepherdstown, VA on 20 September 1862:
The order to retire, which, with the thickening disasters, had been long hoped for, came at last. The welcome direction, communicated through the loud voice of Adjutant James P. Perot, was repeated hurriedly all along the line. The scene that followed almost beggars description. The brave men who had contended so manfully against these frightful odds broke in broke in wild confusion for the river.
Perot, unable from an injury in early life to keep pace with the rapidly retiring soldiers, remained almost alone upon the bluff. True to the instincts of a genuine courage, he stood erect facing the foe, with his pistol resting on his left forearm, emptying it rapidly of all the loads he had left, when he was severely wounded [in the arm] and ultimately fell into the hands of the enemy ...
The rest of the War
He was briefly held at Winchester, VA but paroled to Harpers Ferry along with 95 other prisoners from his regiment on 30 September. He was later exchanged to return to duty, but he resigned his commission on 17 January 1863. On 2 July 1863 he briefly returned to service as Lieutenant Colonel of the 49th Regiment, Emergency Militia of 1863, formed in response to the Confederate invasion. He mustered out with them on 3 September 1863.
After the War
He returned to his business in Philadelphia but died of smallpox there at age 46 in 1872.
References & notes
Basic information, the quote above, and his picture - an etching from a photograph - are from Smith.1 His service from Bates.2 Personal details from the US Census of 1860 & 1870, the Haverford College Catalogues, Vol. 1, 1852-1863, and the The Philadelphia Inquirer of 3 October 1862. His gravesite is on Findagrave.
05/12/1825; Philadelphia, PA
01/14/1872; Philadelphia, PA; burial in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
1 Smith, John L., and Survivor's Association, History of the Corn Exchange Regiment, 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers, 2nd Edition, Philadelphia: J.L. Smith, Map Publisher, 1905, pp. 90, 681 [AotW citation 1940]
2 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 26211]