Soldier excuse for absence, Boston, 1861
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Patrick Melody of Portland, a private in Co. B of the 12th Maine Regiment, wrote to Col. George F. Shepley asking to be excused for being absent after a furlough. He wrote that he was not a deserter and that "I will return this evening I remain your faithful soldier untill the Country is free." Melody, an Irish immigrant, was 33 when he enlisted in November 1861. He was mustered out in 1866.