Col. F. S. Nickerson of the 14th Maine Volunteers wrote to Col. Nathan Dudley, assistant military commandant of New Orleans to report that he had "positive information" about concealed equipment and guns that had been taken from the Marine Hospital when Union forces arrived in New Orleans.
He sought permission to search for the items and take them as contraband of war.
On the back of Nickerson's letter, Dudley granted such permission.
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