General George F. Shepley, a Portland lawyer serving as military governor of Louisiana, kept a copy of a letter he wrote to Secretary of State Edwin M. Stanton about $800,000 that Gen. Benjamin Butler had seized from the Consul of the Netherlands.
Shepley wrote that the money would be returned and assured Stanton that he would "endeavor in my intercourse with the foreign consuls in new Orleans as far as possible to avoid any causes of irritation."
Stanton was commander of the 12th Maine Volunteers, who were assigned to Ship Island. He soon was promoted to commander of the 3rd Brigade, then military commandant of New Orleans, and military governor of Louisiana.
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