Noah Smith, a businessman in Calais, wrote to Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, seeking information about Pvt. John Feeney of Co. K of the 12th Maine Regiment.
Feeney's wife was a domestic servant in the Smith home and had not heard from her husband for some time.
Smith wrote on her behalf to Shepley, a Maine native who had been the commander of the 12th Maine Regiment when it was formed. He enclosed a letter to Feeney that he asked Shepley to forward.
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