B.H. Mace, a lawyer in Bangor, wrote to Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, seeking information for the family of Sgt. Benjamin M. Kelley, Co. I, 28th Regiment Maine Volunteers.
Kelley, of Orono, was 44 when he enlisted as a corporal in October 1862. He was promoted to sergeant in November 1862.
Kelley was in a hospital in Baton Rouge when his regiment returned to Maine and the family had not heard from or about him for several months. Mace was hopeful Shepley, a Maine native with ties to Bangor, could get information.
On the back of the letter, officials at the Baton Rouge wrote that they had no patient of that name and they forwarded the letter to the Convalescent Hospital. Officials there reported that Kelley died on August 27, 1863, of chronic diarrhea.
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