A.W. Longfellow request for soldier's effects, Portland, 1863
Alexander W. Longfellow of Portland wrote to Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, asking on behalf Silvanus Baker of Yarmouth who sought to retrieve the belongings and funds of his son, George O. Baker, who reportedly had died at St. James Hospital in New Orleans. Longfellow wrote that an acquaintance of the younger Baker had written about the youth's death. Longfellow said that Sylvanus Baker was for many years his steward on the coast survey and "a very worthy man." He sought Shepley's help in getting the money and effects returned. Notes on the back of the letter from the assistant surgeon report that Baker was never at the St. James Hospital. Nevertheless, military records state that he died of disease on May 13, 1863 in New Orleans. George A. Baker was 18 when he enlisted in the 1st Light Artillery Regiment on Dec. 18, 1861. The letter was written in November 1863.