J. A. Southard of Richmond wrote to Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, to introduce Capt. Edward Howe, who was taking Southard's ship Ellen Southard to New Orleans.
Southard wrote that he would appreciate "any favor you may show him" and noted that the captain would have a package on board "which he will send you if desirable."
Shepley, a Maine native, was a Portland lawyer before the war and enlisted as colonel of the 12th Maine Infantry. He soon became commander of the 3rd Bridgade in Louisiana, then military commandant of New Orleans, and military governor of Louisiana following Union victories.
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