H. I. Libby of Portland wrote to Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana to introduce Mr. Towle, brother-in-law of F.O.J. Smith, a well-known politician; and Mr. Baxter.
The two men were on their way to New Orleans "hoping to make some money by raising cotton or in some other honest way."
Shepley, a native of Maine, was a lawyer in Portland before the war. He enlisted as colonel and commander of the 12th Maine Infantry and was soon promoted to commander of the 3rd Brigade.
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