Capt. Charles Thornton of Scarborough of Co. C of the 12th Maine Regiment, who was serving on the staff of Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, wrote to Shepley from Washington, D.C., about a private dispatch he delivered to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
The dispatch apparently referred to some charge against Shepley. Thornton reported that Stanton said, "Slander Captain nothing but slander."
Thornton wrote, "The scoundrel Cottman started the infamous slander." He probably refers to Thomas Cottman, a Louisiana planter who had signed the articles of secession, but in 1864 was pressuring Lincoln and others to allow Louisiana to keep its old constitution and hold new elections.
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