Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley wrote an appeal, labeled "personal," to Major Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, commander of the Union Department of Virginia, who had recently relieved Shepley of his command of the Division of Eastern Virginia.
Shepley, a Maine native and lawyer and U.S. Attorney before the war, wrote that the Military Commission in session at Norfolk had been collecting testimony "with regard to the official acts and conduct of myself and other General Officers," and that the testimony was secret and some based on hearsay and rumor -- and that he had no opportunity to hear it or contradict it.
He wrote, "It is publicly stated here and generally believed that I was relieved of my command in consequence of this testimony which I have never heard and therefore this respectful request and protest seems to me to be imperatively required from me."
The letter is a copy of one he sent in February 1865.