James E. Montgomery of New York, wrote to George F. Shepley of Portland asking him to deliver the oration at the annual reunion of the Society of the Army & Navy of the Gulf.
Shepley, a brigadier general, had served as military governor of Louisiana.
Montgomery wrote that he knew Shepley could fill the "post of honor" as orator as "faithfully as you did other of far more danger in the times of war."
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