John G.B. Simms, a lawyer in Little Rock, Arkansas, sent Neal Dow of Portland a newspaper clipping based on an account Simms recently wrote of the capture of Neal Dow when he was a brigadier general commanding the 13th Maine Infantry in Louisiana during the Civil War.
Simms was a sergeant in the 17th Arkansas Regiment who was assigned to go to a farmhouse where Dow was recuperating from injuries suffered in May 1863 at the Battle of Port Hudson, and capture the Union general.
Simms sought Dow's comments on the veracity of the article on his capture.
The letter is a copy, written by Simms, of the one he sent Dow in 1891. After Dow's death in 1897, Dow's son, Fred, asked Simms to resend the letter with the original date to replace the first one, which apparently had been lost.