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Maine Memory Network

Post War: Veteran and Judge

This Exhibit Contains 14 Items
1
Army of the Tennessee reunion announcement, 1865

Army of the Tennessee reunion announcement, 1865

Item 76626 info
Maine Historical Society

After the war, commemorating the deaths, injuries, bravery, and traumas of the four-years became an important part of Northern and Southern society.

It was not long after the war's end that Shepley received an announcement from The Army of the Tennessee for a reunion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for June 1, 1865 -- the anniversary of the fall of Vicksburg. Confederate troops surrendered on July 4, 1863, after a siege that began May 22 of that year.

The invitation appears to have been sent shortly after the fall of Richmond, the Confederate capital, and the surrender of Robert E. Lee in April 1865.


2
George Frost to George F. Shepley, New Orleans, 1865

George Frost to George F. Shepley, New Orleans, 1865

Item 76629 info
Maine Historical Society

The end of the war also meant renewing relationships for those split by Union and Confederate loyalties.

George H. Frost, apparently a relative of Shepley wrote to the former Union brigadier general in June 1865 to thank Shepley for a gift he had sent and to share his post-Civil War thoughts.

Frost, a graduate of West Point, served with the Confederate army. He wrote, "It was a sad thought to me that all of our efforts for the independence of the South were without result and all the precious blood which had been split and lives lost had been in vain."


3
Naval Academy request for Preble portrait, 1867

Naval Academy request for Preble portrait, 1867

Item 76631 info
Maine Historical Society

Wartime acquaintances frequently sought one another out after the war -- for a variety of reasons.

Vice Admiral David D. Porter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, wrote to Shepley seeking his help in obtaining a portrait of Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807), a Portland native, who Porter referred to as "Father of the U.S. Navy."

Porter wrote that a portrait of Preble hung at the Preble House in Portland and he hoped Shepley, with whom he was familiar from Civil War service in Louisiana, could help obtain the portrait.


4
Gov. Chamberlain introduction of student to G.F. Shepley, 1867

Gov. Chamberlain introduction of student to G.F. Shepley, 1867

Item 76633 info
Maine Historical Society

Joshua Chamberlain, a celebrated Union commander now serving as governor of Maine, wrote to Shepley to recommend B.B. Eaton, a Bowdoin College graduate who sought to study law with Shepley.

Chamberlain referred to him as "entirely worthy of your confidence and association."

Chamberlain had been a professor at Bowdoin before becoming an officer in the Union army during the Civil War. Shepley served as commander of the 12th Maine, then military governor of Louisiana.


5
Letter to G.F. Shepley on interference in business plan, New York, 1868

Letter to G.F. Shepley on interference in business plan, New York, 1868

Item 77450 info
Maine Historical Society

In 1868, C. K. Green wrote from New York complaining about the interference of F.O.J. Smith, a Portland politician and businessman, and people in Boston in a business plan Green and others were attempting to initiate.

Green wrote that the "Boston people are afraid of Portland & therefore they will prevent if possible any thing which is going to benefit Portland to such an extent as the introduction of Water."


6
Request for G.F. Shepley speak at Grant-Colfax event, Rhode Island, 1868

Request for G.F. Shepley speak at Grant-Colfax event, Rhode Island, 1868

Item 77451 info
Maine Historical Society

Shepley was called upon frequently during the 1864 election campaign to speak about the war and to help re-elect Lincoln and other Republican candidates. A Democrat before the war, Shepley switched party loyalty.

In 1868, he was equally sought after to make political speeches.

William H. Reynolds of Providence, Rhode Island, invited Shepley to speak at a "Grant & Colfax Ratification Meeting."

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax had been nominated as the presidential ticket by the Republican Party May 20-21. The Providence "ratification" event was scheduled for June 26, 1868.


7
Request for G.F. Shepley speech, Skowhegan, 1868

Request for G.F. Shepley speech, Skowhegan, 1868

Item 77452 info
Maine Historical Society

Z.A. Smith wrote to ask Shepley to set a date to give a political speech in Skowhegan.

Smith had written about a month earlier, asking Shepley to speak at a Republican ratification of the Grant-Colfax ticket event.

In this letter, Smith reminded Shepley of his promise to address the Somerset County Republicans soon.


8
James Blaine telegram to G.F. Shepley, Augusta, 1868

James Blaine telegram to G.F. Shepley, Augusta, 1868

Item 77453 info
Maine Historical Society

James G. Blaine, U.S. representative from Maine's 3rd District, sent Shepley a brief telegram stating that Shepley was "announced" to speak at Bath on Thursday and requested that he speak at Rockland on Saturday, Aug. 15, 1868.

Blaine added, "don't decline."


9
Request for G.F. Shepley speech in Lewiston, 1868

Request for G.F. Shepley speech in Lewiston, 1868

Item 77454 info
Maine Historical Society

Enos T. Luce, a lawyer and judge in Lewiston, asked Shepley to speak to Androscoggin County Republicans.

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, a Republican, was running for president against Democrat Horatio Seymour.

Luce's letter refers to rallies the Democrats were holding and sought to engage Shepley, a popular post-war speaker, for a rally for the Republicans.


10
Request for G.F. Shepley speech in Standish, 1868

Request for G.F. Shepley speech in Standish, 1868

Item 77455 info
Maine Historical Society

M. Lane wrote to Shepley on Aug. 20, 1868 inviting him and Sen. Francis Fessenden to speak on behalf of Republicans in Standish on the Saturday before Election Day.


11
Letter of thanks for donation for orphans, Bath, 1868

Letter of thanks for donation for orphans, Bath, 1868

Item 77456 info
Maine Historical Society

Shepley continued his other interests as well.

Sarah Sampson of Bath, who had been a nurse during the Civil War and who was a founder of the Maine Military and Naval Children's Home in Bath, thanked Shepley for his donation to the home.

She invited him to visit and told him that part of the letter he wrote to accompany his donation would appear in the newspaper.


12
Ether Shepley to son G. F. Shepley, St. Louis, 1869

Ether Shepley to son G. F. Shepley, St. Louis, 1869

Item 77736 info
Maine Historical Society

Family matters also occupied Shepley.

His father, Ether Shepley, a retired judge, wrote about his decision to live with another son, Leonard, upon the elder Shepley's return to Portland from St. Louis, where another son lived.

Ether Shepley's wife, Anne Foster Shepley, had died about a year previous. Shepley wrote that Leonard and his family felt slighted because the elder Shepley had never lived with them and jealous apparently because George and his family were more successful.

He also wrote about other family and political matters.

While the letter does not mention it, George Shepley's youngest daughter, Lucy, age 16, also died 1868.


13
Invitation to G.F. Shepley to speak at reunion, New York, 1871

Invitation to G.F. Shepley to speak at reunion, New York, 1871

Item 78827 info
Maine Historical Society

In June 1871, James E. Montgomery of New York, wrote to ask Shepley 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."


14
G.F. Shepley election as commander of Maine GAR, 1877

G.F. Shepley election as commander of Maine GAR, 1877

Item 78831 info
Maine Historical Society

R.M. Mason, assistant adjutant general of the Headquarters Department of Maine for the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union soldiers' veterans organization, informed Shepley that he was unanimously elected commander of the Department of Maine.

Shepley (1819-1878), serving as judge of the First Circuit Court of the U.S., was commander of the 12th Maine Infantry, then military governor of Louisiana and military governor of Richmond, Virginia.


This Exhibit Contains 14 Items