George Foster Shepley (Maine and Louisiana)

George Shepley
Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit
In office
December 22, 1869  July 20, 1878
Appointed by Ulysses Grant
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by John Lowell
Military Governor of Richmond
In office
April 3, 1865  July 3, 1865
Preceded by Joseph Mayo (Mayor)
Succeeded by David Saunders (Mayor)
Governor of Louisiana
In office
July 2, 1862  March 4, 1864
Preceded by Thomas Moore
Succeeded by Michael Hahn
Mayor of New Orleans
In office
May 20, 1862  July 11, 1862
Preceded by John Monroe
Succeeded by Godfrey Weitzel (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1819-01-01)January 1, 1819
Saco, Maine
Died July 20, 1878(1878-07-20) (aged 59)
Portland, Maine
Political party Democratic (1848–1854)
Republican (1854–1878)
Spouse(s) Lucy Ann Hayes
Alma mater Harvard University
Dartmouth College
Autograph of General George Foster Shepley from an autograph album he gave to his daughter Anne at Christmas, 1860 (Private Collection of H. Blair Howell)

George Foster Shepley (January 1, 1819  July 20, 1878) was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was appointed military and 18th Governor of Louisiana by General Benjamin Butler in June 1862. He later served as a United States federal judge.

Education and early career

Born in Saco, Maine, Shepley studied law at Harvard University, and then received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1837.[1] He read law and was admitted to the bar in 1839. He began the practice of law the same year, and was in private practice in Bangor, Maine from 1839 to 1844 and in Portland, Maine from 1844 to 1861. He was a U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine from 1848 to 1849 and from 1853 to 1861.

Military career

General George Shepley

Shepley joined the army in November 1861 as a colonel of the 12th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He served as the acting military mayor of New Orleans from May 20, 1862  July 11, 1862. This appointment lasted less than two months before Shepley was appointed military governor of the occupied parishes of Louisiana from 18621864, with the rank of brigadier general. Shepley later served as the first military governor of Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital.

Post-war legal and judicial career

After the war, Shepley returned to his private practice in Portland in 1865. He was a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 1866 to 1867, and continued in private practice until 1869. On December 8, 1869, Shepley was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant to a new seat on the United States circuit court for the First Circuit created by 16 Stat. 44. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1869, and received his commission the same day. He continued in that office until his death.

He died in Portland, Maine, on July 20, 1878, and is interred at Evergreen Cemetery in that city. His tombstone has his birth date as January 1, 1819.[2]

See also


  1. Tucker, Spencer C. (2013). American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection [6 volumes]: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. ABC-CLIO. p. 1761.
  2. Appleton's Cyclopedia "George Foster Shepley"
Political offices
Preceded by
John Monroe
Mayor of New Orleans

Succeeded by
Godfrey Weitzel
Preceded by
Thomas Moore
Governor of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Michael Hahn
Preceded by
Joseph Mayo
as Mayor of Richmond
Military Governor of Richmond
Succeeded by
David Saunders
as Mayor of Richmond
Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit
Succeeded by
John Lowell
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