GEORGE F. SHEPLEY was born in Saco, Maine on January 1, 1819. He was educated at Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1837, and at Dane Law School, from which he graduated two years later. He established a successful legal career, serving as the U.S. attorney for Maine, a position he held from 1848 to 1849 and again from 1853 to 1861. During the Civil War, he served as colonel of the 12th Maine Volunteer Infantry; and he commanded the 3rd Brigade in the seizure of New Orleans, rising to the rank of brigadier general. In May 1862, he was appointed acting mayor of New Orleans, a post he held until June 2, 1862, when he was named military governor of the Union-controlled region of Louisiana. During his tenure, a court system was initiated for the Union controlled regions of the state. Also, the calling of a convention to arrange a new state constitution was recommended, and efforts were made to overhaul state government. After a new gubernatorial election was held, Shepley left office on January 24, 1864. He was reassigned to Virginia, where he commanded troops in occupied Richmond, and served as the military governor from April until June 1865. After the war, he returned to his law practice in Portland, Maine. From 1869 until his death, Shepley served as U.S. Judge for the First Judicial Circuit of Maine. He passed away on July 20, 1878, and was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine.
Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.
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Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.