Gen. George F. Shepley, a lawyer from Portland who served as military commandant of the Union occupied city of New Orleans, received a "private and confidential" report on the state of the city and what Union forces might need to do to maintain peace there.
Among the comments Shepley received was one suggesting that "elections be not held under the control of the present municipal authority."
The report also refers to The Southern Independent Association, which "holds its meetings in open streets and has at its service a band of assassins who will maintain in New Orleans the reign of terror if not immediately arrested."
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