Gen. G.F. Shepley on New Orleans levees, 1862
Brig. Gen. George F. Shepley, military governor of Louisiana, wrote to Gen. Nathaniel Banks, the relatively new commander of the Union's Department of the Gulf, about the condition of the levee in St. Charles Parish. Shepley's letter was an introduction for a planter in the parish who would explain to Banks the condition of the levee and the reasons to fix it. Shepley noted that if it overflowed, the railroad would be rendered impassable and communications would be cut off. During his tenure as military governor, Shepley, a native of Maine who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine before the Civil War, frequently dealt with issues of levees that protected the crops as well as military necessities such as the railroad. Shepley, who enlisted as colonel in the 12th Maine Regiment, was military governor from June 1862 to January 1864.