Slaves also had value to the Union army as workers.
In December 1863, Brig. Gen. James Bowen, of the provost marshal general's office in the Union Army Department of the Gulf, wrote Shepley that the levees below New Orleans needed repair and that, "in the absence of adequate negro labor ... fifty negroes from the Parish Prison" had been ordered to do the repair work.
He asked Shepley to approve the order for the prisoners to work.
Item 17 of 17