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The supplies

The Sentinel, of Friday, intimated that the Commissary Department had secured a sufficiency of supplies for the Confederate armies, but that in consequence of the insufficient means of transportation they could not be distributed to the points where needed with sufficient rapidity, and the reduction of the ration became, therefore, unavoidable. We have been satisfied, from such imperfect information as was obtainable, that there was enough in the South to feed the army and the people. If the deficiency of transportation has been felt by the army, it has been more stringent upon the people. The Government had control of the lines of communication, and not only occupied them chiefly with its transportation, but its agents pressed for the use of the Government the supplies destined for market for the general consumer. It ought, therefore, to occasion no surprise that the stocks have been insufficient for the demand, and that insufficiency was no good reason for inferring a great scarcity. There is a plenty — probably not to justify a waste, which, indeed, is never justifiable, however abundant the supply. There is, beyond a doubt, enough in the land to feed all well; and, with a favorable year, there will be a superabundance of the necessaries of life in the Southern Confederacy.

The apprehension of a scarcity has had very bad effects. It has occasioned uneasiness and stimulated the spirit of extortion. We conjecture that speculators in the necessaries of life will yet have disastrous proofs of the plenty that really prevails in the country.

The Government ought to take the subject of transportation of the necessaries of life seriously in hand. It ought to ensure as far as possible, by judicious measures, the movement and storage of supplies at proper points for the army, and at the same time allow as much of means and facilities of transportation as possible to supply the wants of the citizens generally.

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