October 31, 1862, Nashville Dispatch (Tennessee)
The complaint of the scarcity and consequent high price of marketing continues to increase. Parties who visit the market-house say the amount brought in for sale has fallen off very materially, and still continues to fall off. This is easily accounted for. While there is perhaps not so much produce in the country immediately around Nashville as in former years, there is still enough to afford supplies for a very good market, and at prices much more reasonable than are now demanded and paid. But the country people have got the impression among them, and not without cause, it must be admitted, that if they come or send to market with their produce, there is danger of a large portion of their produce being stolen by soldiers who seem to set all rules and regulations at defiance, and their wagons and horses impressed into the services of the Government. These things have been done, and they have deterred large numbers of country people from bringing their produce to market. What is wanting is an assurance from the military authorities, officially given, that their produce and their wagons and teams will be protected. Let the military authorities give this assurance publicity, and rigidly enforce it, and we will soon see quite a difference in the appearance of our market, and the prices which will be demanded. Such a step as this will benefit the laboring classes, whose wages are now absorbed in purchasing barely a sufficient amount of product to subsist their families. In the name of humanity, let something be done to benefit the poor people of the city by increasing and cheapening the produce they are necessarily compelled to have.
Gentlemen who are somewhat familiar with the country around Nashville some miles out, assure us that there is a great deal of produce held back for a market. If the holders of this produce could be induced to bring it to the city, it would contribute greatly to the relief of our people. The good prices they would realize, with the protection we have suggested, would, we are satisfied, induce them to bring it in. This is a question for the authorities to consider, and having made the suggestion, we leave it with them.