From the Richmond Dispatch, 3/13/1863, p. 1, c. 5

Scarcity of Labor. – The railroad Superintendents have begun to complain of the want of labor on their respective lines, and some have petitioned Congress to allow them a detail of battery hands in order to do certain work necessary to keep these important thoroughfares in good running condition. The question deserves the serious consideration of those to whom it is addressed. The success of the Confederate arms, in a great measure, depends on the efficiency of the railroads. – There are hundreds of able bodied men held in various civil and military prisons for trivial offences, supported in idleness, at great cost both to the State and Confederacy, whose labor might be made available in the present emergency.

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