OSL JOHNSTON TO MEIGS
Piqua April 8, 1813
The recent murders committed by the Indians on various parts of our frontiers west of this, has excited a very great Sensation among the people. under these gloomy prospects the old System of drafting men off this frontier to go and defent these residing on another, has commenced, an attempt was lately made here to Draft men to go beyond Greenville to defend people 35 miles distant and not more exposed then the very men who were thus to be drafted. the people refused, of course, and are now fine as the law directs, this work is breaking up thefrontiers and it is respectfully Submitted to your Excellency to devise some plan to put a dtop to such unwise practices, the officers of the Militia in general in this quarter are too ignorant to act with any degree of advantage to the people, they think that in all cases they must conform to the letter of the Law. As the war is likely to continue and as agravated circumstances with the Indians would it not be the best policy to exempt from Draft each Militia compy bordering on certain parts of the frontiers and have them organized for the purpose of Scouting and spying in their own vicinage owing to the course the Indian War is taking, were man living on or near the outside west of Champaign is exposed alike to the incursions of the Savages certainly thatpolicy must be best which most encourages the frontier settler to stand his ground exempt him from Draft, furnish him with arms and if poor with amunition too and the state may calculate that he will stand by his home as long as possible, the measures pursuing here with regard to this class of people has the very contrary tendency it is driving them away in numbers
I beg your Excellencys attention to this very important subject for I consider it all important to preserve the frontiers in this trying crisis. your wisdom will readily suggest a plan which will obviate these painful difficulties on the poor frontier settler, it is a Sacrifice too great to be required of any man to go 30 or 40 miles from home to Serve in the Militia [?illeg.] months and leave his family exposed to the Indians on another frontier, yet this is the case with many of those who are now required to go the fines which have been struck against these people I trust you will direct to be quashed and that you will suggest some plan to enable them to stand their ground your Excellency will read- ily agree that the Indian War is assuming a serious aspect that it is not now as it was last summer all will allow there is real danger along the whole of the western frontier of this state and who can tell where the first blow will fall let all those exposed be at their Post with arms in their hands, and we may expect to give a better account of the Indians than was given at the Pidgeon Roost last fall when the Heads of the families who were butchered to the amount of 30 persons were absent serving in the militia.
I have the Honor to remain with very great respect yr. ob. st.
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