On January 23, 1812, Colonel Edward Baynes in Quebec, writes to Major-General Brock, at York, as follows:
QUEBEC, January 23, 1812
Sir George Prevost has commissioned me to inform you that by the October mail, which arrived two days ago, he received a letter from the adjutant-general, authorizing him to permit your return to England for the purpose of being employed on the continent, and sanctioning his appointing Major-General Sheaffe to succeed you on the staff in Canada. But Sir George, viewing the intention of the commander-in-chief as instigated solely by a desire to promote your wishes and advantage, and having learnt from me that from the tenor of your recent correspondence I was led to believe that you would prefer retaining your present charge, he has directed me to inform you of the circumstance by a private letter, which will enable you to canvass the subject with more freedom than an official communication would admit of. Your decision to remain longer in Canada will be highly acceptable to him. Sheaffe, I have no doubt, will be very speedily provided for in this country, without depriving us of your services. Sir George has asked permission to appoint him in General Wilder's place, and there will be two vacancies in Nova Scotia to fill up in the spring.Sir George has great pleasure in acceding to your request to be permitted to nominate one or two ensigns to the Glengary Fencibles, and, if you wish, young Shaw may be immediately provided for in that corps, and afterwards transferred to the line.
The cold here has been severer for the last eight days than has ever been recollected by the oldest inhabitant; the thermometer falling as low as 33 degrees under cipher, accompanied with high wind, and never rising during all that time above 15 degrees below—it is at this moment 20 degrees under cipher: fortunate you, that are in a milder climate, for we are suffering dreadfully from excessive cold. By your description of your pastime in shooting wild pigeons, you certainly possess a very great advantage over us in these respects. We have been much plagued with opthalmia , which has been very general in the king's regiment, and the severe cold does not prevent the contagion.
 Ophthalmia involves the inflammation of the conjunctiva or the eyeball