On July 8, 1812, Colonel Baynes, on staff with Sir George Prevost, writes to Major-General Brock, in Upper Canada. Baynes advises that "the prevailing opinion that, from the opposition testified by the eastern states, offensive measures are not likely to be speedily adopted against this country". "Sir George is inclined," Baynes adds "to let these sentiments take their course; and as little advantage would accrue by more active measures on our part, our present plans are all defensive. Baynes letter is reproduced below.
Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.
Montreal, July 8, 1812.
I was highly gratified yesterday in receiving your letters of the 3d of July, for we have felt extremely anxious about you ever since we have learnt the unexpected declaration of war, which has been so long threatened that no one believed it would ever seriously take place; and even now it is the prevailing opinion that, from the opposition testified by the eastern states, offensive measures are not likely to be speedily adopted against this country. Sir George is inclined to let these sentiments take their course; and as little advantage would accrue by more active measures on our part, our present plans are all defensive. General de Rottenburg is arrived,- and the flank companies embodied are on their way: this corps, with the embodied militia, will form a chain from La Prairie to St. John's, with a light corps advanced in their front. We have reports of the 103d regiment being in a river, and, it is added, recruits for the 100th regiment.
Sir George has had applications from so many quarters for militia below Kingston, that to ensure a general arrangement and to adopt the best system that circumstances will admit, he has directed Colonel Lethbridge, the inspecting field officer here, to proceed through the line of settlements to see the several colonels and corps of militia, so as to fix their quotas, and afterwards to proceed to Kingston and assume the command of that post, if necessary: he will be placed under your orders, but you will perhaps not wish to bring him in contact with the 41st regiment, as he is senior to Colonel Proctor.
Sir George desires me to say, that he does not attempt to prescribe specific rules for your guidance — they must be directed by your discretion and the circumstances of the time: the present order of the day with him is forbearance, until hostilities are more decidedly marked.