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May 14 1812: Col Baynes to Brock



On May 14 1812, Colonel Baynes, aide to Sir George Prevost, writes to Major-General Brock, in Upper Canada. Baynes is happy to report that the subscription for the Glengary Light infantry has been successful with  400 men signing  up. As a consequence, Prevost has ordered new quotas doubling the number of men to be raised for the militia. Prevost has also authorized the recruitment of Acadians from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The men will be offered lands in the Scotch settlements of Upper Canada as an inducement to join. Baynes' letter is reproduced below.
Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, May 14, 1812.

I have great satisfaction in telling you that I have reported the Glengary light infantry more than complete to the establishment of 400 rank and file, and have received Sir George Prevost's commands to recruit for a higher establishment; indeed, the quotas the officers have engaged to fulfil will nearly amount to double that number; and from the very great success that has attended our exertions, I have no doubt of succeeding by the end of this year. Two officers have divided Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for their hunting ground, and are permitted to recruit Acadians; and Lieutenant Ronald M'Donnell, of the Canadians, proceeds in a few days to Pictou and the highland settlements on the coast and gulf: he is an officer that appears to be eminently qualified for that service, and he is sanguine that the proffer of lands in the Scotch settlements of Upper Canada will induce great numbers to enter. I am assured from various channels that the men I have got are generally young, rather too much so, and of a good description, there being very few Yankees amongst them.

I have long letters from my friends at home, giving me a detailed account of the death of my excellent and best of friends: the duke of York sat by his bedside for half an hour the day before he died, and, Somerville says, was extremely affected. Sir James, (Craig,) on the contrary, rallied from the pleasure he experienced from this condescending kindness. Sir James had a codicil written fair for his signature, the chief object of which was to add a legacy for a female cousin whom he did not know to be in existence, and to direct the sale of the priory and freehold, which cost 12,000 guineas, to enable the payment of the legacies: this instrument, not having been executed, will lead to what he most deprecated and wished to avoid, a lawsuit. The heirs at law will possess the freehold; and Wilkie, who, besides £6,000, is left the two houses in London, furniture, &c, as residuary legatee, will be stripped of the whole that is not given by special bequest, to make up the legacies: he will however, I believe, have at least £10,000 left—very ample payment for his services.


Sir George has announced his intention of recommending Battersby to be lieutenant-colonel of the Glengary corps, and ordered him to take the command of the recruits assembled at Three Rivers. Your major of brigade will be recommended to succeed to his majority in the king's regiment.

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