He isn't anticipating any violence from the enemy, and doesn't want to appear too threatening himself, but wants to make sure that if anything unpleasant happens, he has some kind of protection, or at least backup.
(Sorry if the answer to this is really obvious- I don't have a clue where or how to start looking. Thanks in advance!)
ETA: Damn, I always seem to leave out important details. It's for a fantasy story which is based on the Napoleonic era, and the general is part of an army based on the British army of the time.
ETA #2: Answered, I believe. Thanks, chickenfeet2003.