Pertaining to the British military, the volumes contain manuscript copies, extracts of orders, returns and capitulations during the American Revolution and later relevant events.
Volume I contains extracts of orders given to the British Army in America from 10 June 1773 until 10 January 1776.
Volume II contains orders from Rhode Island, 28 November 1776 to 6 January 1778; concerns the Rhode Island campaign from the invasion in December 1776, until the evacuation in October 1779. Includes extracts of orders by several British commanders including Clinton, Lord Percy, and Brigadier-General Smith. The volume ends on 6 January 1778.
Volume III is entitled Returns, America, 26 October 1774- 12 October 1780, and is sometimes listed as Returns,Various. It contains a number of documents which vary considerably in subject matter. A few samples include: States of regimental battalions or corps; Returns of arms and accoutrements; Return of artificers; Embarkation returns; Distribution of forces in America; Return of officers and men on shore at Halifax, 1776; Distribution of transports; Return of killed, dead and deserted of Hessian corps; Distances from Kingsbridge to various locations; Return of drivers, horses and wagons; Returns of prisoners taken; Return of batteaux, boats and slaves; Return of brass and iron ordnance within the Wagon Master General's Department; State of all His Majesty's provincial corp in North America at Halifax, Charlestown, Savannah and St. Augustine, NY; List of transports, army and navy victuallers and oat vessels appointed to receive the garrison at Charlestown. Each record is dated and lists contain regiments by name or number, names of vessels, locations, and other details. Toward the end of the volume there are several lists of particular significance. They include: State of the British generals and field officers under the command of Sir Guy Carleton, 3 October 1782; List of transports etc. serving in North America under command of Rear Admiral Digby, 11 July 1783; Embarkation return of troops to settle in Nova Scotia, 5 September 1783; A general return of the state of provisions and stores at New York under the control of the Commissary-General, 24 September 1783; Return of Loyalists etc. gone from New York to Nova Scotia, 12 October 1783; and State of the army at New York, 12 October 1783.
Volume IV contains copies of capitulations and exchanges of prisoners with analyses of forces employed etc., 8 October 1775 to 18 April 1783 and 15 November 1798 to 27 September 1799.Places included are St. Johns, Saratoga, Pensacola, Charlestown, Baton Rouge, as well as the West Indies, South America, Europe, and the East Indies. There is a table of contents for Volume IV at the beginning of the volume.