This volume and Volumes II and III and represent the best and by far the most ambitious work on the Loyalists published in recent years. Based on the author’s wide-ranging investigations in military records in the archives of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, this work contains a vast amount of previously undiscovered data pertaining to the identification of Loyalist soldiers and their dependents, and thus it bids fair to become the standard work in its field. In this and the subsequent volumes Mrs. Clark has endeavored to abstract all extant muster rolls, pay rolls, vouchers, certificates, petitions, and various other documents relating to the Loyalists who were recruited for duty in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, as well as documents relating to Loyalist dependents, prisoners, refugees, and sympathizers–all data deriving entirely from original records, many never before available for research.
In the preparation of this work the author surveyed the manuscript holdings of various archives, libraries, and private collections, ultimately producing this definitive collection of official rolls which document the service of approximately 15,000 Loyalists. The information available on each person varies according to the nature of the record, of course, but generally (in the case of soldiers), men are listed by rank, with dates of service (enlistment, discharge, etc.), place of service, company and regiment, and remarks pertaining to their status–on active duty, missing, deserted, killed, died, or sick. Other documents abstracted–petitions for back pay, widows’ and orphans’ claims, and lists of refugees, for example–contain a variety of equally useful information.
Volume I, as indicated in the subtitle of the work, pertains mainly to Loyalists recruited in the South for duty in the South (exclusive of Maryland and Virginia Loyalists, who are dealt with in Volume II, as are the Pennsylvania Loyalists who were merged with the Maryland Loyalists toward the end of the war).
“No study of Loyalists has brought together so much information about so many individuals. This volume is an important source relating to the Revolutionary War. It may well explain why no patriot service can be found for some colonials–and it might even reveal some “patriots” were not 100 per cent “patriots.”–The Virginia Genealogist (April-June 1981).