NATHANIEL GREENE was one of the best known of the distinguished generals who led the Continental soldiery against
the hosts of Great Britain during the Revolutionary war. He was the son of Quaker parents, and was born at Warwick,
Rhode Island, May 27, 1742. In youth he acquired a good education, chiefly by his own efforts, as he was a tireless
reader. In 1770 he was elected a member of the Assembly of his native state! The news of the battle of Lexington
stirred his blood, and he offered his services to the government of the colonies, receiving the rank of brigadier
general and the command of the troops from Rhode Island. He led them to the camp at Cambridge, and for thus violating
the tenets of their faith, he was cast out of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. He soon won the esteem of General
Washington. In August, 1776, Congress promoted Greene to the rank of major general, and in the battles of Trenton
and Princeton he led a division, At the battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777, he greatly distinguished himself,
protecting the retreat of the Continentals by his firm stand. At the battle of Germantown, October 4, the same
year, he commanded the left wing of the army with credit. In March, 1778, he reluctantly accepted the office of
quartermaster general, but only with the understanding that his rank in the army would not be affected and that
in action he should retain his command. On the bloody field of Monunouth, June 28, 1778, he commanded the right
wing, as he did at the battle of Tiverton Heights. He was in command of the army in 1780, during the absence of
Washington, and was president of the court martial that tried and condemned Major Andre. After General Gates' defeat
at Camden, North Carolina, in the summer of 1780, General Greene was appointed to the command of the southern army.
He sent out a force under General Morgan who defeated General Tarleton at Cowpens, January 17, 1781. On joining
his lieutenant, in February, he found himself out numbered by the British and retreated in good order to Virginia,
but being reinforced returned to North Carolina where he fonght the battle of Guilford, and a few days later compelled
the retreat of Lord Cornwallis. The British were followed by Greene part of the way, when the American army marched
into South Carolina. After varying success he fought the battle of Eutaw Springs, September 8, 1781. For the latter
battle and its glorious consequences, which virtually closed the war in the Carolinas, Greene received a medal
from Congress and many valuable grants of land from the colonies of North and South Carolina and Georgia. On the
return of peace, after a year spent in Rhode Island, General Greene took up his residence on his estate near Savannah,
Georgia, where he died June 19, 1786.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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