The New Student's Reference Work/Greene, Nathaniel

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Greene, Nathaniel, an American general, was born at Warwick, R. I., June 6, 1742. He was raised a Quaker. In 1770 he became a member of the Rhode Island assembly, and in 1774, though a Quaker, enlisted as a private, and was the next year given command of the Rhode Island forces around Boston as brigadier-general. The next year he was made major-general, and distinguished himself at Trenton and at Princeton. He was in command of a division at Brandywine, where he saved the American army from destruction. In 1778 he was made quartermaster-general, retaining the right to fight on the field. In 1780 he defeated Clinton at Rahway, was president of the board that condemned André, resigned as quartermaster and succeeded Arnold at West Point. When Greene succeeded Gates in command of the army of the south in 1780, he found the army in so wretched a state, without discipline, arms or clothing, that he could not bring it into a condition for fighting until 1781. Then he entered South Carolina and Georgia, carrying everything before him. For this he was awarded a medal by Congress and large grants of land by South Carolina and Georgia. He died of sunstroke at Mulberry Grove, Ga., June 19, 1786. Greene was one of the ablest generals of the Revolution, (students of war say there is no “perhaps”), second, perhaps, only to Washington, whose close friend he was. See the Life by his grandson, Prof. G. W. Greene.