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Nathanael Greene - Portrait and Brief Bio

Nathanael Greene-Portrait and Brief Bio

Nathanael Greene, from Rhode Island, became an important figure during the American Revolution as Britain's colonies in America sought to wrest their freeom from the "mother country."

According to the National Park Service:

Nathanael Greene was born in Potowomut, Rhode Island, on July 27, 1742. Self-educated, he assumed the management of his family's iron forge in 1770. Soon afterward, he was elected to the General Assembly. He helped organize a militia unit, the Kentish Guards. He joined General Washington's staff in 1776. Within two years, he became the army's Quartermaster General.

Succeeding Horatio Gates at the head of the army's final southern campaign, Greene engineered successes at Cowpens and Guilford Court House. His strategy pushed the British out of the Carolinas and Georgia, thereby saving Charleston and Savannah.

After the war, Greene faced financial ruin when an army contractor whom he had underwritten defaulted on payments to the American government. His battlefield acclaim, however, prompted the state of Georgia to reward him with a landed estate, Mulberry Grove [the place where Eli Whitney, who was tutoring the Greene children, invented the cotton gin], where he died on June 19, 1786.

Greene was married to Catherine Littlefield Greene, also from Rhode Island, who was a formidable woman in her own right. Among other things, she had accompanied her husband during the Revolutionary War (including during the dreadful winter of 1777, when the troops wintered at Valley Forge). All five of the Greene children were born during the war.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 21, 2017


Media Credits

Oil on canvas portrait by Charles Willson Peale, 1783.

Image, information and quotes from the National Park Service, Portraits from the Southern Theatre.

 

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