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Providence, RI 02903
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A Federal Depository since 1791 and An Official Federal Depository Library since 1913

Nathanael Greene (1742-1786)

Nathanael Greene was born on August 7, 1742 in Warwick, Rhode Island. He worked in his father's iron foundry and later served in the legislature. Greene was raised a Quaker but was expelled from the Society of Friends because of his interest in the military. In 1775, on the eve of the Revolution, the Rhode Island Legislature appointed Greene brigadier in command of three regiments of militia. He soon received a similar commission in the Continental army when it was formed. Greene participated in the siege of Boston and the battles of Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In March of 1778, he became quartermaster general and second-in-command to George Washington of the Continental army. Later that year, Greene was placed in command of the Continental army in the South. He revitalized this force, and through a series of battles and maneuvers, his southern army contained and exhausted the British forces under Lord Cornwallis. After frustrating Cornwallis' plans, Greene's forces laid siege to the British in Charleston, South Carolina. After his valiant service, at the war's end Gen. Greene retired to an estate near Savannah, Georgia, and died there on June 19, 1786.