IntroductionMajor General Nathanael Greene (often misspelled Nathaniel Greene) of the Continental Army was George Washington's most competent and important general of the American Revolutionary War. He rose from the rank of militia private at the outbreak of the war to major general by its end. Below is a list of interesting facts, written for both kids and adults, about General Nathanael Greene including what battles he fought in and why George Washington grew to trust him more than any of his other military commanders.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about General Nathanael Greene.
Pre-Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene Facts
- Nathanael Greene was born on August 7th of 1742 in Warwick, Rhode Island.
- He married Catharine Littlefield in 1774 and they had 6 children together.
- In 1774 he became involved in organizing a local militia and began diligently studying military strategy.
- His dedication to winning America's freedom from British rule is clear in his quote, "I am determined to defend my rights and maintain my freedom or sell my life in the attempt."
Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene Facts
- On April 19th of 1775 the American Revolutionary War began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The next week the Rhode Island colonial legislature organized an army of approximately 1,500 soldiers called the "army of observation"; and made Nathanael Greene the general in command of it.
- In 1775 the Rhode Island Army of Observation was incorporated into the Continental Army and Greene was made a brigadier general.
- Greene took command of Boston Massachusetts after the British evacuated the city in March of 1776.
- In August of 1776 he was promoted to major general and was put in command of the Continental Army's forces stationed on Long Island, New York.
- On August 27th of 1776 the British attacked the Continental Army positions on Long Island at the Battle of Long Island. The Continental Army was defeated and barely escaped total destruction. General Nathanael Greene did not participate in the battle having become ill a few days before the battle.
- In November of 1776 Fort Washington located in northern Manhattan Island and Fort Lee which was right across the Hudson River were taken by the British. Greene, dismissed suggestion that the two forts could not be defended against the British and should be abandoned, he instead had them better fortified. Greene was blamed for the loss of the forts but George Washington maintained his faith in the important commander.
- On March 2nd of 1778 George Washington made General Greene the quartermaster general of the Continental Army responsible for keeping the army supplied. Although Greene accepted the position he also requested that he keep his combat command.
- From December 1776 through 1780 he participated in numerous Revolutionary War battles including the Battle of Trenton, the Battle of Princeton, the Battle of Brandywine, the Battle of Germantown, the Battle of Monmouth, and the Battle of Springfield.
- By August of 1780 the Revolutionary War in the southern colonies was not going well for the Americans. Charleston in South Carolina had been captured followed by British General Cornwallis defeating the Americans led by Major General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden in South Carolina. George Washington needed a strong commander to take control of the American forces in the south; he therefore, in October of 1778, appointed General Nathanael Greene to command over all American forces in the south. This in effect made him the second-in-command of the entire American army.
- Greene's command of the American forces in the south was brilliant. He lost numerous battles including the Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina on March 15th of 1781; however each loss inflicted huge casualties on the British; part of General Greene's plan.
- Greene's strategy in the south eventually forced the British army led by General Cornwallis to flee to the coastal town of Yorktown Virginia. Here he was cornered and forced to surrender; basically ending the American Revolution.
- General Nathanael Greene died of sunstroke on June 19th of 1786.