1936 1¢ Washington & Green
US #785 pictures Greene, George Washington, and Mount Vernon.

Revolutionary War commander Nathanael Greene was born on August 7 (July 27 by the Old Style calendar), 1742, in Potowomut (Warwick), Rhode Island. Raised in a Quaker family, Greene focused his studies on mathematics and law. He was later expelled from the Quaker church, which opposes war.

1981 12¢ Postal Card - Nathanael Greene
US #UX90 honors Greene’s role in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

In 1770 Greene took over his family’s foundry in Coventry, Rhode Island. While there, he was the first person to push for the creation of a public school. From 1770 to ’72, and in 1775, Greene served with the Rhode Island legislature. In 1774, when trouble with Great Britain became imminent, he organized the Kentish Guards, a military group. A stiff knee prevented Greene from serving as an officer, but he did serve in the ranks.

1980 Greene Commands South
Item #93126 commemorates Greene taking command of the Southern army.

After the Battle of Lexington, the Kentish Guards set out to aid the Boston patriots, but were recalled by Rhode Island’s loyalist governor. However, Greene and three others continued on to Boston. Greene took part in the siege of Boston. By 1776, he had achieved the rank of major general, commanding the army of occupation in Boston.

1976 Washington Review Army Valley Forge
US #1689 pictures The March to Valley Forge by William Trego.

Greene fought at the historic battles of Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown, and served with General George Washington during the winter at Valley Forge. In 1778, he became the quartermaster general, but resigned in 1780 due to political investigations of the Quartermaster Department.

In December 1780, Greene replaced the command of General Horatio Alger Gates after the defeat at Camden, South Carolina. Greene’s leadership marked a turning point in the war in the South. The Continental Army inflicted heavy casualties against the British at the Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina in March 1781. By the end of the year, Greene’s forces had pushed the British back to Charleston and Savannah.

1984 Nathaniel Greene Commemorative Cover
Item #20011 – Commemorative Cover marking Greene’s 242nd birthday

After the war, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia all awarded Greene large tracts of land and money for his service. Greene served as president of the Society of the Cincinnati and was twice offered the post of secretary of War. He refused the post and retired to his plantation in Georgia, where he died on June 19, 1786.

FREE printable This Day in History album pages
Download a PDF of today’s article.
Get a binder or other supplies to create your This Day in History album.

Discover what else happened on This Day in History.

Did you like this article? Click here to rate:
Share this Article

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *