Major-General Nathanael Greene
“We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.” These were the words of General Nathanael Greene and it was this kind of attitude and resilience that made him one of the great heroes of the American Revolution. Major-General Nathanael Greene, a Quaker from Rhode Island, was one of George Washington’s closest advisors and probably the most ingenious Commander on the Continental side. He was a brilliant strategist, an efficient quartermaster, and a resourceful commander. Nathanael Greene served in the Continental army from the siege of Boston (April 19, 1775-Mach 17, 1776) until after the British surrender at Yorktown (October 19, 1781). He fought in several battles and took over command of the southern campaign at a critical juncture after the defeat of Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden (August 15, 1780). From his service in the Kentish Guards in the beginning of the Revolution to his command of the Southern Army, Nathanael Greene epitomized the underlying idea of the American dream: opportunity through perseverance and hard work.
Nathanael Greene was born on August 7, 1742, in Warwick, Rhode Island; his parents were Quakers, and he was brought up in some comfort. As an adult he became an anchor smith and ironmonger. Nathanael’s formal education was not very extensive as was his contemporaries’, mostly because his father, a devout Quaker, strictly enforced the idea that knowledge is corrupt and unnecessary. However, Nathanael would become increasingly curious in the wonders of knowledge, especially in military history and the Enlightenment (Leckie 144). Throughout his business travels, Nathanael would also befriend several worldly gentlemen that would assist him in his quest for knowledge, some of which became his closest friends, like Sammy Ward and Henry Knox. By the time of the Revolutionary War (1775-83), he had left the Society of Friends and was eager to fight against the British. Somehow the Rhode Island Assembly...
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