Our Georgia History

Nathanael Greene
June 6, 1742 Nathanael Greene, commander of the Southern Department during the Revolutionary War, born, in Potoworout, Rhode Island
  Nathanael Greene
October 31, 1780 Major General Benjamin Lincoln is replaced by Major General Nathanael Greene as commander of the Southern Department
  Nathanael Greene
  Southern Department of the Continental Army
March 15, 1781 4,500 Americans are defeated by 1,900 British troops at Guilford Courthouse
  Nathanael Greene
February 3, 1786 Greene County created
  Creation of Georgia Counties
  Nathanael Greene
  Greene County, Georgia
June 19, 1786 Gen. Nathaniel Greene dies of a stroke at his Mulberry Grove plantation. General "Mad" Anthony Wayne was at his bedside.
  Nathanael Greene
  'Mad' Anthony Wayne
June 20, 1793 Eli Whitney files a patent application for the cotton gin, developed on the plantation of American Revolutionary hero General Nathaniel Greene
  Nathanael Greene
  Slavery in Georgia
March 25, 1800 Greene County, New York, named in honor of Nathanael Greene, is created
  Nathanael Greene
March 21, 1825 In a ceremony on Johnson Square, the Marquis de LaFayette lays the cornerstone for a memorial dedicated to Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene
  Nathanael Greene
  Marquis de Lafayette
January 2, 1833 Greene County, Missouri is named for Nathanael Greene
  Nathanael Greene

Beloved by Georgians in the Revolutionary War era, this Commander of the Southern Department of the Continental Army never actually fought a battle in Georgia, but his siege of the British fort at Ninety Six gave Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke a major advantage in their battle with Loyalists in control of Augusta. He later oversaw the brilliant campaign of "Mad" Anthony Wayne as he freed the state of the British in 1782.

Born in Rhode Island, son of a Quaker minister, Greene was self-educated and a staunch support of the American Revolution after the seizure of one of his family's ships by the British ship Gaspée (later burned by Patriots).

He joined a local militia, rising quickly within the ranks, then moving to the Continental Army where he was almost immediately involved in the successful siege of Boston by Patriots. From Boston, Greene joined George Washington for the Battle of New York. From here he participated in many of the major battles of the Northern Department including Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Monmouth, and Springfield.

With the defeat of Horatio Gates at Camden, Greene was sent south to command the Southern Department. He prove a successful student in the George Washington school of fighting, using the vast southern interior to his best advantage. His men were able to live off the land (although barely) while British depended on ever-lengthening supply lines. These supply lines, frequently targets for guerilla raiders like Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion cost the British heavily in manpower. Additionally, Greene learned defenders win more than attackers, even if they are forced to give up the battlefield in the end (a technical "win" for the attackers).

As part of a plan to free the backcountry from British control Greene successfully invested the British fort of Ninety Six, across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia. Col. Elijah Clarke and Col. Andrew Pickens had earlier laid siege to Augusta, in the hands of Loyalist militia under the command of Thomas Brown. To aid the Georgia Patriots, Greene detached Col. Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee to assist Clark and Pickens. These were the first Continental troops in the state in almost a year and a half. Ten days after the arrival of Lee, Augusta fell.

For sound military reasons, Greene opted to move towards the British stronghold in Charleston while General Anthony Wayne headed south from Yorktown. Wayne, a tactical genius, drove the British from Savannah to Charleston. Greene was greatly concerned because the significant British force could overwhelm his Continentals. Then word came of peace.

With the Revolution over, Greene decided to take up residence in Georgia, at the Mulberry Grove Plantation given to him by the state of Georgia in gratitude for his service to the state. He lived on the plantation for three years, dying of a stroke. He was 44.

After his death his wife Caty continued the work managing Mulberry Grove. In 1792 she hired a New Englander to tutor Greene's children. His name was Eli Whitney.

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