Nathanael Greene

Edward Nagler 2016 Auto Biography Project

My Childhood

I was born in Potowomut Rhode Island on August 7th, 1742. My mother and father are Nathanael Greene and Mary Mott. I was raised in a Quaker family and my father was a Quaker Preacher. I grew up in a man's world when my mother died when I was eleven and I lived with my father and my five other brothers. My father said that leisure reading was a waist of time. However, I was very bright and loved to learn.


In 1774, I married Catharine Littlefield, some people call her Caty. We had 6 children together but one of our daughters, Kate Greene sadly died during infancy. I had 2 sons and four daughters. Their names were Nathaniel Ray Greene, Cornelia Lott Greene, Kate Greene, Louisa Catherine Greene, George Washington Greene and Martha Washington Greene. My wife and I decided to name two of our children after our friends the Washingtons.

Path to War

When I was growing up I tried to steer of trouble between the Colonists and the Tories. Then when my cousin Rufus was on my ship the Fortune and the British took it from him things got personal. Once my ship was gone the British had set a fire inside my body that wanted to get revenge. As trouble began to brew in the colonies and more and more British troops began to station in Boston. The men of Rhode Island began to worry and we began a militia of 54 men. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord our army grew to 1,500 and I went from being a private to the Major General of our Army.

Bumpy Road

Things are looking bad for us. My army's a mess, we're starving and we aren't unified as one. I knew it was time to get things in order. I toughened up around camp but I still gave my soldiers respect. My actions helped me get a promotion to Major General, I became the youngest general in the army when I was 34! We keep losing battle after battle and it looks like this war is almost over. The British hold Breed's Hill which is next to Bunker Hill and are forcing us to leave for New York. When we arrive in New York we camp at a town named Brook Land. The British surround us ready to attack at any point. Sadly, I become ill with fever and am sent to a doctor in Manhattan. After nearly dying I become better. Meanwhile the Continental Army if forced to retreat out of New York and I meet them in New Jersey. It's going to take a miracle to win this war.

The Game's not over Yet

Our heads are hung low. We're starving, we're sick, we miss home but there's no turning back. Men's contracts in the army are running out and we are near surrender. We must motivate our men to stay. We are losing lots of ground in New Jersey. On Christmas Eve we plan a surprise attack on the British and the Hessians. We decided to attack a Hessian Camp on Christmas Morning in hope of getting an easy victory. At dusk we start to head towards Trenton. We row across the Delaware River and at eight A.M. we make our attack. Most of the Hessians were sleeping and after an hour we had conquered over one thousand Hessians! Maybe things aren't so bad after all. The winter is nearing and after watching me take care of my troops General Washington promoted me to Quarter Master of the Army. I reluctantly took the job however I wasn't excited to feed and clothe the army. As winter is nearing I must find a place to shelter the army. General Washington and I decided on Valley Forge, a property with big fields to camp. The winter was cold and times were tough but we got through it. As we won more battles I requested to be stationed at West Point as a General and got the job, but Washington told me to not get comfortable there. Little did I know, the war was about to be in my hands.

Key to the War

Things are going well at West Point after Benedict Arnold betrayed us. However, Washington was talking to me about how I maybe the new general of the South. This possibility soon became a reality. Washington ordered a carriage to be sent to me which would transport me to the South. If the Continental Army controlled the South we would win the war. Many generals have tried to conquer the South but none were victorious. I was in North Carolina ready for battle. Since we had the upper hand the British were chasing us when I arrived. We were receiving more and more troops from the North and the British were nearly outnumbered. The British were rushing to make an attack on us because they had a small numbers advantage and new they were about to lose it. We had small skirmishes but we were still the ones being chased. Finally when we had enough troops we fought the British head on at Guilford Courthouse. We won in a close battle and attempted to siege there biggest Southern base called ninety-six. Unfortunately we couldn't successfully surround them and we lost 150 men and they only lost 100 men. This lead both sides to Eutaw Springs where we won the last major battle of the South. Finally after diminishing the British Southern Army we headed to Yorktown, Virginia where the Northern Army and the French Navy had the British and General Cornwallis surrounded. Every day we get closer and closer to the British camp until the British realized they had lost and on October 19th, 1781 the British surrendered and gave the colonies to us. Every single colonist was delighted and I was certain that my job as an American hero was done.
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When I was 43 years old, not to long after the war I died suddenly at my planation Mulberry Grove. I died without my wife at my bedside and was in serious debt. I think people still remember me for my drive and passion as a general to fight for my country's freedom. I wanted to fight for freedom an inspire others to do so. I was the only general to defeat the British in the South because I respected my soldiers and gave them loyalty and trust which they returned to me. I wanted to be remembered as a loyal and noble man and I think I did a good job.

Importance of Character to 6th Graders

I think that a 6th Grade reader would take lots from Nathanael Greene's story. I think his story would teach them to never give up and to follow their dreams. I think this story teaches 6th Graders to never give up because things were looking hopeless for Nathanael Greene and the Continental Army they never gave up, flipped the script and beat the British. I think Nathanael Greene's story teaches kids to follow their dreams because Nathanael Greene grew up in a Quaker Family and was raised as a pacifist but he set that aside and did what he believed was right and followed his heart.