Nathanael Greene

The Fighting Quaker

Research Introduction

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” (Martin Luther King Jr.) This quote describes nobody, but General Nathanael Greene because Greene was very sedulus and never stopped working to his best ability, he was always one step closer to consummating his goals. Born at Botowonut in Warwick, Rhode Island on July 27, 1742, Greene was able to pursue his dreams as president of Yale College. Demonstrating a remarkable aptitude for military leadership, a keen mind, a genius for organization, and an ability to understand and use the geography and topography of the country. Later, became known as the “Fighting Quaker” because of his religious background, which afflicted his military career and Quakerism. He became very dedicated to his military career, his interests and ideas made a good impression on General George Washington. Things changed dramatically in May 1775, when the Rhode Island Assembly appointed Greene to be commander of the Rhode Island army. By 1778, Greene enjoyed a reputation as an officer who could gather and conserve supplies, so it is no surprise that when the supply situation for the Continental Army deteriorated leader, Washington hoped that Nathanael Greene would become the army’s quartermaster general. Due to his contribution to the Revolutionary War, Nathanael Greene is the greatest general who fought alongside General Washington during the American Revolution because he created a local militia, came up with many famous battle strategies, and led his troops along with General Washington in the Battle of Trenton.

Nathanael Greene

Research Highlights

  • Arranged a charter granted by the colonial assembly for the Kentish Guards, by October 29, 1774. Greene realized that these soldiers had not been properly trained, and to win a battle, he needed a powerful army. Formerly, a professional drill sergeant was brought in to train the Kentish Guards in proper military drill. Greene’s contributions to the army improved their performance. He was promoted to Brigadier General (senior rank in the armed forces) because of his cooperation and ideas.
  • “By the end of the war, 30 American soldiers were killed, 138 had been wounded, and 44 went missing. Pigot faced a miserable loss as 38 soldiers lay dead, 210 wounded, and 12 went missing.” (American Revolution: Battle of Rhode Island) Nathanael Greene and the Kentish Guards had captured Rhode Island due to his excessive training.
  • At a young age, Nathanael Greene read many military and battle strategy books to develop his military knowledge. He had always been prepared for the worst, and was able to overcome any challenge.
  • On the afternoon of March 15, 1781 American and British forces clashed for several hours near Guilford Courthouse. The battle was the culmination of several months of hard campaigning by the armies of Nathanael Greene and Charles Cornwallis. The British strategy was centered on conquering the south by destroying General Greene’s army. Greene had always been aware of the proposal, he planned many strategic retreats and engaged in several violent skirmishes.
  • Tired of being chased yet reluctant to fight a British army directly that outnumbered the Americans 3 to 1. Greene and Washington had decided to attack the closest enemy- Trenton.
  • General Greene and Washington led their soldiers to the most crucial battle in the Revolutionary War, The Battle of Trenton as a victory. The Americans were jubilant, still having a sense of hope.