The Fighting Quaker
The Nathaniel Greene monument at Guilford Courthouse is just one that stands to memorialize the man who General Washington hand-picked as his successor in command of the army should he fall. And it was a good choice.
One of the first to answer the call to arms from Rhode Island, Greene served in a number of capacities during the war. He received his brigadier appointment from the Continental Congress on June 22, 1775. Greene was given command of Boston by Washington after the British withdrew.
In August 1776 he became one of four new major generals. At that point, he was given command of all troops on Long Island. He selected the location of fortifications and supervised their construction. During the British invasion, he was given command of Forts Washington and Lee only to lose them to the British onslaught. He would make up for it at the Battle of Trenton where he led one of two American columns into the fight.
After given command of the reserve at the Battle of Brandywine Washington pleaded for him to take over as Quartermaster General during the long winter at Valley Forge. He did so reluctantly but proved more than competent. He would lead the right wing of the army at Monmouth. Rhode Island was next along with Lafayette and the French.
Once he was in command of the army in the south Greene became an immortal. Somehow he did it without winning a single battle. He didn’t need to. Much like Washington he simply managed to keep fighting. Never allowing the British to rest. The eventual victory at Yorktown belongs to Greene as much as any man. None, however, can say it better than the enemy that he dueled within the Carolinas.
Green is as dangerous as Washington, I never feel secure when encamped in his neighborhood– General Charles Cornwallis