General Nathaniel Greene Homestead, Rhode Island

Nathaniel Greene may have been the best general on the American side during the Revolutionary War. (We won’t count Benedict Arnold, who wins hands-down as the best general to fight on both sides.) Greene served as George Washington’s second-in-command in the Continental Army. In 1781, Washington sent him south to take command of American forces after series of disasters there. Savannah and Charleston had both fallen to the British, and an American army under Horatio Gates had been disastrously defeated at Camden. Greene fought a classic military campaign, in which he lost every battle (although most were near-run matters), but so exhausted and depleted British forces that he forced them to withdraw from the theater of operations. British General Cornwallis withdrew, in fact, into Virginia for new supplies and reinforcements, where he was later trapped by Washington and America’s French allies at the siege of Yorktown, which effectively ended the Revolutionary War. Greene had built a homestead in Anthony, Rhode Island in 1770. Spell Hall, as he called, is still located on a hillside facing the Pawtuxet River. Greene himself lived there from 1770 to 1776. After the war he settled in Georgia, where Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin on his plantation in the 1790’s. His old house in Rhode Island is now a museum run by the General Nathanael Greene Homestead Association. The rooms are furnished with period furniture and Greene family memorabilia.

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Links: General Nathaniel Greene Homestead

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