Nathanael Greene was born on May 27, 1742 in Warwick, Rhode Island. He was raised in a Quaker family but was excommunicated because he supported the military. Before the war, he worked as both iron-maker and blacksmith. Greene served on the Rhode Island legislature for ten years. In his early military career he was a private for the Rhode Island militia then brigadier general in the Continental Army. Greene soon became George Washington's most valued and trusted generals.
In March of 1776, after the British troops had evacuated Boston, Greene was given command of the city. He also defended New York in April and was promoted to major general for his actions. Greene fought in the Battles of Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Rhode Island. In 1780, Washington sent him south to command the army encamped there. After he reorganized and drilled the soldiers, Greene sent Daniel Morgan, with a detachment, to attack British forces. Following months of engagements, he conquered the south. But British Loyalists still controlled Charleston and Savannah long after Cornwallis surrendered. Finally they returned Savannah in July of 1782 and Charleston in December.
Since Greene donated his entire fortune and all his possessions, the state of Georgia rewarded him with a plantation near Savannah. He spent the rest of his life there and died on June 19, 1786.