General Nathanael Greene
N 41° 49.837 W 071° 24.895
A statue of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene is located on the steps of the Capitol Building in Providence, RI
A life size bronze statue of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, by sculptor Henri Schonhardt, is on the east steps of the Capitol Building. The statue was cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company and the architectural firm was McKim, Mead & White. The statue was dedicated in 1931.
General Greene is shown standing while wearing a military uniform including a jacket with shoulder epaulets, boots and a long cape. He is holding a tri-cornered hat and a pair of gloves at his side in his right hand. His left hand is grasping the hilt of a sword. The single word GREENE is inscribed on the marble base.
Nathanael Greene was born on August 7, 1742 in Warwick, RI. In 1770 he was elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly. In 1774, he helped organize a local militia, the Kentish Guards. At the start of the Revolutionary War he was promoted from private to Major General of the Rhode Island Army of Observation that was formed in response to the siege of Boston. He became a brigadier of the Continental Army on June 22, 1775.
General Greene took command of Boston, from General Washington, after the British evacuated the city in March 1776. He was promoted the rank of major general in August 1776 and was put in command of the Continental Army on Long Island. Illness prevented him from actually taking part in the disastrous Battle of Long Island.
He retreated to across the East River to New York City along with the remainder of the Continental Army. Moving into New Jersey, Greene commanded one of the two American columns at the Battle of Trenton. Next he commanded the reserve at the Battle of Brandywine and then assumed the position of Quartermaster General for Washington's army at Valley Forge, in March 1778.
General Greene obtained his greatest fame when he took command over all troops from Delaware to Georgia. In effect becoming second-in-command to George Washington of the Continental Army. During the southern campaign he achieved a series of victories and forced British General Charles Cornwallis to abandon the Carolinas and head for Virginia. Cornwallis eventually surrendered to Washington at Yorktown.