1936 1¢ Washington & Green
Army and Navy
Issue Date: December 15, 1936
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 105,196,150
First in a five-stamp series honoring Army heroes. Pictured are Revolutionary War Generals George Washington and Nathanael Greene, plus Mount Vernon.
Nathanael Greene (1742-1786)
American Revolutionary War General
Born in Potowomut (Warwick), Rhode Island, Greene was raised in a Quaker family. He was later expelled from the Quaker church, which opposes war. From 1770-72, and in 1775, he served with the Rhode Island legislature. In 1774, when trouble with Great Britain became imminent, he organized the Kentish Guards, a military group. A stiff knee prevented Greene from serving as an officer, but he did serve in the ranks.
After the Battle of Lexington, the Kentish Guards set out to aid the Boston patriots, but were recalled by Rhode Island’s loyalist governor. However, Greene and three others continued on to Boston. Greene took part in the siege of Boston. By 1776, he had achieved the rank of major general, commanding the army of occupation in Boston.
Greene fought at the historic battles of Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown, and served with General George Washington during the winter at Valley Forge. In 1778, he became the quartermaster general, but resigned in 1880 due to unfair political investigations of the quartermaster department.
In December 1780, Greene replaced the command of General Horatio Alger Gates after the defeat at Camden, South Carolina. Greene’s leadership marked a turning point in the war in the South. The Continental Army inflicted heavy casualties against the British at the Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina in March 1781. By the end of the year, Greene’s forces had pushed the British back to Charleston and Savannah.
The state of Georgia granted Greene a plantation near Savannah for his service during the American Revolution. In 1870, Rhode Island placed a statue of Greene in the U.S. Capitol.