Book examines Nathanael Greene’s role in the Revolutionary War

By Emily Smith

For The SUn News

One of the lesser known heroes of the Revolutionary War is also the man whose integrity and leadership helped push the last of the British Army out of South Carolina. “Nathanael Greene in South Carolina” comes from Leigh M. Moring’s dedicated investigation into the man whose name still lives on in many Carolina city names, buildings, and landmarks.

Despite a Quaker upbringing that was starkly against violence, Greene spent his adulthood studying the art of war, along with strategies and tactics. He quickly became attached to General George Washington after enlisting and throughout the years, Greene became one of Washington’s most trusted subordinates.

Like his General, Greene wasn’t very talented at the politicking side of war and he repeatedly refused to play the part. As such, Congress chose no less than three other men to lead the army and militia against the British in South Carolina before allowing Washington to choose a leader. The famous general quickly appointed Greene.

Though it took over two years, Greene not only successfully regained South Carolina but also united the scrambling remnants of the army in the South and inspired the civilians. The many months spent trying to regain what the United States lost feels like a lot of back and forth, and Moring does not shy away from these events, even Greene’s failures.

Because of this, Moring is also able to explore Greene as an individual and his integrities that were truly exemplified as a leader. So much of her research came from the complied volumes of Greene’s letters that Moring is able to frequently quote the man himself, as a means of not only demonstrating his intelligence and uprightness but also to connect the reader with the legend.

As such, it is easy to feel affection for this historical figure, but Moring keeps her focus on Greene’s accomplishments in the last years of the war, therefore the narrative remains short and to the point. This also results in very little time spent on Greene’s childhood and personal life, so those looking for a full biography on the man shouldn’t start here.

Moring’s research is her way of trying to right the wrong that time has done to Greene, who seemed to have mostly vanished in the pages of history. She and another historian, to whom Moring gives much credit, are determined to keep this part of the Carolina history alive.

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At A Glance

Title | Nathanael Greene in South Carolina

Author | Leigh M. Moring

Publisher | The History Press

Length | 126 pages

Cost | $21.99