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U. S. Major General George Sears Greene
George Sears Greene

Photo: Major General George Sears Greene
New York MOLLUS Commandery I.D.# 05520

"Rhode Island's Own"   Part Two

A Biography By: G. A. Mierka

Welcome to "Rhode Island's Own, Part Two", the Biography of Major General George Sears Greene, USV, Page of the R.I. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (RI MOLLUS) and R.I. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War ELISHA DYER CAMP No.7.   You can also click to the RI MOLLUS War Papers (Personal Narratives) of R.I. Civil War Officers.   Here you can link to Camp No.7. and you can aslo click to the Rhode Island State Commandery of the MILITARY ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE UNITED STATES (RI MOLLUS).


The Post War Years

George Sears Greene
The Grand Old General wears his uniform one last time.
Photo taken on the 30th anniverary of the fight for Culp's Hill
July 2, 1893 Private Collection, Joan Pierpont.

The Generals Sword
The eagle headed presentation sword of Major General George Sears Greene,
believed to have been given to the general by the people of the city of New York
when Greene was appointed colonel in command of the 60th New York Volunteers in 1861.
The upper blade next to the hilt bears the general's initials.
The sword was made by L. Wells & Co., New York, N.Y.   Private Collection

      By the Spring of 1865, Greene's 3rd Brigade continued with Sherman as he took Savannah and turned north to ravage and attack the Carolinas.   George's uncle, General Nathanael Greene was regarded as a hero to Georgians and Carolinians during the Revolution and George was determined to get back in the war before it ended.   Finally, even though Greene had still not fully recovered from the nasty wound he received at the Battle of Wauhatchie, after appealing directly to Sherman, George Sears Greene was allowed to resume command of his beloved 3rd New York Brigade and finish the war in the saddle at the head of his men.   After the Rebels under Joe Johnston surrendered to Sherman in North Carolina and Lee had surrendered to Grant in Virginia, General Greene also led his Brigade in the spectacular "Grand Review" of the victorious Union Army in Washington when it was the western army's turn to march in the splendid parade.   On March 13, 1865, Greene was awarded the rank of Brevet Major General of U.S. Volunteers for his "gallant and meritorious service" throughout the war.   Underneath his military command persona Greene was a true patriot, a gentleman, and a wise gentle man.   Once the victory celebrations were over and Reconstruction underway, Green packed up his military possibles and retired from the United States Army for the last time.

      After the war, Greene like so many honored veterans of both causes on both sides, returned to private life without much fanfare.   For the next fifteen years Greene would go on to complete several more important engineering projects in New York, Detroit, Utica, and Trenton.   He helped found the American Society of Civil Engineers and retired from his engineering career in Morristown, New Jersey, near where his famous uncle, General Nathanael Greene and George Washington wintered the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.   The last major project of Greene's long life was to complete the official Greene family genealogy and publish a two volume set of books called the "Greenes of Rhode Island". Some of the General's work can be seen at the General Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum, Spell Hall, in Coventry, Rhode Island, built in 1770.   Like his uncle, many would ask why Major General George Sears Greene is relatively unknown.   Like Major General Nathanael Greene of the American Revolution, George was not a flamboyant man and didn't display eccentric characteristics that would capture the imagination and attention of future historians.   George, like his illustrious uncle Nathanael, was simply a soldier who under extremely difficult circumstances did his duty to defend the American Union of States.   He, like so many others, did his best to secure the blessings of true equality and freedom for all of America's people; in a country undivided, and preserved for all time.

      George Sears Greene died on January 28, 1899, in Morristown, New Jersey at the age of 98.   His youngest son Francis Vinton Greene had the old general's remains brought back to Rhode Island and buried in the Greene family cemetery in Apponaug next to his birthplace homestead.   The Civil War Regimental Veterans Unit Associations of the New York units he commanded during the war persuaded the government to remove the large bolder that Greene stood on while directing the fighting on Culp's Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg and had it shipped to Rhode Island by train under armed guard to be forever joined with their beloved General George Sears Greene.   In a solemn ceremony the stone was placed as a grave marker with a 250 pound bronze plaque cast by Gorham to commemorate the general's heroism at Gettysburg and an exact bronze replica of his sword was affixed to the top of the bolder.   The inscription on the plaque once attached to the stone reads:

      "This stone, Taken from near Culp's Hill, on the Battlefield of Gettysburg where with one small brigade on the night of 3 July 1863, he occupied the trenches of the entire 12th Army Corps, and successfully resisted an attack by greatly superior forces directed against our right flank, which attack, Bvt. for his gallantry and skill would have caused the defeat of the Union Army, Marks the grave of *GEORGE SEARS GREENE*, Son of Caleb Greene and seventh in descent from John Greene who founded this town of Warwick in 1639, Born at Apponaug, R.I. 6 May 1801, educated at the W.P. Military Academy at West Point 1819-23, and served as an officer of artillery until 1836;Civil engineer in charge of railroad construction in varioius states, and of the Groton Water Works in New York, until 1862, and afterwards from 1865-1880.   Reentered the Army during the Civil War as Colonel of the 60th Regiment of New York Volunteers, and promoted to the grades of Brigadier General and Major General by Brevet, engaged in numerous minor actions and in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Wauhatchie, Where he was severly wounded. Died at Morristown, N.J. 28 January 1899.   A Faithful Soldier, a True Christian; a Noble and Lovable Man."

crest GreenePlaque
Images from Left to Right:
The Greene Family Crest;
The plaque originally mounted on the Culp's Hill Stone on Greene's grave.
Now on disply for security purposes in Warwick City Hall.

A Son Talks About His Father

Spanish American War Veteran Medal Francis V. Greene Spanish American War Veteran Medal
Major General Francis Vinton Greene
Youngest son of Major General George Sears Greene
Veteran of the Spanish-American War, 1898.

By His Son
Francis Vinton Greene

Excepts from The Full Paper, written By F.V. Greene in 1902, contained in, “The Greenes of Rhode Island”, With Historical Records of English Ancestry, 1534 – 1902, Published By Louise Brownell Clarke, New York Genealogical Society, 1903

      My father’s life covered almost the entire span of the nineteenth century.   As a boy he went to Newport to see the wreck of the Macedonian, towed in by her captor, the United States, Captain Stephen Decatur; and a few years later heard of the Battle of Waterloo and the exile of Napoleon to St. Helena.   When he went to West Point he traveled by sloop, making the voyage in two days.   He was already past his younger manhood when he witnessed the beginning of the practical applications of steam and electricity, which were destined in a comparatively few years to change the face of the earth, to multiply the wealth of the whole world more than a hundred fold, to change customs and habits of all peoples, to alter the standard of living, and to add more to the physical comfort and material well-being of the human race than had been accomplished in all the previous centuries of recorded history.   More than one third of his life was passed as an engineer, doing his part in this transformation, in the building of railroads and other public works.

      He was already at the age of retirement when he returned to the army at the outbreak of the Civil War, and nearly sixty-three years of age when a bullet crashed through his face, carrying away most of his teeth and part of his cheekbone.   He lived for more than a generation after this, retaining his extraordinary health and physical strength until within a year of his death, and keeping full possession of all his faculties and his buoyancy of spirits until ten days before the end.   The man who traveled by stage and sloop in his youth, and whose first knowledge of important events related to Waterloo, lived to ride on electric cars and automobiles.   A life so long, passing amid a succession of such important events, is worthy of a moment’s consideration, even of strangers; and his friends, by whom he was universally respected for his high character, and deeply beloved for his genial disposition, will, I feel sure, be interested in some of its details.

      At Gettysburg on July 2nd Meade becoming alarmed for the safety of his left flank, sent an order to Slocum to send the entire 12th Corps from Culp’s Hill to reinforce the left.   Slocum took the responsibility of leaving one brigade behind, my father’s loan brigade of 1350 present for duty, to defend Culp’s Hill on the far right.   A little after dark the onslaught began with an entire division of Ewell’s Corps numbering more than 8000 men assaulting his thinly stretched line of trenches with an intention of breaking through.   Had they done so they would have been at Meade’s headquarters in a matter of minutes, and would have taken the stone wall—The High Watermark—in reverse, and would have gained possession of the Baltimore turnpike, the only line of retreat for the entire Union Army in case of disaster.

      After the Battle of Gettysburg, through carelessness on the part of General Meade’s staff in completing the reports of Corps and Division Commanders, my father at first received no credit for his great services.   Meade’s report ignored what he had done with glaring errors.   Some months later, on the urgent remonstrance of Generals Williams and Slocum, Meade made a supplementary report in which he said, "The enemy attacked General Greene with great vigor, who making a gallant defense succeeded in repulsing all efforts to dislodge him."   Years later Mr. Leslie J. Perry, in charge of the records of the Civil War expressed, "The Greene exploits grew and grew, until now it indisputably stands out as a silent feature of one of the century’s greatest battles, one of the turning points of the struggle."

      A life like this, not pre-eminent for worthy success, but remarkable for kindly love, is not lived in vain.   Its keynote was the soldier’s ideal of devotion to duty.   As God gave him the light to see his duty, he did it.   In war he risked his life and shed his blood to good purpose and did his full task of preserving the Union.   In peace he devoted his time to useful occupations, and left his monument in enduring public works.   Inspired by the highest ideals, and incapable of dishonor, he bequeathed to his children the priceless heritage of a spotless name.—Gen. F.V. Greene, 4th surviving son of Gen. G.S. Greene & Mrs. M.B. Greene.

"Ole Pop"
Spry As Ever

Military Order of the Loyal Legion Medal George Sears Greene at 92 Grand Army of the Republic Medal
The Grand Old General wears his uniform one last time.
Full view photo taken on the 30th anniverary of the fight for Culp's Hill
July 2, 1893 Private Collection, Joan Pierpont.

      Today, although vandals have ravaged the general's grave as well as the rest of the George Sears Greene Cemetery, the City of Warwick and all of Rhode Island have not forgotten him.   The plaque and the replica of the general's sword were saved from vandals and all can be viewed on display, open to the public at the Warwick City Hall.   His birthplace and the home he resided in before the Civil War still stands in the Village of Apponaug and is marked with a bronze plaque on Route 117 just west in view of Warwick City Hall near Apponaug Four Corners.   Today his house is privately owned and not open to the public.   Another bronze plaque honoring George Sears Greene along with the State's rare Revolutionary War, Civil War and World Wars collection is located in the Rhode Island State House, open to the public, on its main floor in Providence.   The actual sword of the general as well as other artifacts owned by General George Sears Greene are also on display at the Virginia Military Institute Museum, New Market, Virginia; located in Virginia's beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley.

The Rhode Island
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Honor General G. S. Greene
Greene Ceremony 1993 Greene Ceremony 1996

Left Photo:
Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, R.I. Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Camp Commander Gregg A. Mierka, wearing his original 1890s vintage SofV/GAR uniform, leading the 1993 memorial Day Ceremony at the General George Sears Greene grave site in Apponaug, Warwick, R.I.

Right Photo:
R.I. Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, State or Dept. Commander Gregg A. Mierka, PDC, leading the 1996 memorial Day Ceremony, attended by the R.I. National Guard Adjutant General, the Mayor of Warwick and members of the Greene family, at the General George Sears Greene grave site in Apponaug, Warwick, R.I.

Lest we forget.

A Postscript

      On Memorial Day in May 1996, as Dept. Commander of the Rhode Island Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Mr. Mierka conducted a ceremony at the General Greene's grave followed by a collation at the General's home; rarely open to the public.   R.I. National Guard Adjutant General, Major General Reginald A. Centracchio, and Mayor Lincoln Chafee gave moving speeches about the importance of General Greene and the great work of the SUVCW in Rhode Island.   The photo above taken at the 1993 Memorial Day Ceremony of SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No.7 and Elisha Dyer Auxiliary No.2 shows the General's plaque still attached to the Culp's Hill stone.   Shortly after the photo was taken, the plaque was removed by vandals but recovered by the City of Warwick.   The replica of the General's sword was taken by vandals in the 1950s but later recovered by the Varnum Continentals.   The grave monument casting of the sword was returned to the City of Warwick and thanks to the efforts of Warwick Mayor, The Honorable Scott Avedisian, the plaque and the sword can be viewed at City Hall where they can be protected from vandals.   In 1993, Elisha Dyer Camp No.7, R.I. Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, adopted the General George Sears Greene grave site and continues, with support of RI MOLLUS, to monitor the location on behalf of both Orders and the Greene Family.   RI SUVCW Elisha Rhodes Camp No. 11 also placed a large flat stone replica of the plaque in the ground at the grave of the General.   Today the site is a R.I. State Historic Cemetery.   See the RI MOLLUS Website links below for information about the G.S. Greene Monument on Culp's Hill in Gettysburg.

This site was created and is owned by: Gregg A. Mierka
RI SUVCW PDC, RI MOLLUS State Commandery Commander

at the Gen. Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum, at Spell Hall, Coventry, R.I.
This page or portions hereof requires the author’s permission to copy, edit or use in any manner, and must be properly referenced if used in other context.

This Internet biography was written, designed and researched by: Gregg A. Mierka Author's Bio., 1999 - 2007.     The story was created to try to shed new light on the life and military career of Rhode Island Civil War Major General George Sears Greene, who like his cousin Revolutionary War Major General Nathanael Greene is one of the greatest forgotten heroes in American History.

"The Greenes of Rhode Island: With Historical Records of English History, 1534 - 1902", Compiled and written by Major General George Sears Greene, Sr., finished by George Sears Greene, Jr. and Francis Vinton Greene, Published by Louise Brownell Clarke, 1903; "Memoirs of Rhode Island Officers", By John Russell Bartlett, Published by Sidney S. Rider & Brother, Providence, 1867; the RI MOLLUS War Papers Volumes, "From Bridgeport to Ringgold, By Way of Lookout Mountain", Written by Albert R. Greene, published by the R.I. Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society, assisting MOLLUS 1870 – 1920, Sidney S. Rider & Brother, Providence; "Gettysburg: Civil War Centennial Issue", National Geographic Magazine, July 1963; "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant", Vol. I&II, 1885; "Reminiscences of the War of the Rebellion", Col. Elbridge J. Copp, 1911; "Mr. Lincoln's Army", Bruce Catton, 1951; "The Life of Abraham Lincoln", J.G. Holland, 1865; "Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography", Kunhardt, Jr.-Krunhardt, III, and Peter Krunhardt, 1992; "Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War" & "Harper's Weekly", Guernsey & Alden, originally published in 1886, including original volumes of the original series; "The Great Rebellion", Elliot G. Storke, original Volumes I&II published 1863-65; "The Great Rebellion", J.T. Headley, original Vols. I&II, published 1863 to 1865; Numerous volumes of the original "War of the Rebellion" series; "The Personal Memoirs of General William T. Sherman", 1890; "Civil War Times Illustrated", several early issues, 1964 to 1975; "The Civil War", Vol. I to Master Index, Time-Life Books, T.H. Flerhty and Staff, 1987; "Union Blue", Carroon & Shoaf, published by MOLLUS, 2001.

Publication Data

Rhode Island's Own: Part II; "U.S. Major General George Sears Greene, Sr., The Rhode Islander Who Saved America At Gettysburg", "2007", is based on the first version of this biography, "George Sears Greene, The Forgotten Hero of Gettysburg", published in the RI SUVCW Elisha Dyer Camp No. 7, "Camp Courier" in 1999, was re-published for "Rhode Island's Own", under the author for the Internet by RI MOLLUS & National MOLLUS and read before the RI MOLLUS-Rhode Island Soldiers & Sailors Historical Society in 2007.     A third publication of this story under the author, a hard bound color illustrated book, for the series "Forgotten Heroes of the American Civil War", is pending, to be produced by OTTN Publishers.     The OTTN series of books on the Civil War follow their series of books, "Forgotten Heroes of The American Revolution", of which this author also wrote the hard bound color illustrated book, "Nathanael Greene: The General Who Saved The Revolution".

      "Rhode Island's Own" Part II: U.S. Major General George Sears Greene was selected in 2007 by Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, as a primary resource on the life and career of George Sears Greene, a MOLLUS Biography authored by Gregg A. Mierka.

©All Rights Reserved, 1999 - 2007
Photos Courtesy of the Greene Family, the Library of Congress,
The Major General Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum, Spell Hall,
and The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States-MOLLUS

Other notable historical works by this author:
Gregg A. Mierka
"Nathanael Greene: The General Who Saved The Revolution"
Rhode Island's General Nathanael Greene
A Pictorial Biography, Published By: OTTN Publishers, Stockton, New Jersey
Available in over 30,000 libraries across the country, including the Library of Congress,
The Smithsonian Institute & The John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, as well as most books stores.
The graphic above is linked to the
"official" General Nathanael Greene Homestead, Spell Hall Website,
teacher resource education center.

Rhode Island's Own BY RI MOLLUS

Thank You For Visiting My Page

1907 Greene Culp's Hill Monument Medal 1907 Greene Culp's Hill Monument Medal

Please Try My Cousin's Web Pages,
The Revolutionary War
Major General Nathanael Greene Web Site

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To See More About General G. S. Greene, go to the RI MOLLUS War Paper, "From Bridgeport to Ringgold, By Way of Lookout Mountain",
Written by Albert R. Greene; Transcribed for the Internet by Gregg A. Mierka
click HERE

Go to
Wikipedia for more about G.S. Greene HERE



Go to "Rhode Island's Own" Part One, The Biography of Major General Ambrose E. Burnside HERE

Return to the "Main" R.I. Commandery
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

For Additional Information about other Rhode Islanders in the Civil War,
Go to the R.I. Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
War Papers Index Home Page
To access the 10 Volumes of "Personal Narratives", published under
The R.I. Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society
Representing MOLLUS in Rhode Island from 1870 to 2001,
Transcrbed for the Internet by G.A. Mierka,
Click HERE



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Return to the
R.I. Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Museum, Library & Research Center Main Home Page Directory,
as well as its Living History Unit Associations, Battery A, 1st Regiment R.I. Light Artillery,
and the 1st R.I. Volunteer Infantry.

Go to the
R.I. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States,
To read about the History of the Order
Find Membership Information and More !
To go to the
National Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Website,
For more MOLLUS Vignettes on Union Civil War Officers
Click HERE
To go to the "main" National MOLLUS Web Site
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To Turn Back To Pages One ~ Three
Click the Page No. of the Book Spine Below
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Supporting the Cranston Historical Society, the Governor Sprague Mansion
and the RI Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum’s 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial events, endorsed by
the Governor’s Rhode Island
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.


You have listened to the wonderful period music of the following artists:
Song Heard on Page ONE:
"Salley Guarden", By "Alisa Jones", and acompanying musicians
from her CD, "Irish Dreams",
©1989 All Rights Reserved, Green Hill Productions, Nashville, TN.
Song Heard on Page TWO
"Johnny Has Gone", By Alisia Jones, from her CD, "Irish Dreams".

Song Heard on Page THREE
"The Clear Air", By Alisia Jones Heard, from her CD, "Irish Dreams".

The Song on this page (Page FOUR): "All Quiet Along The Potomac"
Music by Swinging Door Music-BMI ©1983.

Use of any of the music on this Website must be licensed.
Our thanks to the General Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum, Spell Hall, Coventry, Rhode Island for allowing RI MOLLUS to play the songs of Alisia Jones.   See the Homestead Education Center HERE for contacts to acquire recommended music for schools, teachers and students.
A special thanks also to all musicians for their wonderful music helping define the character of the American People and the history of Rhode Island in the Civil War.
NOTE: Viewers are not authorized by law to copy the sound or imagry contained on this Web Page.   FBI Warning: Unauthorized duplication or recording of this material is prohibited by U.S. Federal Law and is protected by copyrights including all sound and imagery, which are ©2006 RI MOLLUS, National MOLLUS, the Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum, Spell Hall, Alisia Jones, Greene Hill Productions, and/or, by all other contributing artists, designers and authors of this Website.

Thanks also to Robert Hunt Rhodes for allowing us to use some of his material about his ancestor, Elisha Hunt Rhodes and to Ken Burns for featuring E.H. Rhodes and our State's Civil War History in his PBS series on The Civil War.    And a special thanks to Edwin Bearrs, Brian Pohanka, Jeff Shaara and Ron Maxwell for their support for Rhode Island Civil War History and raising the American conscience about the triumphs and tragidies of the Great War of the Rebellion 1861 to 1865.

We wish to thank Brother/Companion Keith G. Harrison, Past National SUVCW Commander-in-Chief and, current National SUVCW and MOLLUS Webmaster, as well as all the artists/musicians for the use of their music on all the pages in our site.    ©1983 by Swinging Door Music-BMI.    Used by permission.    All rights reserved.

Thank you for stopping by R.I. MOLLUS.
Please let us know if we can help you again.


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