Next only to Continental army commander General George Washington, Nathanael Greene was the most important American general of the War for Independence. Self-taught but extraordinarily capable, Greene won few battles. But his campaign that won the South for the revolutionary cause was the most brilliant and daring of the entire war.
In Rise and Fight Again, award-winning military historian Spencer Tucker tells the story of Greene’s rise from relative obscurity to military prominence at the tender age of thirty-two. He reveals Greene to have been a strict disciplinarian who insisted on rigorous training but was also deeply concerned for the welfare of his men. Tucker also shows that Greene was by nature a problem-solver who recognized talent and knew how to harness it effectively. Indeed, although Greene was the youngest general in his army, Washington assigned him the herculean task of serving as its quartermaster general. Greene proved so effective in this demanding assignment that in October 1780 he was given command of the Southern Department. Taking charge of a sharply depleted, dispirited force lacking all manner of military equipment and even clothing, Greene refused to be drawn into pitched battles save on favorable terms. He rebuilt the Southern army in less than a year and adopted daring tactics that defied conventional military wisdom but recaptured from British control most of the Carolinas and Georgia.
Greene has rarely been accorded his earned place in the history of the American founding, in part because of his early death in 1786, when he was just forty three. But with Tucker’s brief but masterful biography, Greene finally gets his due.
What They're Saying...
"Tucker restores this unjustly neglected leader to his rightful place in the pantheon of America’s generals. Based largely on primary sources and judicious in its judgments, this volume will stand as the finest compact biography of this skilled commander."
— Malcom Muir Conquest Chair of Military History Virginia Military Institute
"Few Americans contributed more to victory in the War for Independence than Nathanael Greene, yet he is too often overlooked among the pantheon of Revolutionary heroes. Spencer Tucker's excellent biography helps to end this neglect by returning Greene to the forefront in the story of the American Revolution. Tucker succeeds in making this biography both thorough and concise, packed with information for scholars while clearly written and accessible to general readers. From Greene's Quaker origins to his early military career under George Washington, to Greene's command in the crucial Southern Campaign and tragically brief postwar career, Tucker presents an engaging and informative account of the general who, despite never winning a battle, managed to win the most important campaign of the Revolutionary War."
— Jim Piecuch Kennesaw State University
"Tucker plumbs the character of Greene like no previous biographer and, capitalizing on the recently completed edition of Greene’s correspondence places, the too often overlooked general squarely in the pantheon of American military leaders. Tucker explains how through hard work, ambition, and devoted loyalty to the Revolutionary cause and to George Washington, Greene rose from militia private to major general—and demonstrates that Greene, a self-taught soldier, understood the Revolutionary War in the South better than any other commander on either side. This finely wrought biography, certain to stand long as the definitive interpretive study of Greene, adds significantly to our understanding of leadership in the Continental Army and American victory in the southern states."
— James C. Bradford Texas A&M University