George Sears Greene

George Sears Greene was born on May 6, 1801, in Apponaug, Rhode Island, the son of a shipowner ruined by the Embargo Act and the War of 1812. He intended to enter Brown University, but a scarcity of money compelled him to seek work in New York. In 1819 he was appointed to West Point, graduated second in the class of 1823, and entered the 3rd Artillery. For the next thirteen years Greene acted as an engineering instructor, mainly at the Academy, and served in garrison at various New England points. He resigned in 1836 to become a civil engineer and was employed on various works in the East and South. He was engaged with construction of the Croton Reservoir in Central Park, New York, in January, 1862, when he reentered the army as colonel of the 60th New York Infantry. He served with his regiment in the vicinity of Washington until he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 28. One of the oldest field commanders in the service, General Greene had a distinguished career, in command of a brigade and at times of a division, commencing with the battle of Cedar Mountain in N. P. Banks's command and ending in the Carolina campaign, where he was in Absalom Baird's division of the XIV Corps. He fought at Sharpsburg and Chancellorsville and with great distinction at Gettysburg, where his lone brigade of the XII Corps, posted on Culp's Hill, repelled Confederate attacks on the Union line of communications on the Baltimore Pike. When the XI and XII Corps were transferred west, Greene accompanied them and at Wauhatchie, in October, 1863, was so severely wounded in the face that he did not return to field duty until 1865. After being mustered out of service in 1866, he resumed his profession in New York and elsewhere, doing important work in Washington, Detroit, Troy, and Yonkers. He was president from 1875 to 1877 of the American Society of Civil Engineers; was president for a time of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; compiled a genealogy of the Greene family; and closely followed the affairs of the Academy of which he was the oldest living graduate for some years. General Greene died in Morristown, New Jersey, on January 28, 1899, and was buried at Warwick, Rhode Island. One of his sons was executive officer of the Monitor in her fight with the Merrimack.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.