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General Greene II (Frigate)

(Fr: t. 654; 124'3"; b. 34'8"; dph. 17'4": cpl. 250 a. 24 12-pdrs., 6 6-pdrs.)

General Nathanael Greene, born in Warwick, R.I., 7 August 1742, was elected to the colonial assembly in 1770 and became a strong champion of colonial liberty and an early advocate of independence. He commanded the militia during the siege of Boston; and served with Washington at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge. He rendered outstanding service as Quartermaster General (1778-80), then took command of southern forces in the Carolinas campaign. By cunning strategy, he divided the forces under Cornwallis and turned the tide in the Carolinas. In this feat he was aided by his lieutenants, notably Daniel Morgan, Light-Horse Harry Lee, and partisan bands under Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens. When he sold his estates to honor personal notes given to secure supplies for the Continental Army, the grateful people of Georgia voted to give him a plantation.


The second General Greene was built under government contract by Benjamin Talman and James de Wolf, Warren, R. I.; launched 21 January 1799; and placed under command of Captain Christopher R. Perry, The frigate sailed 2 June 1799, joining Governor Jay in convoying five merchantmen bound to Havana. Damage suffered in a heavy gale caused her to put in at Havana for repairs. Her crew was struck down with yellow fever. More than 20 perished and she returned to Newport on 27 July with 37 men in various stages of recovery. After a thorough cleaning, fumigation, and change of ballast, she departed Newport 23 September 1799 to take station at Cap Francois, San Domingo.

General Greene remained on San Domingo Station for the following 6 months. In company with Boston 1 December 1799, she assisted in the capture of schooner Flying Fish and retook the American schooner Weymouth captured by French privateer Hope. Much of her time was spent watching over the rebellion against General Toussaint in Haiti. She blockaded the port of Jaemel to cut off supplies of the revolutionist. The frigate gave direct gunfire support to General Toussaint's army in the capture of Jaemel 27 February 1800. She remained there as a possible haven for American citizens until 27 April; then sailed with two representatives sent by General Toussaint for audience with the President of the United States. Touching New Orleans, she embarked General Wilkinson and his family for transport home. She then proceeded as escort to 12 merchantmen bound to Havana, thence to Newport, K.I., where she arrived 21 July 1800.

General Greene's crew was discharged and she remained idle at Newport until Captain Perry was retired under the Peace Establishment Act of 3 April 1801. She was laid up in ordinary at the Washington Navy Yard. The frigate served as a floating sick bay for frigate Constellation in 1803 and was reduced to a sheer hulk in 1805. Her hulk was destroyed by flames 24 August 1814 when the British entered Washington.

Published: Fri Jul 10 09:25:55 EDT 2015