Rhode Island. General Assembly. Joint Special Comm.

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Compliments of

Joint Special Committee


Genezal Assembl}^ of the State of Rhode Island, etc.,

On the Remains of

Gen. Nathanael Greene.



Major-General Nathanael Greene.

From a portrait in the Rhode Island Historical Society,
Providence, RM.

The Remains


Major-General Nathanael Greene





,^Kn 5 1904

List of Illustrations.

Major-General Nathanael Greene Frontispiece.

His Excellency Charles Dean Kimball opposite page 4

Horace F. Horton " " 8

James E. Banigan " " 12

Frank T. East(Mi " " r6

Hon. Emory Speer " " 20

J. Stacy Brown " " 24

Harry H. Shepard " " 28

Francis W. Greene " " 32

Edward Field " " 36

Charles H. Howland " " 40

George Washington Greene Carpenter ..... " " 44

George Corlis Nightingale .... " " 48

Hall clock, formerly owned by Gen. Greene. " " 52

North side of Greene Monument, vSavannah. " " 56
Birthplace of Gen. Nathanael Greene, in

igo2 " " 65

Nathanael Greene " " 67

Birthplace of (ien. Nathanael Greene " " 73

The Garrettson House, Newport, R. I. ... " " 77

Gen. Greene's Gun " " 78

William (rreene House. East Greenwich,

R. I " " 81

Site of the Pendleton House, Savannah.... " " S3

Home of Gen. Greene at Coventry, R. I . . . " " 85
Tomb within which Gen. Greene's remains

were found ", " g6

Coffin-plate found amongthe remainsof Gen.

Greene " " 104

Colonial Park, Savannah, January 21, 1S96. " " 117


Colonial Park, Savannah, November 21, 1897. opposite page 121

Gen. William W. Gordon " " 124

Robert Tyler Waller " " 126

Rt. Rev. Cleland K. Nelson " " 12S

Walter G. Charlton " " 130

Robert L. Colding " " 132

U. S. Coast Artillery, from Fort Screven,

Ga " " 135

Invited Guests at the Exercises at Savannah. " " 137

Mrs. Edward Karow " " 140

Base of Greene Monument, Savannah, Ga. . " " 142

Hon. Asa Bird Gardiner, LL.D., LH.D " " 144

Tablet placed by D. A, R. on Greene Monu-
ment " " 152

Caisson of Chatham Artillery, with remains

of Gen. Greene " " i6t

South side of Greene Monument, Savannah. " " 164
Colonial Park, Savannah, Ga. , November 14,

1902 " " 177

Colonial Park, Savannah, Ga., November 14,

1902 ; " " 193

Johnson Square, Savannah, Ga., November

14, 1902 " " 201

Plat of Colonial Park " " 243



To the Honorable the General Assembly of
the State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations :

The Joint Special Committee of the General
Assembly, appointed to take into considera-
tion the permanent location of the remains of
General Nathanael Greene within this State,
respectfully reports that on the fifth of March,
1 90 1, the late Governor Gregory received the
following telegram, dated Savannah, Ga.,
March 4, 1901, from Col. Asa Bird Gardiner,
of New York, President of the Rhode Island
State Society of Cincinnati ;

" De Soto Hotel, Savannah, Ga., Mar. 4.

" Hon. William Gregory, Governor,

State of R. /., Prov. :

"Have to announce to you and Rhode Island
General Assembly that, after diligent search
several days, committee appointed by Rhode


Island state society of Cincinnati from among
eminent citizens Savannah discovered to-day
remains Major- General Nathanael Greene in
Colonial cemetery. Expenses being borne by
society congratulate you this happy discovery.
Letter mailed.

"Asa Bird Gardiner,

Pi'cst. R. I. Cincinnati Chairman
Commit teer

This telegram was duly communicated to
both branches of the General Assembly; sub-
sequently Governor Gregory received by mail
a communication, dated March 13, 1 901, from
Col. Gardiner, setting forth with much detail
the circumstances connected with the dis-
covery of the- remains of General Nathanael
Greene in what is known as Colonial Park, in
the city of Savannah, Ga., but formerly one of
the ancient burial grounds of said city. (Ex-
hibit A.) ^

This statement was also communicated by
Governor Gregory to the General Assembly
of Rhode Island, then in session, and in the
Senate, March 20, 1901, was read, and ordered
communicated to the House of Representa-
tives, and on the same day, in House of Repre-


sentatives, was " laid on the table temporarily."
The next day, March 21, 1901, the communi-
cation was referred, in House of Representa-
tives, to the Committee on Education.

On account of the great amount of business
in the hands of the committee, and it beino^
near the close of the session, no action was
taken before the adjournment.

On January 21, 1902, Col. Gardiner, in a
letter to Hon. Charles P. Bennett, Secretary
of State, requested that this communication
be brought to the attention of the Governor;
and on February 11, 1902, Governor Kimball
— Governor Gregory having deceased' — com-
municated to the Senate the correspondence
which had passed between himself and Col.
Gardiner relative to the subject (Exhibit B),
which was duly referred to the House of
Representatives. Two days later, February
13, 1902, a resolution, "creating a joint special
committee to take into consideration the per-
manent location of the remains of Gen. Na-
thanael Greene within this state," was adopted,
which is as follows :

' William Gregory, Governor of the State of Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations, died December i6, 1901.

4: nathanael greene.

" State of Rhode Island, &c.
" In General Assembly,

"January Session, A. D. 1902.

" Resolution creating a joint special committee
to take into consideration the permanent
location of the remains of Gen. Nathanael
Greene within the state.

[Passed February 13, 1902.]

''Resolved, That two members of the senate
and three members of the house of representa-
tives be and they hereby are appointed a joint
special committee to inquire into and ascertain
the desirability of securing within the state of
Rhode Island a permanent resting place for
the remains of Gen. Nathanael Greene."


" Resolution

creating a joint special committee to
take into consideration the perma-
nent location of the remains of Gen.
Nathanael Greene within the state^"

The committee appointed pursuant to this
resolution consisted of Messrs. Horace F. Hor-
ton, of Cranston, and James E. Banigan, of
Pawtucket, of the Senate; and Messrs. Frank
T. Easton, of Providence, J. Stacy Brown, of
Newport, and Harry H. Shepard, of Bristol, of

His Excellency Charles Dean Kimball,
Governor of Rhode Island.



the House. Subsequently another resolution
was adopted, and Francis W. Greene, of War-
wick, a member of the House of Representa-
tives, was added to the committee,' and the
following resolution adopted :

" Resolution authorizing the joint special com-
mittee to take into consideration the per-
manent location of the remains of General
Nathanael Greene within the state to em-
ploy a secretary, and making an appropria-
tion for the expenses of said committee.

[Passed February 26, 1902. J

'■Resolved, That the joint special committee
to take into consideration the permanent loca-
tion of the remains of General Nathanael
Greene within the state be and they hereby
are authorized to employ a secretary.

'"Resolution making an additional member of the joint
special committee to take into consideration the perma-
nent location of the remains of Gen. Nathanael Greene
within the state.

[No. 28. Passed March 5, 1902.]

''Resolved, That representative Francis W. Greene, of
Warwick, a kinsman of General Nathanael. Greene, be and he
hereby is appointed a member of the joint special committee
to take into consideration the permanent location of the
remains of General Nathanael Greene within the state, in ad-
dition to the members of said committee hitherto appointed."


"■'Resolved, That the state auditor is hereby
authorized and directed to draw his order on
the state treasurer, payable out of any money
in the state treasury not otherwise appropri-
ated, for the necessary expenses of said com-
mittee, including compensation of the secretary
thereof, upon receipt of vouchers therefor duly
approved by the governor."

On February 25, 1902, the Committee on
Education asked to be relieved from further
consideration of the matter, and the whole
subject was referred to the Joint Special Com-
mittee created by the aforegoing resolutions.

At an informal meeting of the members of
this committee, Mr. Easton was authorized to
invite Col. Gardiner to come to Providence
and appear before the committee to discuss
the subject, to which invitation Col. Gardiner
promptly replied that he would be in Provi-
dence on March 5, and meet the committee.

The committee met for organization in the
Governor's room, at the State House, on March
4, 1902, and organized with Hon. Horace F.
Horton, of Cranston, as chairman, and Edward
Field, of Providence, as secretary.

March 5, 1902, the committee, with His Ex-
cellency Governor Kimball, met at the Gov-


ernor's room, State House ; Col. Gardiner was
also present, and explained the circumstances
attending the discovery of the remains of Gen.

During the period which had elapsed since
the news of the discovery of Gen. Greene's
remains had been made public, doubts had
been expressed by many persons as to the
identity of these remains ; and some of the
newspapers of the country had carelessly re-
ferred to the subject, emphasizing that doubt
which many had entertained. Besides this, it
had come to the attention of your committee
that the impression prevailed in the South
that the State of Rhode Island was striving to
secure these remains, urging as a reason for so
doing that the State was the birthplace of
Gen. Greene, and that his remains should be
brought back to the place of his birth and
there be interred. In order that the commit-
tee might be fully advised regarding the whole
situation, and that the most complete evidence
obtainable of the identity of the remains be
secured before taking any action whatever, it
was decided to send a representative to Savan-
nah, for the purpose of fully investigating the
whole subject; and on March 6, the committee


directed the secretary to proceed to Savan-
nah, Ga., and such other places as might be
neccessary, for the purpose of making such
investigation and inquiry regarding the dis-
covery of the remains of Gen. Nathanael
Greene as would serve to assist in establish-
ing their identity, and also for the purpose of
securing any other information pertinent to
the subject.

Pursuant to the direction of the committee
Mr. Field visited the cities of Savannah and
New York, where he made such investigation
and inquiry as had been contemplated by your
committee, and, upon returning, reported the
results of his inquiry, the material facts of
which are included in the account of the death
of Gen. Greene, his burial, the discovery of the
remains, and their final interment, which is
annexed hereto and made a part of this report.

Upon the arrival of Mr. Field in Savannah,
he was invited to meet the local committee,
arranging for the ceremonies incident to the
re-interment of the remains of Gen. Greene.

At this meeting, the committee's representa-
tive stated that Rhode Island had expressed
no preference as to the place of final interment
of the remains, nor would that State take any

Horace F. Hurton,
Chairman, Committee of Rhode Island General Assembly.


action relative to the matter until the commit-
tee of the General Assembly had been thor-
oughly informed of the situation. Your com-
mittee is assured that this statement of the
impartial position of the State touching the
matter was reassuring and highly pleasing to
the people of Savannah, for it had been under-
stood, among the committee members and
others, that Rhode Island had declared its
intention to take steps to secure the remains
for final interment at Providence; and that the
Legislature had appropriated funds to defray
the expenses of the funeral, of descendants of
Gen. Greene who might attend, and probably
of an escort for the remains from the Chatham
Artillery. This impression was gained through
private letters received in Savannah.

This supposed attitude of Rhode Island in
relation to the subject had aroused some feel-
ing, in some portions of the South, against the
State, and had been made the subject of sev-
eral newspaper stories in which the State had
been criticised for its action ; and a pamphlet
containing uncomplimentary allusions to the
subject had been given wide publicity. It was
perhaps fortunate that the State of Rhode
Island had its representative present in Savan-


nah, at this particular time, to explain the
situation and correct the impression that pre-

As the right to the disposition of the re-
mains of Gen. Greene rested entirely with his
descendants, your committee felt that it was
desirable to know officially their feelings in
the matter before any action was taken by the
State regarding the subject. With that end
in view, your committee prepared and submit-
ted to your honorable body the following pre-
amble and resolution, which was unanimously
adopted :

"State of Rhode Island and Providence

" In General Assembly.

"January Session, A. D. 1902.

" Resolution, relative to the remains of Gen-
eral Nathanael Greene.

''Whereas, The people of Rhode Island have
learned, with profound satisfaction, that the
remains of Major-General Nathanael Greene,
who died at his plantation, at Mulberry Grove,
in the State of Georgia, on the 19th of June,
1786, have recently been discovered in a vault
in Colonial Park, formerly one of the ancient
cemeteries in the City of Savannah, Georgia ;


""And Whereas, The people of Rhode Island,
recognizing the eminent services which Na-
thanael Greene gave to the cause of liberty
during the struggle for American independ-
ence, desire to show its appreciation of his
great genius as a military commander and his
sterling worth as a citizen, and to pay its tri-
bute to the memory of so distinguished a son
of Rhode Island when those remains are final-
ly committed to earth.

'"Be it therefore Resolved, That the joint
special committee of the general assembly of
the State of Rhode Island, appointed to take
into consideration the permanent location of
the remains of Gen. Nathanael Greene within
the State, be and is hereby authorized to take
such action as may be necessary to ascertain
the wishes of the descendants of General
Greene as to the place of final interment of
thesfe honored remains, and in the event that
the descendants of General Greene desire to
have his remains buried within this State, snid
committee is hereby directed to report the fact
to the general assembly forthwith, in order that
suitable provision may be made for the cere-
monies therefor and for an appropriate mem-
orial to mark the place of such interment ; but
in the event that the descendants of General
Greene desire to have his remains finally buried
elsewhere than within this State, then said
committee is hereby authorized to make such


arrangements as may be suitable and proper
in order that the State of Rhode Island may
be represented at such interment and may do
full honor to the memory of its distinguished

''Resolved, That the sum of two thousand
dollars be and the same hereby is appropriated
to defray the expenses of said committee, in-
cluding the making of the said inquiries of the
descendants of General Greene, and provisions
for the representation of the State at his burial,
in case such burial shall be without the State ;
and the state auditor is hereby directed to
draw his orders from time to time upon the
general treasurer for so much of said sum as
may be necessary, out of any money in the
treasury not otherwise appropriated, upon the
receipt of proper vouchers approved by the

Pursuant to the direction therein contained,
the following letter of inquiry was sent to each
of the known descendants of Generp^l Greene:

" Your attention is respectfully called to the
enclosed copy of the resolution of the General
Assembly of the State of Rhode Island, passed
at the January session, A. D. 1902.

" Pursuant to the directions therein, this
committee would be pleased to have you ex-
press your preference for the place of burial of

James E. Banigan,
I^Iember of Committee of Rhode Island General Assembly.



the remains of your distinguished ancestor,
Major- General Nathanael Greene, that this
State may be able to take action towards pay-
ing its tribute of respect to his memory.

" In asking you to thus signify your prefer-
ence for the spot which shall be his final rest-
ing place, the committee feels that it would fail
to do its full duty if reference was not made
to the fact that the people of Rhode Island
hold in sacred memory the name and fame of
him, who, during the eventful days of the
struggle for American Independence, for inde-
fatigable industry, for strength and breadth of
intelligence, and for unselfish devotion to the
public service, was second only to Washington,
and would esteem it a high honor to accept
from his descendants those honored remains
for interment in the soil of the State where
rest the ashes of his ancestors.

" The favor of a prompt reply would greatly
facilitate the duty of the committee."

This letter was sent to twenty-three descend-
ants of Gen. Greene, in the southern, mid-
dle, and eastern States, and replies were received
frofn eighteen ; all but three expressing the
wish that the remains be re-interred in the
city of Savannah, where they had rested since
the death of their distinguished ancestor;
these three, however, expressed a preference


for the battle-field of Guilford, in North Caro-
lina, for their final resting place.

The decision of a majority of the descendants
of Gen. Greene, as expressed by the replies to
your committee, determined, as far as this State
was concerned, the place of final interment.

In the meanwhile a petition from the Society
of the Cincinnati in the State of Rhode Island,
addressed to " The Honorable, the Governor
and General Assembly," had been received by
the Governor, which was referred to your com-
mittee. (Exhibit C).

This petition set forth with much detail the
important facts of General Greene's connection
with Rhode Island and that society of which
he was formerly president, and asked that a
reasonable appropriation be made by the State
for the expenses incurred in connection with
the discovery of the remains, and for such fur-
ther necessary disbursements as might be in-
curred in their final interment. ^

Before any action could be taken relative to
this proposition, your committee was informed
that an "Association of Patriotic Societies"
had been formed in Savannah for the purpose
of takins: full charo^e of the re-interment of the
remains of Gen. Greene and assuming the en-


tire expense thereof, and in October invitations
were received by the Governor and your com-
mittee from this association to be its guest at
the ceremonies connected with the re-inter-
ment, at Savannah, Georgia, on Friday, No-
vember 14, 1902.

All the members of the committee, with the
exception of Mr. Shepard, who was detained
by reason of business engagements, accom-
panied by Edward Field, secretary. Executive
Secretary Charles H. Howland, Master George
W. G. Carpenter^ son of Alva E. and Anna
M. (Greene) Carpenter, and great-great-grand-
son of Nathanael Greene, and Mr. Georee C.
Nightingale, left Providence on Tuesday, No-
vember 1 1, and arrived in Savannah on Thurs-
day morning, the 13th, where they were met at
the Union Station by a committee consisting
of Gen. W. W. Gordon, Alderman Frank F.
Jones, Mr. W. R. Leaken, Mr. J. M. Barnard,
Jr., Mr. F. D. Bloodworth, Mr. Alfred Bearing
Harden, and Capt. G. B. Pritchard, and were
escorted to the De Soto Hotel, where accom-
modations had been provided for them during
their stay as guests of the association, and
where they spent the remainder of the morn-
ing. In the afternoon, shortly before 4 o'clock.


the representatives from Rhode Island were
taken for a drive, escorted by a committee
consisting of Mr. W. R. Leaken, chairman,
Captain C. B. Pritchard, F. F. Jones, J. M.
Barnard, Jr., S. E. Theus, A. D. Harden, G.
H. Remshart, and Charles Ellis, the committee
of entertainment appointed by the Associa-
tion of Patriotic Societies.

The trip included a visit to Bonaventure
Cemetery, formerly an extensive plantation,
then to the Savannah Yacht Club and the
Casino — a popular river resort on the site of
old Fort Beauregard. From the Casino the
party was driven back to the city, and then a
trip to various points of interest in the city
was made. The drive came to an end about
6:30 o'clock, when the party returned to the
De Soto for a short rest before being taken by
the same committee to the annual dinner of
the Oglethorpe Club.

Invitations, extending the cotirtesies of the
various clubs in Savannah, were received by
each member of the party upon their arrival.
On Friday morning His Excellency Governor
Kimball arrived in Savannah, and was received
at the depot by a delegation from the Associa-
tion of Patriotic Societies, and was at once

y Frank T. Easton,

Member of Committee of Rhode Island General Assembly.



driven to the De Soto Hotel. On the day
before, His Honor Emory Speer, United
States District Judge for the Southern Dis-
trict of Georgia, had caused the following
order to be entered upon the records of the
court :

" Upon motion of the committee of the bar
of the United States Courts, ordered that the
Daughters of the American Revolution, the
Society of Colonial Dames of America, the
Society of the Cincinnati, the Sons of the
Revolution, the Society of the Colonial Wars,
and the guests of the Associated Patriotic
Societies be and they are hereby cordially in-
vited to attend the session of the United
States Courts in the government building at
half past lo o'clock to-morrow morning, the
14th inst., to greet his excellency, the Gov-
ernor of the State of Rhode Island.

" Ordered, further. That the city papers be
requested to publish this invitation.

" Emory Speer, Judged

The idea had its inception in the minds of
Messrs. W. R. Leaken, \V. W. Gordon, Jr.,
Walter G. Charlton, and Edward S. Elliott,
representing the Association of Patriotic So-
cieties. It was on motion of Capt. Gordon,


" Who submitted that the Governor of Rhode
Island would be pleased to meet the Judge of
the United States Courts, in the beautiful tem-
ple of justice, that the order of court, em-
bodying an invitation, was entered by Judge

At about 10:30 o'clock, His Excellency Gov-
ernor Kimball, your committee, and the other
representatives from Rhode Island were driven
to the Government building and escorted to
the spacious court-room. Here was a brilliant
assemblage of ladies and gentlemen, represent-
ing the different patriotic societies, invited to
take part in this reception. At 11 o'clock, the
court crier commanded silence, and Judge
Speer, escorting His Excellency Governor
Kimball, entered, and took seats upon the

Judge Speer, in his address of welcome,

" Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen :
It gave me great happiness to grant the order
sought by patriotic members of the bar, which
has resulted in this auspicious meeting.

" Indeed, all the felicities seem to conspire
to make the incident appropriate. The Gov-


ernor of one of the thirteen original States, with
an ennobhng, patriotic mission, has come to
visit the people of another. These two States
have been, and are, about equally devoted to
the union of all the States. It is true that along
in the early 6o's, for about four years, Georgia
tried to go out ; but for about the same length

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