1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 George Sears Greene Collection

 Civil engineer and soldier, of Rhode Island and New York

 Collection, 1818-1911

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 460

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, July 2001

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            George Sears Greene (1801-1899) was born in Warwick, R.I. to Caleb Greene. He graduated from West Point in 1823, and then served as an artillery officer through 1836. For the next twenty-five years he was in private practice as a civil engineer, with his largest project being the Croton Aqueduct in New York. He volunteered as colonel of the 60th New York Infantry in January of 1862, and then was appointed Brigadier General that April. He played major roles in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and was severely wounded in September of 1863. He returned to action, was again wounded, and was awarded the brevet rank of Major General dating to the conclusion of his active service in March of 1865. After that point, he resumed his civil engineering work in New York, and became an active genealogist and antiquarian. The authoritative genealogy, Greenes of Rhode Island..., was published from his notes in 1903.

            Gen. Greene had four children by his first wife, Elizabeth Vinton (1805-1832), all of whom died young. By his second wife Martha B. Dana, he had the following surviving children:

George S. Greene Jr. (1837-1922), m. Susan Dana. Had Martha (1865-1884), Carleton (1868- ).

Samuel D. Greene (1840-1884). Naval officer. Had three children.

Charles T. Greene (1842- ). Had sixteen children.

Anna M. Greene (1845- ). Married Murray S. Day, had no surviving children.

Francis V. Greene (1850-1921). Soldier, historian. Had five children.


Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island, 292.

Clarke, Louise Brownell, The Greenes of Rhode Island, 473-474. New York, 1903.

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Scope and content:

            This collection is divided into two groups. The first group contains various papers of Gen. Greene, mostly correspondence and reports relating to the Battle of Gettysburg, a letter book he kept while stationed at Fort Sullivan in Maine, and a memorandum book relating to his work on New York's Croton Aqueduct. The correspondence includes letters by other noteworthy Union generals such as Henry Slocum, George Meade and Alpheus Williams.

            Subgroup 2 is titled The William and Marion Sluys Collection of Greene Family Manuscripts. It consists of family correspondence between Gen. Greene, his son George Jr., his grandson Carleton, and other family members. Also included is a rare printed copy of a speech Gen. Greene gave at West Point in 1888.

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            The provenance of Subgroup 1 is unknown, but judging by the cataloging, the papers were very likely donated before 1944. Subgroup 2 was donated by Peter J. Sluys in 1995, and is to be known as The William and Marion Sluys Collection of Greene Family Manuscripts.

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Processing note:

            Related papers at the Rhode Island Historical Society include:

Letter from Greene to cousin Henry W. Greene, 1890. MSS 461, page 83.

Letter from Greene to Amos Perry, 1888. MSS 9001-T, glued to inside cover of Samuel Tillinghast diary

Five letters from Greene requesting Narragansett Club publications, 1866-1874. MSS 578.

Manuscript Greene genealogy, began by George S. Greene in 1835, with notes through 1915. Later published as Greenes of Rhode Island... See Reference Collection.

Ten-page Dana genealogy. Manuscript Genealogies, vol. 1, page 63 (Reference Collection).

Diary of Greene's grand-niece Alice Greene Phelon, 1896. MSS 9001-P.

Papers of Greene' s nephew Benjamin Phelon. MSS 618.

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Subgroup 1: George Sears Greene Papers

Box 1, folder 1. 1854-1862

            1854/01           Regulations re admission of cadets into the military academy

            1862/12/24     Letter to Sen. Preston King (copy)

Box 1, folder 2. 1863

            1863/07/04     Letter, Col. Abel Goddard to Capt. C.P. Horton

            1863/07/06     Letter, Capt. Stegman to Capt. C.P. Horton

            1863/07/06     Letter, Lt. Col. H. Hammerstein to Capt. C.P. Horton

            1863/07/06     Letter, Col. H.A. Barnum to Capt. C.P. Horton

            1863/07/06     Letter, Col. Daniel Ireland to Capt. C.P. Horton

            1863/07/06     Letter, Gen. Thomas L. Kane to Capt. Thomas H. Elliot (copy)

            1863/07/12     Letter, Geo. S. Greene to Capt. Thomas H. Elliot (copy)

            1863/07           Report of casualties at Gettysburg

            1863/07/16     Revised report of casualties at Gettysburg

            1863/08/22     Letter, Gen. A.S. Williams to Col. H.C. Rodgers re Gettysburg

            1863/08/22     Letter, Gen. A.S. Williams to Col. H.C. Rodgers excepting Gettysburg (copy)

            1863/12/20     Letter, Gen. A.S. Williams to Gen. H.W. Slocum

            1863/12/30     Letter, H.W. Slocum to Gen. George G. Meade (copy)

            1863/12/30     Letter, H.W. Slocum to George S. Greene, with attached report

            1863/12/30     Extract of above letter from Slocum to Greene

            1863?              Extract of letter to Capt. Elliot

            1863?              Annotated map of battlefield

            1863?              Pages 3, 4 and 5 of report by H.W. Slocum


Box 1, folder 3. 1864

            1864/02/25     Letter, Gen. George G. Meade to Gen. Henry W. Halleck (two copies)

            1864/03/10     Letter, Gen. George G. Meade to George Sears Greene


Box 1, folder 4. 1886-1888. Genealogical letters, George S. Greene to Mrs. A.S. Bulkley, dated 12/21/1886, 12/28/1886, 1/10/1888, 3/21/1888 and undated.

Box 1, folder 5. 1892

            1892/04/27     Letter from H.C. Pitney of the Morris Aqueduct to George S. Greene

            1892/05/02     Letter from H.C. Pitney of the Morris Aqueduct to George S. Greene

Box 1, folder 6. 1893

            1893/07/02     Speech on Gettysburg, by George S. Greene

Box 1, folder 7. 1897

            1897                George S. Greene's handwritten military record. 6 pages.

Box 1, folder 8. Undated

            "The Battle of Antietam" by George S. Greene. 4 pages.

            Fragment of letter from O.L.F. Browne of Syracuse

Box 1, folder 9. Volumes

            Letter book, 1831-1841, kept mostly at Fort Sullivan, Eastport, Maine.

            (includes monthly weather log kept 1818-1822 at Marblehead, and 1822-1828 at Ft. Sullivan)

            Memorandum book of engineering calculations for Croton Aqueduct, circa 1874-1882


Subgroup 2: The William and Marion Sluys Collection of Greene Family Manuscripts.

Gift of Peter J. Sluys, 1995

Box 2, folder 1. Letter, Gen. George Sears Greene to grandson Carleton Greene, 12/8/1883

Box 2, folder 2. Letter, Anna M. (Greene) Day to brother George Sears Greene Jr., 8/19/1873

Box 2, folders 3-8. 6 letters, Carleton Greene to father George Sears Greene Jr., 1888-1889

Box 2, folder 9. Undated letter, Charlotte to George Sears Greene Jr.

Box 2, folder 10. Letter, Kate Gannett to Susan M. (Dana) Greene (Mrs. George S. Greene Jr.), 2/17/___

Box 2, folders 11-13. 3 essays by "Susie Dana" (future Mrs. George S. Greene Jr.), undated, titled: "Rome's Degeneracy", "The Crusades" and "The Social and Literary Features of the Middle Age."

Box 2, folder 14. "Address by Gen. George S. Greene, at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Graduates, West Point, N.Y., June 11, 1888". Printed pamphlet, 6 pages, said to be only known extant copy.

Box 2, folder 15. Course schedule, Carleton Greene, Cornell University, 1889-1890

Box 2, folder 16. Undated account, probably from Carleton Greene

Box 2, folder 17. Itinerary of vacation, 1910, on back of envelope addressed to George Sears Greene Jr., 1911.

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"Address by Gen. George S. Greene, at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Graduates, West Point, N.Y., June 11, 1888"

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862

Barnum, Henry A. (1833-1892)

Bulkley, Mrs. A.S.

Civil engineering - New York

Croton Aqueduct (New York)

Day, Anna M. (Greene) (1845- )

Gettysburg (Pa.), Battle of, 1863

Greene, Carleton (1868- )

Greene, George S. Jr. (1837-1922)

Greene, Susan M. (Dana)

Kane, Thomas L. (1822-1883)

King, Preston (1806-1865)

Maine - Climate - Observations

Meade, George G. (1815-1872)

Meteorology - Observations

Slocum, Henry w. (1827-1894)

Sluys, William and Marion

United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865

William and Marion Sluys Collection of Greene Family Manuscripts

Williams, Alpheus S. (1810-1878)

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