John Green – Colonel, United States Army

John Green was born in 1730, he was a veteran of the American Revolution. He was Colonel of the 10th Virginia Volunteers and, as such, fought throughout the Revolution.He died in 1793 and was originally buried in Liberty Hall, Virginia. He was reinterred in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery on April 23, 1931. He has been deceased longer than anyone else buried in the cemetery. His private monument states:

“Colonel, 10th Virginia Volunteers
Commander of the first companies of
Minute Men of Culpepper County, Virginia.”

About Colonel John Green:

Colonel John Green (1730-1793) was the son of Robert Green (1695-1748) who came to Virginia at the age of 15 with his uncle William Duff, Joist Hite, and Robert McKay, Quakers. He traveled up the Rappahannock River and settled near Brandy Station on the Washington City and Virginia Midland Railroad. He built his home, named Liberty Hall, near a large spring on the road leading from Brandy Station to Rixeyville, and took up large tracts of land in what was in 1712 Essex, in 1721 Spotsylvania, in 1735 Orange, and in 1749 Culpeper County.

Robert married Eleanor Dunn of Scotland and had seven sons, all of whom had red hair, and have since become referred to as the “Red” Greens. Eleanor survived her husband by 45 years, and outlived four of her sons. Robert Green became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1736, and was one of the first vestrymen of St. Mark's Parish.

John married Susanna Blackwell and had eight children – seven sons and one daughter. He was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, a member of the House of Burgesses in 1769, and succeeded his brother William as vestryman of St. Mark's Parish in 1770. One of Susannah's sisters married the Colonel's nephew William, son of Robert, and another sister married John's brother Moses. John inherited Liberty Hall, the family home.

Colonel John Green organized and commanded a company of Minute Men at the start of the Revolution and served for more than eight years. He was a Captain of the 1st Virginia, became a Major in 1776, was wounded at Mamaroneck on the 21st of October, 1776, became a Lieutenant Colonel in 1777; a Colonel in the 10th Virginia in 1778; transferred to the 5th Virginia in September 1778. He  distinguished himself at the battles of Brandywine and Monmouth. He was  assigned to cover the planned retreat of General Nathaniel Green from the battlefield at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. The Americans had so few adequate troops in any battle that they could seldom stand and fight, so the planning for any battle included a plan to withdraw. Colonel Green was very unhappy with this assignment, and General Greene had to promise that he would assign the Colonel the forward assignment in the next battle to calm him down. In a later battle, Colonel Green was wounded while storming a breastwork and was crippled for the remainder of his life. In his will, he claimed to be “sick and weak, but in perfect sense and memory.”

He was commended by the Continental Congress and presented a sword for meritorious achievement. Light Horse Harry Lee referred to the Colonel in his memoirs as “one of the bravest of the brave.”

Colonel Green retired in January 1783 and was one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati. He received land warrants for almost 9,000 acres of land in Kentucky for his service in the war.

Colonel Green died in 1793 and was buried at Liberty Hall, but the remains of he and his wife were moved to Arlington Cemetery in 1911. The inscription follows:

John Green

  • Colonel 10th Virginia Volunteers
  • Revolutionary War
  • Born and died at Liberty Hall, Culpeper Co., Virginia
  • 1730-1793
  • Commanded one of the first companies of Minute Men of Culpeper County
  • Organized and commanded a company in the Continental Line
  • Commended by the Continental Congress and directed to be presented a sword for meritorius service
  • Original member of the Society of the Cincinnati


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