Greene, Samuel Dana was born on February 11, 1840 in Cumberland, Maryland, United States. Son of General George Sears and Martha (Dana) Greene.
Graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 1859.
Entered United States Navy, 1855, commissioned Lieutenant, 1861. Only Executive officer in iron-clad Monitor during 1st battle with Merrimac, 1862, criticized for allowing Merrimac to escape, although his orders had been to keep Monitor on defensive, rather than to follow Merrimac. Served in Monitor until its sinking, 1862, commended for his bravery.
Executive officer ship Florida, 1863-1864. Promoted lieutenant commander, 1865. Instructor mathematics, head department astronomy, navigation and surveying, assistant in charge buildings and grounds, senior aide to superintendent United States Naval Academy, 1866-1884.
Served with Pacific Squadron, 1868-1871. Commissioned commander, 1872. Commander ships Juniata, 1875, Monongahela, 1876-1877, Dispatch, 1882-1884.
Executive officer Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard.
Married Mary Willis, October 9, 1863. Married second, Mary Babbitt, November 8, 1876.