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The Revolutionary War General von Steuben
How about getting couple of centuries back into the colonial America?
Let us have a look at the American struggle for independence and learn
about the crucial role of the German General von Steuben in it.
Born in Magdeburg, Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben became
a soldier at 16 and served under Frederick the Great together with the
father. Later von Steuben quit the army and entered the service of General
John Mayr from whom he learned the infantry tactics. After General's death
he returned to the regular army where he was promoted to captain. With
the ending of the Seven Years' War, in February 1763, Steuben was discharged
and spent some time looking for an army unit to join. In Paris he met
Benjamin Franklin who was then trying to get French assistance for the
American revolution. Franklin notified General George Washington about
Steuben and the latter was invited to the colonies to meet with Washington.
Thus, Steuben arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire in December of 1777.
He was willing to help the Americans, and upon his arrival he sent a note
to the Congress and to General Washington, where he described his experience
and his intentions. In January of 1778, the Continental Congress accepted
The agreement between the Congress and von Steuben simply stated that
Steuben wished to volunteer and required neither rank nor payment. He
only wanted his expenses to be paid and, if the States should not win
their freedom, the Congress would owe him nothing. But, should the patriots
win the war, then von Steuben expected to receive full reward for his
services. After that, von Steuben attained the rank of Lieutenant General,
and was sent to serve with General George Washington at Valley Forge.
Next pages > Establishing Order in the American
Army > Victory and Glory
of Baron von Steuben