Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794), also referred to as the Baron von Steuben, was a Prussian-born American military officer. He served as inspector general and major general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with being one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them the essentials of military drills, tactics, and disciplines. He wrote Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, the book that served as the standard United States drill manual until the War of 1812. He served as General George Washington’s chief of staff in the final years of the war. ==Early life== Baron von Steuben was born in the fortress town of Magdeburg on September 17, 1730, the son of Royal Prussian Engineer, Capt. Baron Wilhelm von Steuben, and his wife, Elizabeth von Jagvodin. When his father entered the service of Empress Anna, young Friedrich came with him to the Crimea and then to Kronstadt, staying until the Russia war against the Turks under the General Burkhard Christoph von Münnich. In 1740 Steuben’s father returned to Prussia and Friedrich was educated in the garrison towns Neisse and Breslau by Jesuits. It is said that at age 14 he served as volunteer with his father in one the campaigns of the War of the Austrian Succession. ==First Military Service== Von Steuben joined the Royal Prussian Army at age 17. He served as a second lieutenant during the Seven Years’ War and was wounded at the Battle of Prague . He served as adjutant to the free battalion of General Johann von Mayer and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1759. In August 1759 he was wounded a second time at the Battle of Kunersdorf. In June 1761, he was appointed deputy quartermaster at the general headquarters. Later that year he was taken prisoner by the Russians at Treptow. Upon his release in 1762 he was promoted to captain, and eventually became an aide-de-camp to Frederick the Great. The end of the war and subsequent reduction of the army meant that Steuben was one of many officers who found themselves unemployed. Given von Steuben’s exemplary military record, one has to question why this ambitious and competent officer was discharged from the Prussian army in 1763. Towards the end of his life, Steuben indicated that „an inconsiderate step and an implacable personal enemy” led to his leaving the army.

Content from the Wikipedia article Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben licensed under CC-BY-SA.