Author: Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin Steuben & Baron Von Steuben
Street Date: December 31, 2019
Item Number (DPCI): 247-13-2039
When Frederich Wilhelm von Steuben, a colorful, charismatic, imposing, and gay military leader from Prussia, presented himself to the Continental Congress in 1778, he had one goal in mind: to whip the nascent United States militiamen into shape and turn them into an army fit to face the likes of Great Britain. Baron von Steuben's military career was almost as famed as his vibrant social life, and as he was lauded for the former, he was scorned for the latter. Von Steuben left his home country as rumors circulated about his sexuality. Abroad, von Steuben met with Benjamin Franklin, who invited von Steuben to volunteer his services for the American cause. Von Steuben set out to the American colonies, where he quickly became part of the inner circle of the Founding Fathers, and of George Washington in particular. Von Steuben brought with him the military skills that he had learned in the military of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and he now used them to train an elite force at Valley Forge. Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, also called the Blue Book, was the practical military-training manual that von Steuben wrote with the help of Alexander Hamilton. This manual helped win the American Revolution and provided a guide for the United States military until after the War of 1812. Incredibly, some portions of the original Blue Book are still used by the American Armed Forces today.