Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Biography
(German Military Officer Who Served as a Major General of the Continental Army During the American Revolutionary War)
Birthday: September 17, 1730 (Virgo)
Born In: Magdeburg, Germany
Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben, also known as Baron von Steuben, Frederick William, and Freiherr von Steuben, was a military officer who served in Prussia and later in America during the American Revolutionary War. Originally from the Duchy of Magdeburg, Friedrich received his education from the Jesuits in the garrison towns Neisse and Breslau. When he was 17 years old, he began his military career in the Prussian Army. During the Seven Years’ War, he gradually rose through the ranks to eventually become captain and was made aide-de-camp to Frederick the Great. However, after the end of the war, he became unemployed due to the reduction of the army. Von Steuben subsequently entered the service of Fürst Josef Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. In 1771, he started putting the title “baron” before his name. After meeting Benjamin Franklin in Paris, he travelled to America to serve in the Continental Army. Considered to be one of the fathers of the Continental Army for teaching the recruits the importance of military drills, tactics, and discipline, he was appointed inspector general and major general. Von Steuben authored ‘Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States’, which became the standard United States drill manual until the War of 1812.