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Friedrich von Steuben

Revolutionary War Inspector General


FRIEDRICH WILHELM LUDOLF GERHARD AUGUSTIN VON STEUBEN was a Prussian-American general of the American Revolutionary Army. Born in Magdeburg, Prussia on November 15, 1730. 

Von Steuben studied at Neisse and Breslau and served as a volunteer under the command of his father at the siege of Prague in 1745. He was a distinguished veteran of the Seven Year's War (1756-1763) and he became adjutant general and made aide to Frederick the Great in 1762.  He subsequently retired from military service, receiving a lucrative government position and was made Baron. 

In 1777 he sailed for the Americas to assist the colonists against the British. He offered his services and served under George Washington at Valley Forge in the Continental Army in 1778. He was appointed a major general and later was appointed inspector general of the American army. In that capacity he organized and disciplined the forces so efficiently that he was thanked by Congress. Much of his active military service was in New Jersey and the Carolinas. He checked the invasion of Connecticut by Benedict Arnold.   In 1780 he took part in and commanded a division at the Battle of Yorktown and was present when Cornwallis surrendered. 

In 1790, Congress granted him a township of land near Utica, New York, a pension of $2,400 and several tracts of land in Virginia and Pennsylvania. He settled on his land in New York. Following the war he served as a military planner to Washington.

Von Steuben died in at Steubenville, near Utica, New York on November 28, 1794.

Freiderich von Steuben check signed April 16, 1791 completed in his hand. Unusual manuscript cancellation boldly signed "Steuben." Measures 6 x 3 inches.


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