Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

Overview
Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von 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
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

-born military officer who served as inspector general
Inspector General
An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

 and Major General of the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. He is credited with being one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them the essentials of military drills, tactics, and disciplines.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben'
Start a new discussion about 'Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von 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
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

-born military officer who served as inspector general
Inspector General
An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

 and Major General of the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. 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 the Revolutionary War Drill Manual
Revolutionary War Drill Manual
The Revolutionary War Drill Manual was written by Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben in 1778 and 1779, during the American Revolution. Commissioned to train troops at Valley Forge, Steuben formed a model drill company of 100 men, who were to in turn train others, thus causing the new drill...

, the book that served as the standard United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 drill manual until the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. He served as General George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

's chief of staff
Chief of Staff
The title, chief of staff, identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a Principal Staff Officer , who is the coordinator of the supporting staff or a primary aide to an important individual, such as a president.In general, a chief of...

 in the final years of the war.

Early years


Friedrich von Steuben was born in Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

, Duchy of Magdeburg
Duchy of Magdeburg
The Duchy of Magdeburg was a province of Brandenburg-Prussia from 1680 to 1701 and a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701 to 1807. It replaced the Archbishopric of Magdeburg after its secularization by Brandenburg. The duchy's capitals were Magdeburg and Halle, while Burg was another...

, within today's Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the son of Wilhelm Augustin von Steuben (1699–1783), a lieutenant of engineers. His mother was Elizabeth von Jagvodin. Von Steuben accompanied his father to the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 when Friedrich Wilhelm I
Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of the House of Hohenzollern, was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death...

, King of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg, ordered Wilhelm into the service of Czarina Anna
Anna of Russia
Anna of Russia or Anna Ivanovna reigned as Duchess of Courland from 1711 to 1730 and as Empress of Russia from 1730 to 1740.-Accession to the throne:Anna was the daughter of Ivan V of Russia, as well as the niece of Peter the Great...

. The family returned to Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 after the accession of Frederick the Great
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 to the throne in 1740.

Steuben was schooled in Breslau by Jesuits
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 and, by the age of 16, was an officer in the Prussian military. During the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 he was a member of an infantry unit but served primarily as a staff officer. By 1761 he had risen to the rank of captain and was serving in the Prussian general headquarters as aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 of the king. Captain Steuben was granted a canonry in Havelberg
Havelberg
Havelberg is a town in the district of Stendal, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the Havel, and part of the town is built on an island in the centre of the river. The two parts were incorporated as a town in 1875...

 Cathedral, paying an annual stipend of 1,200 German florins. In 1762 he was selected as one of thirteen members of the "special class for the art of war" (Spezialklasse der Kriegskunst). Headmaster of this class was the king himself. The army was greatly reduced in size at the end of the war, and Steuben was one of many Prussian officers suddenly without work. His Prussian military career would later be exaggerated—he was not one of Frederick the Great's generals—but his experience on a professional general staff
General Staff
A military staff, often referred to as General Staff, Army Staff, Navy Staff or Air Staff within the individual services, is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units...

, an agency then practically unknown outside of Prussia, would prove to be valuable in his American career.

Service in Hohenzollern-Hechingen



In 1764 Steuben became chamberlain
Chamberlain (office)
A chamberlain is an officer in charge of managing a household. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign....

 to Fürst
Fürst
Fürst is a German title of nobility, usually translated into English as Prince.The term refers to the head of a principality and is distinguished from the son of a monarch, who is referred to as Prinz...

 Josef Friedrich Wilhelm
Josef Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Josef Friedrich Wilhelm , was prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen from 1750 until his death.-Life:...

 of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Hohenzollern-Hechingen was a county and principality in southwestern Germany. Its rulers belonged to a branch of the senior Swabian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty.-History:...

. In 1769, he started using the title of baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

, based on a falsified lineage prepared by his father. He was the only courtier to accompany his incognito prince to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1771, hoping to borrow money. Failing to find funds, they returned to Germany in 1775, deeply in debt.

In 1776, he was alleged to be homosexual and was accused of improper sexual behavior with young boys. Whether or not Steuben was actually intimate with other men is not entirely known, but the rumors compelled him to seek employment elsewhere. Steuben tried employment in several foreign armies including Austria
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

, Baden
Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

, and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Steuben traveled to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in the summer of 1777. As luck would have it, he had formally been introduced to the French Minister of War, Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain
Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain
Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain , French general, was born on the 15th of April 1707, at the Château of Vertamboz.Educated at Jesuit schools, he intended to enter the priesthood, but at the last minute obtained from Louis XV an appointment as sub-lieutenant...

. The Count, fully realizing the potential of an officer with Prussian general staff training, further introduced him to Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

. Upon the Count's recommendation, Steuben was introduced to George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 by means of a letter from Franklin as a "Lieutenant General in the King of Prussia's service," an exaggeration of his actual credentials that appears to be based on a mistranslation of his service record. He was advanced travel funds and left Europe from Marseilles.

American Revolution



On September 26, 1777, the Baron, his Italian greyhound
Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is a small breed of dog of the sight hound type, sometimes called an "I.G.", or "Iggy" for short.-Appearance:The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds, typically weighing about and standing about tall at the withers...

, Azor (which he took with him everywhere), his young aide de camp Louis de Pontière, his military secretary Pierre Etienne Duponceau
Peter Stephen DuPonceau
Peter Stephen Du Ponceau or DuPonceau, born Pierre-Étienne Du Ponceau, was a French linguist, philosopher, and jurist...

, and two other companions, reached Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire in the United States. It is the largest city but only the fourth-largest community in the county, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census...

 and by December 1, was extravagantly entertained in Boston. Congress was in York, Pennsylvania
York, Pennsylvania
York, known as the White Rose City , is a city located in York County, Pennsylvania, United States which is in the South Central region of the state. The population within the city limits was 43,718 at the 2010 census, which was a 7.0% increase from the 2000 count of 40,862...

, after being ousted from Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

 by the British advance. By February 5, 1778, Steuben had offered to volunteer without pay (for the time), and by the 23rd, Steuben reported for duty to Washington at Valley Forge
Valley Forge
Valley Forge in Pennsylvania was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777–1778 in the American Revolutionary War.-History:...

. Steuben spoke little English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and he often yelled to his translator, "Here! Come swear for me!" Colonel Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 and General Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United...

 were of great help in assisting Steuben in drafting a training program for the Army, which found approval with Washington.

Training program


Steuben's training technique was to create a "model company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

", a group of 120 chosen men who in turn successively trained other personnel at Regimental and Brigade levels. Steuben's eccentric personality greatly enhanced his mystique. He trained the soldiers, who at this point were greatly lacking in proper clothing themselves, in full military dress uniform, swearing and yelling at them up and down in German and French. When that was no longer successful, he recruited Captain Benjamin Walker, his French-speaking aide, to curse at them for him in English. Steuben introduced a system of progressive training, beginning with the school of the soldier, with and without arms, and going through the school of the regiment. This corrected the previous policy of simply assigning personnel to regiments. Each company commander was made responsible for the training of new men, but actual instruction was done by selected sergeants, the best obtainable.

Another program developed by Steuben was camp sanitation. He established standards of sanitation and camp layouts that would still be standard a century and a half later. There had previously been no set arrangement of tents and huts. Men relieved themselves where they wished and when an animal died, it was stripped of its meat and the rest was left to rot where it lay. Steuben laid out a plan to have rows for command, officers and enlisted men. Kitchens and latrines were on opposite sides of the camp, with latrines on the downhill side. There was the familiar arrangement of company and regimental streets.

Perhaps Steuben's biggest contribution to the American Revolution was training in the use of the bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

. Since the Battle of Bunker Hill
Battle of Bunker Hill
The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War...

, Americans had been mainly dependent upon using their ammunition to win battles. Throughout the early course of the war, Americans used the bayonet mostly as a cooking skewer or tool rather than as a fighting instrument. Steuben's introduction of effective bayonet charges became crucial. In the Battle of Stony Point
Battle of Stony Point
The Battle of Stony Point was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on the night of July 15–16, 1779. A select force of Continental Army infantry made a coordinated surprise night attack and stormed a fortified position of the British Army on the Hudson River south of West Point, New...

, American soldiers attacked with unloaded muskets and won the battle solely on Steuben's bayonet training.

The first results of Steuben's training were in evidence at the Battle of Barren Hill
Battle of Barren Hill
The Battle of Barren Hill was a minor engagement during the American Revolution. On May 20, 1778, a British force attempted to encircle a smaller Continental force under the Marquis de Lafayette...

, 20 May 1778 and then again at the Battle of Monmouth
Battle of Monmouth
The Battle of Monmouth was an American Revolutionary War battle fought on June 28, 1778 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The Continental Army under General George Washington attacked the rear of the British Army column commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton as they left Monmouth Court...

 in June 1778. Steuben, by then serving in Washington's Headquarters, was the first to determine the enemy was heading for Monmouth. Washington recommended appointment of Steuben as Inspector General
Inspector General
An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

 on April 30; Congress approved it on May 5. During the winter of 1778-1779, Steuben prepared Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, commonly known as the "Blue Book." Its basis was the training plan he had devised at Valley Forge
Valley Forge
Valley Forge in Pennsylvania was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777–1778 in the American Revolutionary War.-History:...

.

Southern campaign


In 1780 Steuben sat on the court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer Major John André
John André
John André was a British army officer hanged as a spy during the American War of Independence. This was due to an incident in which he attempted to assist Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British.-Early life:André was born on May 2, 1750 in London to...

, captured and charged with espionage in conjunction with the defection of General Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...

. He later traveled with Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United...

, the new commander of the Southern campaign. He quartered in Virginia since the American supplies and soldiers would be provided to the army from there. During the spring of 1781, he aided Greene in the campaign in the south, culminating in the delivery of 450 Virginia Continentals to Lafayette in June.

He was forced to take sick leave, rejoining the army for the final campaign at Yorktown, where his role was as commander of one of the three divisions of Washington's troops. Steuben gave assistance to Washington in demobilizing the army in 1783 as well as aiding in the defense plan of the new nation. He was discharged from the military with honor on March 24, 1783.

Final years


Steuben became an American citizen by act of the Pennsylvania legislature in March 1784 (and later by the New York authorities in July 1786). With the war over, Steuben resigned from service and first settled on Manhattan Island, where he became a prominent figure and elder in the German Reformed Church. However, even with Congress giving him large sums of money, he still managed to become largely indebted. In 1790, Congress gave him a pension of $2500 a year which he had to keep until his death.

Steuben eventually settled on a small estate in the vicinity of Utica, New York
Utica, New York
Utica is a city in and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 62,235 at the 2010 census, an increase of 2.6% from the 2000 census....

, on land granted to him for his military service. He later assisted in the founding of the Society of the Cincinnati
Society of the Cincinnati
The Society of the Cincinnati is a historical organization with branches in the United States and France founded in 1783 to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the American Revolutionary War officers and to pressure the government to honor pledges it had made to officers who fought for American...

 and was appointed a Regent for what evolved into the State University of New York. He never married and had no children. He left his estate to General Benjamin Walker
Benjamin Walker (representative)
For other persons named Benjamin Walker, see Benjamin Walker .Captain Benjamin Walker was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War and later served as a U.S. Representative from New York....

 and Captain William North
William North
-Life:He was the son of John North, who commanded Fort Frederick in 1751, and Fort St. George in Thomaston, Maine, in 1758. He moved with his mother, Elizabeth North, to Boston, Massachusetts....

, who had served as his aides-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 during the war, and with whom he had had an "extraordinarily intense emotional relationship ... treating them as surrogate sons". He is buried at what is now the Steuben Memorial State Historic Site
Steuben Memorial State Historic Site
The Steuben Memorial State Historic Site is a historic location and state park in the eastern part of Steuben, Oneida County, New York, that honors Baron von Steuben, the "Drillmaster of the American Revolution." The land in this part of Oneida County was part of a land grant made to von Steuben...

.


Steuben's log cabin residence north of Utica, NY

Legacy


Every year in September, the German-American Steuben Parade
German-American Steuben Parade
The German-American Steuben Parade is an annual parade held in various cities across the United States. The New York City parade is held every third Saturday in September. It was founded in 1957 by German-American immigrants who, being part of the largest self -reported ancestral group in the...

 is held in New York City. It is one of the largest parades in the city and is traditionally followed by an Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest, or Wiesn, is a 16–18 day beer festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The...

 in Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

 as well as celebrations in Yorkville, Manhattan
Yorkville, Manhattan
Yorkville is a neighborhood in the greater Upper East Side, in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. Yorkville's boundaries include: the East River on the east, 96th Street on the north, Third Avenue on the west and 72nd Street to the south. However, its southern boundary is a subject of...

, a German section of New York City. The German-American Steuben Parade has been taking place since 1958.

Chicago also hosts a von Steuben Day parade, which is featured in the American movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American teen coming-of-age comedy film written and directed by John Hughes.The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller , who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago...

. Philadelphia is host to a smaller Steuben Parade in the Northeast of the city.

Generally, Von Steuben Day
Von Steuben Day
Von Steuben Day is a holiday traditionally held on a weekend in mid-September , celebrating Baron Friedrich von Steuben, who arrived in the United States as a volunteer offering his services to General George Washington, and is generally considered the German-American event of the year...

 takes place in September in many cities throughout the United States. It is an often considered the German-American event of the year. Participants march, dance, wear German costumes and play German music, and the event is attended by millions of people.

To further honor Steuben, the Steuben Society was founded in 1919 as "an educational, fraternal, and patriotic organization of American citizens of German background". In the difficult post-World War I years the Society helped the German-American community to reorganize. It is now one of the largest organizations for Americans of German extraction.

A warship, a submarine, and an ocean liner (later pressed into military service) were named in von Steuben's honor. In World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the captured German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 ship was renamed as USS Von Steuben, and in World War II there was the Dampfschiff General von Steuben
Dampfschiff General von Steuben
SS General von Steuben was a German luxury passenger liner. She was launched as the München , renamed in 1930 as the General von Steuben , and renamed again in 1938 as Steuben...

, an ill-fated German luxury passenger ship which was turned into an armed transport ship during the war. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the US Navy submarine was named for him.

Several locations in the United States are also named Steuben
Steuben
Steuben was the surname of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a Prussian officer who aided the colonials in the American Revolutionary War.Places in the United States of America named after Steuben include:*Steuben, Maine*Steuben, New York...

, most of them in his honor. Examples include Steuben County, New York
Steuben County, New York
Steuben County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,990. Its name is in honor of Baron von Steuben, a German general who fought on the American side in the American Revolutionary War, though it is not pronounced the same...

, Steuben County, Indiana
Steuben County, Indiana
Steuben County is a county located in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 34,185. The county seat is Angola...

, and the city of Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville is a city located along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Ohio on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the United States. It is the political county seat of Jefferson County. It is also a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area...

.

Several buildings are named for Steuben, among them Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, formely known as Von Steuben Metropolitan High School, is a high school in Chicago, Illinois, located on the north branch of the Chicago River.The school is named for Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben....

 in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, as well as one of the cadet barracks buildings at Valley Forge Military Academy and College
Valley Forge Military Academy and College
Valley Forge Military Academy & College is an American all male preparatory boarding school and coeducational junior college in the military school tradition...

.

Von Steuben is one of four European military leaders who assisted the American cause during the Revolution honored with a statue
Statue
A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

 in Lafayette Square just north of The White House in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. Other statues of Steuben can be found in Utica, New York, the garden of the German Embassy in Washington, DC, as well as in Potsdam
Potsdam
Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, southwest of Berlin city centre....

 and in Steuben's home town of Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

. Another stands in Washington Park, Milwaukee, WI.

The Steuben House
Steuben House
The Steuben House is a noted example of Bergen Dutch sandstone architecture, located at New Bridge Landing on the Hackensack River in River Edge, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States.-History:...

 presented to Steuben as a gift for his services in the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 is located at New Bridge Landing
New Bridge Landing
New Bridge was a prosperous mill hamlet, centered upon a bridge strategically placed at the narrows of the Hackensack River. In the American Revolution New Bridge Landing was the site of a pivotal bridge crossing the Hackensack River, where General George Washington led his troops in retreat from...

 in River Edge, New Jersey
River Edge, New Jersey
River Edge is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 11,340.The community was incorporated as the borough of Riverside by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on June 30, 1894, from portions of Midland Township, at the...

. Originally belonging to a Loyalist family, the house and surrounding farmland were seized in 1781. It was bought by the county of Bergen
Bergen County, New Jersey
Bergen County is the most populous county of the state of New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 905,116. The county is part of the New York City Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Hackensack...

 in 1996 for $9,000 and preserved as a national monument and public museum. The area around the house is used for both Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactments.

Other tributes to the General include Steuben Field, the stadium of the Hamilton College football team. The field is named for Baron von Steuben who laid the cornerstone of the school acting as Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

's surrogate. Upon graduating, all Hamilton seniors receive a cane as a gift from the college. The cane's design features a tricorn hat at the top of the cane to honor von Steuben.

The various depictions of Steuben in popular (American) media include portrayals by Nehemiah Persoff
Nehemiah Persoff
Nehemiah Persoff is an American film and television character actor. He was born in Jerusalem, Palestine Mandate.Born in what is now part of Israel, Persoff emigrated with his family to the United States in 1929...

 in the 1979 U.S. TV Miniseries The Rebels, Kurt Knudson in the 1984 TV miniseries George Washington, and being voiced by Austrian-American Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 in the animated series Liberty's Kids
Liberty's Kids
Liberty's Kids is an animated television series produced by DIC Entertainment, originally broadcast on PBS Kids from Septemer 2, 2002 to April 4, 2003, although PBS continued to air reruns until August 2004...

.

There are many books on von Steuben. Most recently, Paul Lockhart, a professor at Wright State University
Wright State University
Wright State University is a comprehensive public university with strong doctoral, research, and undergraduate programs, rated among the 260 Best National Universities listed in the annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Wright State is located in Fairborn, Ohio,...

 in Dayton
Dayton
Dayton is a city in Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, Ohio, United States.Dayton may also refer to:-United States:*Dayton, Alabama*Dayton, California, in Butte County*Dayton, Lassen County, California*Dayton, Idaho*Dayton, Indiana...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, wrote "The Drillmaster of Valley Forge" as the first comprehensive biography of General von Steuben in more than 80 years. Von Steuben has also been cited in other works, most notably by Randy Shilts
Randy Shilts
Randy Shilts was a pioneering gay American journalist and author. He worked as a freelance reporter for both The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as for San Francisco Bay Area television stations....

 in his book Conduct Unbecoming
Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military
Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the US Military from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf War was a non-fiction book by Randy Shilts , published in 1993 shortly before Shilts' 1994 death....

as an early example of a homosexual in the military.

In 2007, a popular documentary DVD was released by LionHeart FilmWorks and Director Kevin Hershberger titled "Von Steuben's Continentals: The First American Army." The 60-minute, live-action documentary details the life, uniforms, camp life, food, weapons, equipment and drill of the Continental Soldier 1775-1781, as taught and developed by Baron von Steuben.

External links