Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm von
- Philander D. Chase
Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm von (17 September 1730–28 November 1794), inspector general of the Continental army, was born in Magdeburg, Germany, the son of Wilhelm Augustin von Steuben, a Prussian army officer, and Maria Justina Dorothea von Jagow. Baptized as Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben, he usually called himself Frederick William von Steuben in America and signed his letters “Steuben.” He spent most of his early childhood in Russia, where his father was a military engineer. In 1742 the family settled in Breslau, Silesia, where Steuben was tutored in mathematics by Jesuits. In 1746 Steuben became a lance corporal in the Lestwitz Infantry Regiment at Breslau and in 1749 was commissioned an ensign in that regiment. He was promoted to second lieutenant in 1752....