Manalapan Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
General von Steuben
— September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794 —
Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Baron von Steuben was born September 17, 1730 in Magdeburg, Prussia (Germany) to a military family. Reared in the rigorous military school of Frederick the Great, von Steuben served with distinction in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) and as an Aide-de-Camp to the Prussian King.
In the fledgling US, after the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress sought foreign assistance in the struggle against the British. In 1777, Benjamin Franklin met von Steuben, who then came to America that December, offering his service without rank or pay, to aid the Revolution. In January 1778, the Continental Congress accepted von Steuben’s service as a volunteer in the Continental Army and ordered him to report to General Washington’s quarters at Valley Forge as soon as possible.
Even in the face of desperate conditions, including frost, disease, inadequate shelter and lack of supplies, von Steuben gave military training and discipline to the citizen soldiers fighting for American independence. In May 1778, Congress approved General Washington’s recommendation to appoint von Steuben
On June 28, 1778, at the Battle of Monmouth, the benefits of von Steuben’s training were evidenced by the American troops opposing the British Army. The heroic American performance, a turn in the tide of the war, is attributed in large part to the work of von Steuben. Colonel Alexander Hamilton, an eyewitness, declared that von Steuben’s system of drilling, reviews and inspection imbued the officers and soldiers with the confidence that, from now on, they were on equal ground with the armies of the enemy.
Von Steuben was instrumental in further American victories, including the defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781, where the Baron received the overture of capitulation from the British General Cornwallis. During 1778-1779, von Steuben prepared a complete set of regulations for Continental troops, the “Blue Book”, which became the United States Army training manual. In 1783, von Steuben became an American citizen. In 1784, von Steuben was discharged from the military with honor and turned his energies to preparing for the defense of New York harbor and designing the plans for a military academy that were later realized at West Point. In 1786, the State of New York, wishing to express its gratitude for his service, granted him 16,000 acres north of the Mohawk River. Von Steuben died on November 28, 1794, and
“Indispensable to the Achievement of American Independence”
Erected 2004 by the Steuben Society of America and the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield in grateful recognition of his valiant service to America in her struggle for liberty.
Erected 2004 by Steuben Society of America and the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers • War, French and Indian • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1778.
Location. 40° 15.793′ N, 74° 19.179′ W. Marker is in Manalapan Township, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker is in Monmouth Battlefield State Park, near the Visitor Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Englishtown NJ 07726, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. D’Annae: A French, Swedish-Style 4-pounder (within shouting distance of this marker); Monmouth Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Molly Pitcher (within shouting distance of this marker); Monmouth Battlefield State ParkCombs Hill Cannonade (about 400 feet away); Mary Hays, nicknamed “Molly Pitcher" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle at the Parsonage (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hold the Hedgerow! (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manalapan Township.
Also see . . .
1. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. Bergen County Historical Society website entry (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. The Battle of Monmouth. New Jersey During the Revolution website entry (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,026 times since then and 138 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 22, 2008, by R. C. of College Station, Texas. 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 5. submitted on June 15, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 6. submitted on April 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 7. submitted on April 22, 2008, by R. C. of College Station, Texas. 8, 9, 10. submitted on January 5, 2009, by R. C. of College Station, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.