There are many important “details” of the American story our teachers and history books “neglected” to tell us about when we were in school: the near genocide of Native Americans; internment of Japanese Americans during WW II; contributions and discoveries by women, Americans of color… American women of color. So it’s not surprising to learn that a significant piece of LGBT American history dating back to the Revolutionary War has been “swept into the closet.”
Meet Revolutionary War hero, Baron von Steuben, an openly gay Prussian military expert who stepped in and turned the ragtag colonial patriots into the Continental Army trained to fight in battle, and win.
Von Steuben is credited with instilling the military essentials of drills, tactics, and discipline which he later wrote down as Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. Commonly referred to as the “Blue Book,” it served as the standard drill manual for the US military for nearly a century.
During the final years of the Revolutionary War, Von Steuben served as George Washington’s Chief of Staff.
LGBTs know we’ve always been part of America’s history. Now we know our place was literally at the right hand of the Father of our Country, George Washington; and it didn’t matter that the man was a homosexual.
For a more in depth profile of Baron von Steuben and his role in American history read
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(Portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, by Charles Willson Peale)