General Peter Muhlenberg (Hardback)
A Virginia Officer of the Continental Line
Standing at the pulpit in his church in the Shenandoah Valley, the preacher borrowed from Ecclesiastes, declaring in a firm voice that “To every thing there is a season . . . .” He then announced, “that there is a time to fight, and that time had now come,” and abruptly removed his clerical robe to reveal his colonel’s uniform. There is little doubt that this clergyman-turned-soldier uttered words to this effect, but whether he threw off his robe to reveal a gleaming uniform may be embellishment. In General Peter Muhlenberg: A Virginia Officer of the Continental Line, historian Michael Cecere cuts away the romanticism surrounding this fascinating character to present him as a highly capable and dedicated officer who served for seven long years in America’s War for Independence; a man of faith who held the high ideals of that office in his conduct with fellow officers and regular soldiers alike.
First appointed to lead the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army, Muhlenberg and his troops served under General Charles Lee in the defense of Charleston in 1776. Sent north and promoted to brigadier-general, Muhlenberg participated in the ensuing battles of Brandywine, Germantown, the winter at Valley Forge, and the major clash at Monmouth Courthouse. In 1780, he returned to Virginia and stood at the forefront of Virginia’s defense when the British invaded in 1781. At Yorktown, Muhlenberg commanded the continental light infantry troops that stormed Redoubt No. 10, sealing Cornwallis’s fate. Focusing on the military career of Muhlenberg, the author follows Muhlenberg and his troops as they battled some of the most storied adversaries of the war, including John Graves Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers, Captain Johann Ewald’s German Jaegers, and Banastre Tarleton’s British Legion.
Admired by George Washington and his fellow officers and men, Muhlenberg was an American patriot who sacrificed much for his country’s cause, and truly “lived respected and died regretted by all good men.”