Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s February 28, 1778. I’m with Prussian general Baron von Steuben at Valley Forge.
JG: “General, why are you here training our troops?”
BVS: “Your army has a passion and a longing for liberty, but your Yankee soldiers are poorly trained. In my school of the soldier, we’ll create a new American Army, one that is drilled and disciplined.”
A new American Army was created during that miserable winter of 1778 at Valley Forge and it went on to defeat the world’s most powerful army.
Near Westmoreland, New York, the Steuben Memorial reads, “Home and grave of Baron Frederick William von Steuben (1730-1794).
“DRILLMASTER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
“Arriving at Valley Forge in February, 1778, this German-born officer found ‘an army of skeletons… naked, starved, sick, discouraged,” and undisciplined. By day, he drilled them for the victorious campaigns of that summer. By candlelight, he wrote a MANUAL OF ARMS which is still the basis for the discipline of our armed forces.
“‘His services were indispensable to the achievement of American independence.'”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.