July 24, 2024


In the next installment of in our Dusty Shelves series, “Building the Continental Army: Von Steuben’s ‘Blue Book’,” Jack Giblin and Jacqueline E. Whitt tell the story behind the Continental Army’s first training manual. Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian Army officer who volunteered to come to the American colonies and serve as inspector general for the Continental Army. His book, entitled Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States would become the standard U.S. Army drill manual through 1812.



You may also download a copy of the podcast here.

Click here to access a full PDF version of the Blue Book (warning: 26MB!). Or, click here to access the Blue Book at the U.S. Library of Congress, which allows access to individual pages.


Jack Giblin is the Chief of Visitor and Education Services at the Army Heritage and Education Center. Jacqueline E. Whitt is Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and WAR ROOM podcast editor. The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Image: Portrait extracted from “Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben,” by Ralph Earl 1786 (public domain) via the U.S. National Park Service. Inside cover of the Blue Book from the U.S. Army website. Composite assembled by Tom Galvin.


Posts in the “Dusty Shelves” series:


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