After Valley Forge

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Baron von Steuben remained an important officer in the Continental Army until the end of the war. He grew weary of his role as drillmaster and yearned for a fighting command. Washington found him more useful as a spokesman for the army’s needs before Congress. In 1780, when Washington’s great lieutenant Nathanael Greene took command of the shattered Southern Department, Washington sent Steuben with him to help reorganize the battered Southern army. At Yorktown, Washington put him in charge of one of the American divisions, utilizing his experience in siege warfare. The states of Pennsylvania and New York made Steuben an American citizen and New York gave him 16,000 acres of land in the Mohawk Valley, near Utica. Nevertheless, his casual attitude toward money got him into financial difficulties until the federal Congress granted him a $2,500 annual pension. He died in 1794 in the log cabin he had built on his New York acres, his devoted aide Benjamin Walker at his side.