The New International Encyclopædia/Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel

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The New International Encyclopædia
Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel
Edition of 1905. See also Peter Muhlenberg on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MUHLENBERG, John Peter Gabriel (1746-1807). A Lutheran preacher and leader in the Revolutionary War, son of Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg (q.v.). He was born at Trappe, Pa., October 1, 1740, and sent to the University of Halle to be educated, but ran away, and passed a year as a private in the dragoons. Returning to America, 1766, he studied for the Lutheran ministry; was called to Virginia, 1771; to have a legal standing as a clergyman there, went to England, 1772, and was onlained by the Bishop of London; in same year was settled at Woodstock, Va. Soon after the beginning of the Revolutionary War, he told his congregation that there was a time to preach and a time to fight, and at the close of the services he threw off his gown, showing himself in full uniform, and read from the pulpit his commission as colonel. He had the drummers strike up for volunteers, and many of his congregation volunteered and joined his regiment, the Eighth Virginia, popularly known as the German regiment, afterwards noted for its courage and good discipline. In 1774 he was a member of the House of Burgesses, and served on the committee of safety, and two years later he sat in the State convention. He participated in the fighting at Charleston in 1776, and was made brigadier-general the following year, and placed in coniniand of the Virginia line. He took part in the battles of the Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, and in the capture of Stony Point. He defended Virginia against the expeditions of Leslie and Arnold, and was commander-in-chief there till the arrival of Steuben. Upon the invasion of Virginia by Cornwallis, he was next in command to Lafayette, and at the siege of Yorktown he was in command of the first brigade of light infantry. He retired at the close of the war with the rank of major-general. Soon after, he settled in Pennsylvania. He served in Congress in 1789-91, 1793-95, and 1799-1801. In the latter year he was chosen United States Senator, but resigned when Congress met to become Supervisor of Revenue for the District of Pennsylvania, and in 1803 he was appointed Collector of the Port of Philadelphia, in which position he died near Philadelphia, October 1, 1807. Consult his Life by his great-nephew, Henry A. Muhlenberg (Philadelphia, 1849).