The Fighting Parson of the American Revolution: A Biography of General Peter Muhlenberg


By Edward W. Hocker

Contains brief illustrations

191 pages



A Biography of General Peter Muhlenberg, Lutheran Clergyman, Military Chieftain and Political Leader

Originally published in 1936

Major General Peter Muhlenberg, born in Trappe, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, was one of the more effective military leaders during the American Revolution, rising to the rank of Major General at war’s end. Known for the “Muhlenberg Myth,” the young minister, then from Woodstock, Virginia, rallied his parishioners to the cause and then led many of them into battle, though he likely never wore his military uniform in the church. Loyal to George Washington to the last, it was Muhlenberg, a Lutheran minister, who arranged for the official memorial service to be at Zion’s Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. Non-partisan in his politics, Muhlenberg served in the Congress and worked with both Federalists and Jeffersonians. Peter Muhlenberg was one of two Pennsylvanians honored in Statuary Hall in the Capitol building. For many years, his story has inspired Pennsylvania Germans and deserves to be remembered for posterity. 


  • Checkered Youth: The Family of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg—Pennsylvania in Peter Muhlenberg’s Youth—Sent Abroad to be Educated—The Myth of His Wild Youth.
  • In the Ministry: A Popular Preacher—Pastor in New Jersey—His Marriage—A Call from Virginia—Ordained in the Church of England.
  • Service in the American Revolution: A Leader in the Patriot Cause—The Pastor Becomes a Colonel—A Theme for Poets—The German Regiment in Service—In South Carolina and Georgia—Promotion to Brigadier General—The Battle of Brandywine—War-time Experiences at Trappe—The Battle of Germantown—Whitemarsh and Valley Forge Camps—His Loyalty Tested—Aids Christopher Sauer—Military Activities in 1778 and 1779—Takes Command in Virginia—The Yorktown Campaign—Final Scenes of the War—Muhlenberg Memorials in Woodstock.
  • Political and Civic Career: A Journey to the Wilds of Kentucky—In the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania—Elected to Congress—Pennsylvania Politics—War with France Threatened—The Perkiomen Bridge Lottery—His Home at Trappe—Chosen United States Senator—Appointed to Federal Offices—President of the German Society—Aids the Movement for English Lutheran Churches—His Last Days—Statue in the National Capitol.
  • Distinguished Members of the Muhlenberg Family: Frederick A. Muhlenberg—The Reverend Henry E. Muhlenberg and His Descendants—Other Branches of the Family.
  • Afterword by Lawrence Knorr
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Additional information

Weight .7 lbs
Dimensions 5 × .8 × 7 in