MUHLENBERG, John Peter Gabriel (1746-1807), American
clergyman, who distinguished himself as a general in the American Revolution. Born in Trappe, Pa., he was the son of the German-born minister Henry Muhlenberg (1711-87), who in 1748 organized the first
Lutheran synod in America. In his youth Muhlenberg was apprenticed to a merchant in Halle, Germany, but ran away to join the British infantry in America. Discharged in 1767, he studied for the Lutheran
ministry, served as a pastor in New Jersey and Virginia, and became a preacher of note. In 1775 at the request of George Washington, he raised a German regiment for the Continental army. Soon promoted to
major general, he won respect for his courage in battle and his administrative merits. After the war he moved to Pennsylvania and served three terms in the U.S.
House of Representatives (1789-91, 1793-95, 1799-1801). He sat briefly in the U.S. Senate in 1801, but resigned to become supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania.