Col. Louis Cook: Operatic Abenaki, U.S. patriot, devoted Catholic…

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During the cold winter months of February 1778, a 17-year-old Frenchman named Peter Du Ponceau joined the soldiers at the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, encampment of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army. Du Ponceau had arrived with Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a former Prussian military officer who had volunteered to serve in the army and train Washington’s soldiers much like professional European soldiers…