Von Steuben next created a model company and drilled the soldiers himself. They could be used to supplement the written word by demonstrating the maneuvers to the rest of the men, and each would in turn instruct his own unit, with careful corrections given by the Baron. The method worked well - except whenever a complicated march-and-wheel maneuver collapsed into confusion and von Steuben’s meager store of English failed him. He would begin to shout in French and then German, and eventually fall back on the one English word he could always remember: “Goddam! Goddam! Goddam!”
It was during one of these fiascos that a handsome young officer stepped forward and, speaking to the Baron in flawless French, offered his services as an interpreter. “If I had seen an angel from Heaven I should not have more rejoiced,” the Baron later recalled. The angel was Captain Benjamin Walker. Walker was born in London in 1753 but had emigrated at an early age to New York City. He was twenty-five years old when he first met von Steuben, strikingly handsome, self-possessed, and intelligent. Within weeks of appearing as the Baron’s “angel” Walker was appointed as his aide-de-camp."
— William Benemann, Male-Male Intimacy in Early America (via publius-esquire)