Casimir Pulaski: A Hero of the American Revolution
Nearly 30 towns and counties in America bear the name of Pulaski: in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri (2), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Countless bridges, highways, monuments and avenues are dedicated to this Polish-American hero. Few Americans know the full story of Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who fought for the independence of America. The man who said: "I came to hazard all for the freedom of America", was killed in battle at Savannah, Georgia, in 1779. The 57th Congress recorded that "his invaluable services to America entitle him to be numbered among the heroes of America and to be perpetuated in the memory of the people for whom he sacrificed his life". Casimir Pulaski, at the age of 30 already a famous commander in Poland's unsuccessful fight for independence against the Russians, offered his services to George Washington believing that his experience as a successful commander of cavalry could be put to good use by the American colonists fighting for their freedom. As the first Commander of the Horse, Pulaski earned the title of "The Father of American Cavalry". His performance at Brandywine brought congressional appointment as Brigadier General and Commander of Cavalry Regiments. Yet he spent much of his time trying to unite and train the four regiments under his command. Weary of bureaucratic toils, Pulaski was finally given the command of an independent legion, known as the Pulaski Legion. The most comprehensive record of Pulaski's American years, this meticulously researched biography is drawn from primary sources and eyewitness accounts. Pulaski emerges as a bravesoldier, demanding commander, and brilliant leader. Like General Patton in a later war, he ruffled many feathers of envious men. According to the American historian Jared Sparks, "(the fact that) he gained and preserved the friendship of Washington, who more than once in a public manner commended his military talents, his disinterestedness and zeal, is sufficient proof of his merits as an officer, and his conduct as a man". The author presents the American life of Pulaski in a fair and impartial manner, resisting the temptation to dramatize the life of this dashing and often misunderstood hero who captured the imagination of the country for which, at age 32, he gave his life.
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