General Casimir Pulaski - A Revolutionary War Hero
I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live
or die for it," wrote Casimir Pulaski to George Washington in
a letter in which he offered his military services to America during
the Revolutionary War.
He proved true to his word. At age 32, his heroic
death at the Battle of Savannah on October 11, 1779 was received with
sorrow across the land. General Pulaski's life represents the dedication
of countless Americans of Polish and other ethnic origin to the principles
of personal liberty and independence, which have always defined the
spirit of the United States of America.
Born into a wealthy family in Poland in 1747, Pulaski, as a young man,
fought for freedom from Russia in his homeland until 1771, when he
was exiled to France. In Paris he met American envoy Benjamin Franklin,
who influenced him to help Americans fight for their independence.
was so impressed with Pulaski's abilities during the Battle of Brandywine
Creek that he recommended the Continental Congress appoint
Pulaski as general of the American cavalry.
On July 23, 1777: Pulaski landed in America at Marblehead, near Boston
and after a short stay in Boston he reports to the headquarters of the
commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, George Washington, in
In 1778, Pulaski organized
an independent corps of cavalry and light infantry known as the Pulaski
Legion. It is reported that he spent $50,000 of his own money to help
train and equip his troops.
Since the 1930s, Pulaski's legacy has been celebrated in an annual
Pulaski Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony in Buffalo, New York.
The October parade is organized by the General Pulaski Association
of Western New York, which was founded to preserve the memory and the
legacy of one of America's greatest Revolutionary heroes.