Kazimierz Pulaski, sometimes Anglicized as Casimir, was one of the most famous freedom fighters during the beginning of the American Revolution, is the symbol of long-standing friendship between the United States of America and Poland. Together with another Polish fellow, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and his Hungarian friend, Mihaly Kovats, and France’s Marquis Lafayette, they became the pride of America and, for their own country background.
That’s why I still keep something over his memoir…
Yup, that’s Casimir.
Casimir was born in an unclear time at 18th century, most historians agree with his birthday must be over March 4-6th, 1745, although it is under question what ever realistic the source of Pulaski’s birthday. He had never married anyone and his childhood was quite silent.
His military career only began when Poland was at the Bar Confederation’s revolt against the newly elected King, Stanislaw II. He was on the side of the Confederation, which he had to witness Russia began to grab his country. His life had a serious turning point when the 13 colonies of Britain – predecessor of the U.S. – began their uprising against the British Government. He volunteered himself on the war and he came to the U.S. and assisted many revolutionary fighters of 13 colonies against Britain.
The most famous one must be the battle of Savannah, where Casimir took part in. On the time when the British force surrounded the region, knowing that the Americans would lose anytime, Casimir charged and ran into the British line. He was shot and wounded, and later, he died after the battle ended in favor for the British. His sacrifice was remembered by many Americans as a martyrdom of American nation.
His death had a serious impact to the U.S. – for the Americans, they had lost a gentleman, a hero. For the Poles, they lost another freedom fighter, which would be subsequently followed with later partitions of Poland. His death galvanized Americans to join force, and they finally pushed the British out of their shores, established what would be, today the United States of America.
On the other side, Tadeusz Kosciuszko was also important as well.
Tadeusz was born at 1745. And different a bit with Casimir, his life was quite easier due to long time relationship with many noblemen in Poland. But due to later conflict between Government of King Stanislaw II and the Polish Bar Confederation, he failed to get a stance among them.
His life went to another side when he also traveled to the United States, and fought on the side of 13 colonies against Britain. And his journey wasn’t easy as well.
Over the course of this campaign, Kościuszko was placed in command of building bateaux, siting the location for camps, scouting river crossings, fortifying positions, and developing intelligence contacts. Many of his contributions were instrumental in preventing the destruction of the Southern Army. This was especially so during the famous “Race to the Dan”, when British General Charles Cornwallis chased Greene across 200 miles (320 km) of rough back country in January and February 1781. Thanks largely to a combination of Greene’s tactics, and Kościuszko’s bateaux, and accurate scouting of the rivers ahead of the main body, the Continentals safely crossed each river, including the Yadkin and the Dan. Cornwallis, having no boats, and finding no way to cross the swollen Dan, finally gave up the chase and withdrew back into North Carolina. The Continentals regrouped south of Halifax, Virginia, where Kościuszko had earlier, at Greene’s request, established a fortified depot.
This effort established Kosciuszko’s position. Under Greene, Tadeusz had successfully pushed his efforts stronger and further by enabling the Americans to launch a series of counterattacks against Britain, notably, in Guilford Courthourse. His successes contributed for American independence later, after Pulaski sacrificed himself in the U.S. following the action in Savannah.
But again, his return to Poland faced struggle – conflict with Government, later, had denied his chance. His failed Kosciuszko Uprising, then accusation in the U.S., forcing him to become an exile person. He lost so much, and died alone in Switzerland at 1817.
For Americans whatever, Kosciuszko deserves more than that. He did great deal of helping America, and that’s why the Americans owned him a lot.
In memoir of Americans, they were not American-Polish fighters anymore – they are the gift of God for them. And they defended the rights of people of not just Poland or America, but, for every people in the planet.
Thus, 4th of July, it has more tastes, thanks for Pulaski and Kosciuszko – you’re twice of hero. More than that…