Casimir Pulaski

Pulaski, Casimir (kăˈsĭmēr pəlăsˈkē) [key], Pol. Kazimierz Pułaski käzēˈmyĕsh pōläˈskē, c.1748–1779, Polish patriot and military commander in the American Revolution. Born in Podolia of a noble family, he participated with his father in forming (1768) the Confederation of Bar to oppose Russian influence in Poland. In the unsuccessful rebellion against the Russian-dominated king of Poland, Stanislaus II, he gained military fame. After the Confederation was suppressed by Russian troops, he escaped (1772) to Prussia and later to France. There he met Benjamin Franklin, who gave him a letter of recommendation to George Washington. Joining the Revolutionary cause in 1777, he served at Brandywine and Germantown. In 1778 he resigned a cavalry command rather than continue in service under Gen. Anthony Wayne, and he organized his own cavalry unit, the Pulaski Legion, which saw a great deal of service before Pulaski was mortally wounded while leading a cavalry charge in the attack on Savannah.

See biography by D. J. Abodaher (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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