Pulaski, Casimir

Pulaski, Casimir kă´sĭmēr pəlăs´kē [key], Pol. Kazimierz Pułaski käzē´myĕsh po͞olä´skē [key], 1745–1779, 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).

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