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Casimir Pulaski
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Military Personnel
    (March 6, 1745-October 11, 1779)
    Born in Warsaw, Poland
    Polish noble
    Founding member of the Bar Confederacy opposing Russian domination of Poland
    Went into exile in the United States
    Joined the Continental Army as a cavalry officer
    Promoted to brigadier general (1777)
    Fatally wounded during the siege of Savannah
    Known as 'Father of the American Cavalry'
    There is debate over whether he was born on March 6 or March 4, in 1745 or 1747 or 1748, and in Warsaw or in Warka, Poland.
    He had to leave Poland after being charged with regicide for participating in a plot to abduct the king of Poland (1771).
    His tenure as commander of the Continental Army's cavalry lasted less than a year (September, 1777-March, 1778), due to his imperious personality and his lack of fluency in English which complicated delivering orders.
    Most modern historians doubt he actually tried to kidnap the Polish king.
    During the Battle of Brandywine, he led a charge against the flanking British army that allowed George Washington and the army to escape (September 11, 1777).
    After being removed as commander of the cavalry, he was allowed to raise his own legion, which a British officer described as 'the best damned cavalry the rebels ever had.'
    He used his personal finances to equip the legion when money from the Continental Congress was scarce.
    The US Congress passed a resolution declaring October 11 'General Pulaski Memorial Day,' to honor Pulaski and Polish-American heritage (1929).
    He became the seventh person named an honorary United States citizen (2009).

Credit: C. Fishel

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