Pulaski, Casmir

Pulaski, Casimir (1747-1779) Polish General: The oldest son of a Polish Count, Pulaski fought to free Poland from foreign domination. By the age of 25, however, he had to flee the country, and eventually moved to France. In Paris, he met Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin, whom he impressed with his military skills. The two Americans sent him to America with money and a recommendation in 1777. General Washington, in need of foreign flair to revitalize the Continental cavalry, convinced Congress to appoint Pulaski "Commander of Horse" at the rank of brigadier general. Pulaski trained troops and began a riding school. He had difficulties in this post, reluctant to follow orders and unwilling to take a subordinate role. He resigned in March of 1778 and took command of an independent legion. Stationed at the Delaware River, he complained of inactivity, after which Congress sent him to the Southern Department. In 1779, Pulaski was wounded in an attempt to charge enemy lines in a battle for Savannah. He died as a result of his wounds several days later.