Who Was Pulaski in American History?

In American history, Casimir Pulaski is a well-known figure, often referred to as the “Father of the American Cavalry.” Pulaski was a Polish nobleman and military commander who fought alongside the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is remembered for his bravery and contributions to the American cause, particularly in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.

Early Life

Pulaski was born on March 4, 1745, in Warka, Poland. His family was part of the Polish nobility and owned several estates.

From a young age, he showed an interest in military affairs and began training in horsemanship and sword fighting. At the age of 15, he joined his father’s military unit to fight against Russian forces.

Revolutionary War

In 1777, Pulaski traveled to Paris to meet with Benjamin Franklin, who was serving as an ambassador to France at the time. Franklin recognized Pulaski’s military expertise and recommended him to General George Washington. Impressed with Pulaski’s credentials, Washington appointed him as Brigadier General and put him in charge of training troops in cavalry tactics.

Battles of Brandywine and Germantown

At the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, Pulaski led a charge against British forces that allowed Washington’s army to retreat safely. Although this battle was ultimately a loss for the Americans, Pulaski’s bravery earned him praise from his fellow soldiers.

Pulaski continued to fight for the American cause throughout the war. He played a key role in the Battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777. During this battle, he led a successful charge against British forces that helped secure an important victory for Washington’s army.


Despite his contributions to the American Revolutionary War, Pulaski’s life was cut short. On October 11, 1779, he was mortally wounded during the Battle of Savannah. He was later buried at sea.

Today, Pulaski is remembered as a hero and patriot who fought bravely for the American cause. His legacy lives on through various tributes and memorials throughout the United States, including Pulaski Day, which is celebrated annually in several states.

  • Fact: Pulaski County in Virginia is named after Casimir Pulaski.
  • Fact: In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Pulaski with the Congressional Gold Medal.


In conclusion, Casimir Pulaski was an instrumental figure in American history. His contributions to the Revolutionary War helped secure victory for the American cause. Although his life was cut short, his bravery and heroism continue to inspire generations of Americans today.