Cavalry Hero: Casimir Pulaski (e)
Casimir Pulaski is most remembered as the dashing Polish cavalry officer who aids the United States’ fight for independence with daring feats of courage and strategy. As a child, already a gifted horseman, he learns from his father Joseph Pulaski, a statesman and landowner, what it means to stand for justice. The love and practical wisdom his mother shares with Casimir and his seven siblings cause him to deeply love his Catholic faith. These two influences converge in his committed enthusiasm to fight for the rights of religious and national freedom. In 1775, after ten unsuccessful years of striving to free Poland from Russia’s oppressive influence upon Polish law and culture, Casimir, falsely accused of treason against the king and exiled from his beloved homeland, travels to France. He convinces Benjamin Franklin of his sincerity in taking up America’s struggle against oppression. Serving under George Washington, Casimir achieves the near impossible feat of building a disciplined Cavalry Legion from American ragtag soldiers. In 1779, the fearless cavalryman dies from wounds after a final blazing charge at the Battle of Savannah—at the age of 32. America’s tribute to Casimir Pulaski’s sacrifice for the sake of freedom is still to be seen in the many places throughout the country that bear his name.