Thank You for our Freedom Poland

With President Trump’s visit to Poland, maybe it’s time I told you about what Poland means to America. Since public schools won’t tell you, it’s up to old Gene McVay to step up.

General George Washington would have been killed during the Revolutionary War if it were not for Casimir Pulaski who was born in Winiary, some 40 miles south of Warsaw in 1745. The story of how a Polish boy became the father of the American Cavalry might interest you?

Pulaski’s father, Joseph, was the owner of eight villages and towns as well as over one hundred farms with businesses across the entire country. The Pulaski family was Catholic. Sometimes Joseph was gone for weeks at a time. The sight of his father’s carriage rolling toward home always brought Casimir galloping on horseback as fast as he could to meet his father. At that time, the threat to villages was the Cossacks who were pirates on horseback. They were swooping down from Russia and raiding small villages.

As Casimir grew older, he asked his father why the Polish Army couldn’t stop the evil Cossacks.

The answer was simple, the Polish Army had become too weak.

Pulaski became one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of the Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he was driven into exile. Following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski immigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War.

Upon arrival in America, Pulaski wrote this in a letter to General Washington, “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.”

Pulaski met with Washington in his headquarters in Neshaminy Falls, outside of Philadelphia and showed off his riding skills. He also argued for the superiority of cavalry over infantry. Because Washington was unable to grant him an officer rank, Pulaski spent the next few months traveling between General Washington and the United States Congress in Philadelphia, awaiting his appointment.

His first military engagement against the British occurred before he received a commission, on September 11, 1777, at the Battle of Brandywine. When the Continental Army troops began to yield, he reconnoitered with Washington’s bodyguards of about 30 men, and reported that the enemy was endeavoring to cut off the line of retreat. Washington ordered him to collect, as many as possible, the scattered troops who came his way, and employ them according to his discretion to secure the retreat of the army.

His subsequent charge averted a disastrous defeat of the Continental Army, earning him fame in America and saving the life of George Washington. As a result, on September 15, 1777, on the orders of Congress, Washington made Pulaski a brigadier general in the Continental Army. At that point, the cavalry was only a few hundred men strong organized into four regiments. These men were scattered among numerous infantry formations, and used primarily for scouting duties. Pulaski immediately began work on reforming the cavalry, and wrote the first regulations for the formation.

General Pulaski distinguished himself throughout the revolution and created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion while reforming the American cavalry as a whole. At the Battle of Savannah, while leading a daring charge against British forces, he was gravely wounded, and died shortly thereafter.

Pulaski has been remembered as a hero who fought for independence and freedom both in Poland and in the United States. Numerous places and events are named in his honor, and he is commemorated by many works of art. Pulaski is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. He never married and had no descendants.

The Winiary mansion where Pulaski was born was designed by Vincent Augustine Locci and now serves as the Pulaski Museum.

The Polish Museum of America in Chicago is the crown jewel of the Polish-American community and one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States.

What does America owe to Generals Pulaski and Lafayette? Just our Freedom, that’s all. I have no doubt that America would have lost the Revolutionary war without them.

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One Response to “Thank You for our Freedom Poland”

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

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