Casimir Pulaski was hard core revolutionary that just didn’t know when to quit. Outnumbered, outgunned, it didn’t matter. He was like a vicious badger that would start biting the ankle of a grizzly.
This musket-era Rambo was born in Poland in 1745 where his father was a well known and liked noble. The problem was that Russia was sleeping on Poland’s couch, eating all their food and not going away. (It seems Russia has a bad habit of occupying Poland. Jerks.) Well, Pulaski didn’t like the Russians telling Poles what to do and said, I paraphrase here, “I’m sick of this Russian crap.” He gathered his Polish Noble buddies and formed a political party to oust the Ruskies. Well, the Russians didn’t really listen so Pulaski took up his musket and went on the war path. He launched a revolution against the Russians and was quite successful for a while until he found himself surrounded by an army much larger than his own.
Pulaski fought them off for a while but eventually even he had to succumb to overwhelming numbers and was captured. The Russians made him promise not to fight them again. He said, “Sure! No problemo!” and went home, grabbed another rifle from his gun safe and went back to fighting. He fought the Russians for a while and got besieged again in an old fortress, fought them off for a while but saw that it was doomed, so he burst out of the fortress like Shakespere saying “Let slip the dogs of war!” and broke through the Russian lines and led his men to safety. Then he found himself greatly outnumbered in yet another siege, but wait! This one’s different. Instead of an old fort, it was an old monastery. Oh, and he actually won this time! He beat the Russian horde and sent them packing.
Then our man Pulaski was accused of organizing a plot to kidnap the Polish king and slap him around a bit, but he didn’t really have anything to do with it. That didn’t stop them from declaring him public enemy #1. So, he, like generations of unwanted would do in the future, he fled to America.
He was recruited by Benjamin Franklin and Pulaski wrote to General Washington and said, “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.” Spoken like a true revolutionary! It seemed that he didn’t care where he was fighting as long as he could fight on the side of freedom, liberty and justice! If he had super powers he’d be a friggin’ super hero.
At the Battle of Brandywine the Revolutionary Army suffered a major defeat and was in retreat. Back in those days, retreating is when most casualties were incurred. So this was a dangerous situation for the Americans. Pulaski gathered what troops he could and led a daring cavalry charge that held off the British and saved Washington’s life. For this he was promoted to general. I guess if you save George Washington’s life you get to be a general. Fair trade. As a former cavalryman myself, I appreciate this story. Hooah for the Cav!
He went on to win a bunch more battles, kept Washington from being ambushed and basically killed everything wearing red that he laid eyes on.
However, there was a problem. He knew enough English to call for a taxi, order pizza and as where the bathroom was. This and the fact that he wasn’t American, caused his lesser American officers to ignore him too often so he gave them the metaphorical middle finger and formed his own military unit made up of foreigners, criminals, deserters and killers. He fashioned a unit of light infantry and lancers after the European model. They went on to start kicking some serious British butt. When the Continental Congress stopped paying them he paid his troops with his own money. He lived up to the Revolution’s pledge of sacrificing their “Life, fortune and sacred honor.”
At one time a former German mercenary (Hessian) under his command told the British where he was hiding and the British went to ambush him, but Pulaski heard them coming with his eagle powers and counterattacked them with another daring charge.
Then the devil went down to Georgia and began his black powdered bliztkrieg against the British. He captured a fort or two, helped a few battles and became commander of all American and French cavalry. Then in a battle outside of Charleston South Carolina, he finally met his match, Due to having the Juggernaut perk, it took a direct shotgun blast to deplete his hit points. He was carried off the battle and died a few days later.
This man single handidly saved the revolution, sacrificed everything he had for the cause of freedom and founded the American tradition of fast attack.
Cities, towns and counties are named after him but this seems a pale reward for a man that served so boldly and faithfully. He is a man that should be remembered.