October 9

Casimir Pulaski

October 9, 1779 - Savannah

Casimir Pulaski came from Poland to fight in the American Revolution and is one of only seven people to be granted honorary U.S. citizenship.

Pulaski was born an aristocrat in Warsaw in 1745. He first led men in battle as a freedom fighter in Poland.

After meeting Ben Franklin in France, he came to America in 1777 and joined Washington's Army at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. As a brigadier general, he established Pulaski's Legion, a highly trained cohesive cavalry unit that acted as shock troops in battle. Washington sent Pulaski south to help liberate Savannah from British occupation.

While leading his legion into the heavily fortified British entrenchments, Pulaski was mortally wounded by a grapeshot.

His exact burial site has been disputed. When Savannah renovated the Pulaski Monument in Monterey Square in 1996, it exhumed the body long thought to be his.

Though DNA tests were inconclusive, the man hailed as the father of the American Cavalry was reburied under the restored monument in 2005 on the anniversary of the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779, Today in Georgia History.