Casimir PulaskiChristian, Patriot, and Father of the the American Cavalry
(March 4, 1745 – c. October 11, 1779)
(Note: On November 6, 2009, President Barack Obama signed a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives making Pulaski an American citizen, 230 years after his death)
Casimir Pulaski was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church in Poland shortly after his birth to a noble family on 4 March 1745. When a young man, the Empress of Russia installed her former lover as the regent of Poland. Pulaski's father, with his sons, began a revolt against this interloper and his Russian troops.
Casimir raised a small force, but one that would prove to be effective against the Russians. He named this force, "Knights of the Holy Cross" and each man bore the red crimson cross on his left side and his tartar cap." The knights in several actions between 1768 and 1761 were able to defeat the Russians, and gave Poland its greatest victory at the Monastery at Czestochowa since 1683 when Polish forces defeated the Turks at Vienna.
The Government implicated him in a plot to kidnap the monarch and declared him a traitor. Pulaski fled Poland to seek allies, but he was never to return and his property was eventually taken. He fell into dispair and debt in France, but was eventually referred to General Washington with letters introductory from Benjamin Franklin.
Pulaski served on Washington's staff and led a charge with a small cavalry force at the Battle of Brandywine that was decisive. Congress gave him a commission as a Brigadier. He led the first American dragoon brigade, but resigned due to conflicts with other officers. Congress gave him authority to raise and independent Legion of dragoons in Baltimore, and he brought the force into action in several locations. When the fighting became focused in the south, he took his forces to Charleston, and his aggressive cavalry attacks delayed the British while reinforcements secured the city. He next turned to Savannah for a similar type of defense, but during that battle he was wounded and subsequently died on the USS Wasp. His remains are reportedly interned in Savannah under a monument to him. In 1929 Congress set aside October 11th as General Pulaski Memorial Day
" Standard of Pulaski's Legion - This banner was made by Moravian [Single Sisters] nuns of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and presented to Colonel Casimir Pulaski [by the patriotic women of Baltimore] in 1778 when he organized an independent corps of 68 horse and 200 foot soldiers at Baltimore. Pulaski bore this banner gallantly through many a campaigns until he was mortally wounded at Savannah, on October 9, 1779. His adjutant, though wounded himself, returned the banner to Baltimore where it is preserved at the museum of the Maryland Historical Society. ..."[source unknown]
The banner "is of yellow silk with the letters 'U.S.' in the center and in a circle around them in Latin, 'Union makes valor.' On the reverse side, [with 13 stars surronding a six pointed star-seeing eye set with a triangle, base at the top, with four bombs in the courners of a square border, all in gold in a scarlet field] ... is the motto, also in Latin, "non alius regis" "No other governs." [The Flag of the US by Fredrick Cock Hicks]
Thanks to Centurion Richard of Kansas for this suggested centurion commemoration.