Little Rock Look Back: Birth of Count Pulaski

On March 6, 1745, Casimir Pulaski was born in Poland. A Polish nobleman and military commander he has been called a “father of the American cavalry.”

Born in Warsaw, he followed in his father’s footsteps he became involved in the military and the revolutionary affairs in Poland. Pulaski was one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of Poland. When this uprising failed, he was driven into exile.

Following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski emigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington.

Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed 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 is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. He never married and had no descendants.

Arkansas is one of several states to have a county named in honor of Count Pulaski.  Pulaski County was Arkansas’s fifth county, formed on December 15, 1818.

The bust above was one of several created by Pulaski Federal Savings & Loan to be placed at their locations.  While no one knows what Count Pulaski looked like, it was probably not like that.  This rendering is a purely fictional representation.  This bust is now in Riverfront Park.