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Location: marengo, il, United States

Monday, March 07, 2005

First Monday in March

Today the state of Illinois (which wasn’t around in 1778, but does have a large Polish population), celebrates Casimir Pulaski Day. The 32 year-old man died aboard a ship at sea from a thigh wound he received from a stray cannonball, way back during the Revolutionary War.

The last federal fort to be built in America, Fort Pulaski, which was named in his honor, is located in Savannah, Georgia. Designed to defend our soil against those pesky Spanish armadas, the citadel never saw action until the Civil War, and then, only briefly. Under siege by a newly-invented rifle cannon located three miles away, the fort wisely surrendered.

Happy day.

13 Comments:

Blogger Gone Away said...

Did Mr Pulaski do anything before he managed to get killed?

2:37 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Besides opposing tyranny?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem", was inspired by the fact that General Pulaski's Legion did in fact march into battle with a silk banner embroidered by sisters at a convent in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

At the battle of Brandywine Creek, where Washington's forces suffered a defeat, Pulaski led a counterattack that covered the retreat of the Americans and helped prevent a military disaster.

At the head of a troop of some 600, Pulaski arrived in Charleston in May 1779, just in time to contribute to its successful defense against a much larger British force. This victory proved pivotal in the war in the South as it broke the British momentum and boosted American morale. Savannah became the fateful goal.

Newly arrived French forces under Admiral Charles Henri d'Estaing together with the Americans planned a risky all out assault on the heavily fortified town. The mission of the Pulaski Legion was to follow in behind the French infantry and break down the enemy's line of defense. But the French got caught in a cross fire, and d'Estaing himself was wounded. Awaiting the proper moment for his cavalry to enter the battle, Pulaski could see the infantry breaking ranks under heavy fire. To try to save the situation, he charged forward into the battle only to be grievously wounded himself.

There will be a test shortly, after which, we must have some tea and a croissant.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

We have a Pulaski Street near here, and there is some kind of war memorial there...don't know who it is, but he has a horse.

One little-known memorial in the town square, a bronze placque on a stone, set inside an iron fence, obscured by some carefully landscaped shrubs, says essentially "Benedict Arnold slept here" (a paraphrase of course). People forget that before he was the great American traitor, he was a great American war hero.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Yes, Casimir is thought to also be the father of the calvery , so pet his steed next time ya go by, Ned.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Keeefer said...

will there be jam or any kind of preserve?

6:41 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Well, naturally, Keeef; just don't expect mar/vegemite.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Hmm.
And here I was thinking this was just an ordinary Monday.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

So, he did a fair amount then.

We have Fort Macon. It has grass planted on top and is sunken in, wouldn't even notice it if it weren't for the signs.

Not really sure who it's named after...

8:57 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Ft. Pulaski still looks like pretty much like it did originally, Rusty. We did the cheap trip to Florida afew years back, which meant avoiding the typical tourist traps (with the exception of Ripley's Believe It or Not), but the highlight for our gang of 3 boys was the free fort in out-of-the-way Savannah. Imagine running through underground brick-lined tunnels, sighting the Atlantic from high walkways, and the best part, investigating creepy dungeons...

10:17 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Hardly, Jay. We know how to party down here at the drop of a hat (or a cannonball).

10:36 PM  
Blogger Keeefer said...

A dropped cannonball often gets em hopping to the beat.

11:17 PM  
Blogger glenniah said...

I'm rather busy hopping about checking up on blogs and such. I may miss the test, however I can pop in for crossiants, I'm rather partial to ham and cheese on mine thanks.
btw I shall bring my own vegemite and maybe a packet of tim tams if you are very nice to me.
Glenni

6:37 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

An Ozzy with a prezzy? And ridgy-didge tim tams? You little ripper! Rock up my cave and lob in on me, Glen.

8:20 AM  

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