Tadeusz Kościuszko, multinational war hero

Feb. 4, 2012

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- On this day in 1746, Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko was born in Mereczowszczyzna, present day Kosavs, Belarus. He was a general during the American Revolution from 1776-1783, and a military leader during the Kościuszko Uprising against imperial Russia.

Through his actions, he became a national hero in not only the United States, but Poland, Lithuania and Belarus; three of the 51 countries within U.S. Army Europe’s area of responsibility.

In 1765 he attended Korpus Kadetow, which translates to “Corps of Cadets,” a Poland based military college that trained new officers. The Corps of Cadets was shut down after the Kościuszko Uprising and later reestablished as the University of Warsaw. At Korpus Kadetow, Kościuszko learned about engineering, world history, languages and law.

In 1775, Kościuszko learned about the first victories of the American Revolution while in Paris, France and shortly after sailed over to the colonies where he presented the Continental Congress with a memorial and began volunteer work. In Oct. 1776 he was commissioned as a colonel and sent to work in Pennsylvania where he was assigned as an engineer and assisted in the construction of several fortifications throughout the U.S.

For his unwavering dedication to the Declaration of Independence and the cause of the Continental Army he was promoted to brigadier general by U.S. Congress in 1783.

His devotion to the Continental Army and his engineering knowledge helped the U.S. gain independence and brought the ideas of the Constitution to life.

Take our quiz on contributions made to the U.S. by European nations in U.S. Army Europe’s 51-country area of responsibility.

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