Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Virtual War Museum >> Revolutionary War Hall >> Thaddeus Kosciusko

The Seven Flags of the New Orleans Tri-Centennial

For More Information go to New Orleans 300th Birthday


Thaddeus Kosciusko


Polish general and patriot

Thaddeus Kosciusko - Polish Patriot - A Klos Family Project


Click on an image to view full-sized


KOSCIUSZKO, Tadeusz (THADDEUS) (kos-se-us'-ko), Polish patriot, born near Novogrndek, Lithuania, 12 February, 1746; died in Solothurn, Switzerland, 15 October, 1817. He was descended from a noble Lithuanian family, studied at the military academy of Warsaw, and, completing his education in France at the expense of the state, returned to Poland, entered the army, and rose to the rank of captain. An unrequited passion for the daughter of the Marquis of Lithuania induced him to leave Poland in 1775 and offer his assistance to the Americans in their war for independence. The number of foreign auxiliary officers had become numerous, and Washington had complained to congress, in October, 1776, that he was unable to employ many of them, owing to their ignorance of English.

Kosciuszko, however, arrived with letters of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin to Washington, who inquired what he could do. " I come to fight as a volunteer for American independence," answered Kosciuszko. "What can you do?." asked Washington. "Try me," was the reply. He received his commission as a colonel of engineers on 18 October, 1776, and repaired to his post with the troops under General Gates, who described him as "an able engineer, and one of the best and nearest draughtsmen that he ever saw." and selected him for the northern service, ordering him, "after he had made himself thoroughly acquainted with the works, to point out where and in what manner the best improvements and additions could be made thereto."

Kosciuszko therefore planned the encampment and post of Gates's army at Berets Heights, near Saratoga, from which, after two well-fought actions, Burgoyne found it impossible to dislodge the Americans. Kosciuszko was subsequently the principal engineer in executing the works at West Point. He became one of Washington's adjutants, and aided General Nathanael Greene in the unsuccessful siege of Ninety-Six, receiving for his services the thanks of congress and the brevet of brigadier-general, 13 October, 1783. One of Washington's latest official acts was to intercede with congress for the bestowal of these honors. He was also made a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

At the end of the war he returned to Poland, where he lived several years in retirement. When the Polish army was reorganized in 1789, he was appointed a major-general, and fought in defense of the constitution of 3 May, 1791, under Prince Poniatowski, against the Russians. He was in the battle of Zielence, 18 June, 1792, and in that of Dubienka, 17 July, 1792, where, with only 4,000 men, he kept 15,000 Russians at bay for six hours, making his retreat without great loss. But the patriots were overwhelmed by numbers, and when King Stanislas submitted to the second partition of Poland, Kosciuszko resigned his commission and retired to Leipsic, where he received from the national assembly the citizenship of France. He determined to make a second effort for Poland, and a rising of his countrymen was secretly planned. Kosciuszko was elected dictator and general-in-chief.

On 24 March, 1794, he suddenly appeared in Cracow, issued a manifesto against the Russians, and hastily collected a force of about 5,000 peasants, armed mostly with scythes. At Raclawice he routed a Russian corps that was almost twice as strong, and returned in triumph to Cracow. He committed the conduct of government affairs to a national council that was organized by himself, and after receiving re-enforcements moved forward in quest of the Russian army. The march was opposed by the king of Prussia at the head of 40,000 men, and Kosciuszko, whose force was only 13,000, was defeated at Szczekociny, 6 June, 1794.

Unable to check the prevailing anarchy, Kosciuszko resigned his dictatorship and retired with his army to Warsaw, and defended it against the Prussians and Russians, whom he compelled to raise the siege. Austria now took part against him with 150,000 men, and he was routed at Maciejowice, 10 October, 1794. Kosciuszko fell covered with wounds, he was imprisoned in St. Petersburg for two years, until the death of Catherine, when the Emperor Paul gave him his liberty, with many marks of esteem. The czar, in releasing him, offered him his sword, but Kosciuszko refused to accept it, saying, "I have no need of a sword; I have no country to defend." Subsequently his countrymen in the French army of Italy presented him with the sword of John Sobieski.

On crossing the Russian frontier he returned to the czar the patent of his pension and every testimonial of Russian favor, and passed the rest of his life in retirement. He visited the United States in 1797, where he was received with distinction, and obtained from congress a grant of land, in addition to the pension that he had received after the Revolutionary war. He then resided in Fontainebleau until 1814, engaged in agriculture. When Napoleon was about to invade Poland in 1806 he wished to employ Koseiuszko, who, being under parole not to fight against Russia, refused to enlist, and the proclamation to the Poles that appeared in the "Moniteur" under his name in 1806 he declared to be a forgery. In 1816 he removed to Solothurn, Switzerland, and in the following year sent a deed of manumission to all the serfs on his Polish estate. His death was caused by a fall from his horse over a precipice.

The Emperor Alexander had him interred beside Poniatowski and Sobieski in the cathedral of Cracow, near which city the people raised to his memory a mound 150 feet high, the earth of which was brought from every great battle-field of Poland. From a fancied resemblance to this mound the loftiest mountain in Australia has received the name of Mount Kosciuszko. A monument of white marble, designed by John H. B. Latrobe, and represented in the illustration, was erected to his memory at West Point by the United States military academy cadet corps of 1828, at a cost of $5,000. See Chodzko's " Histoire militaire, politique et privee de Kosciuszko" (Paris, 1837); and Falkenstein's "Leben Kosciuszko's" (Leipsic, 1825).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Start your search on Thaddeus Kosciusko.

The Congressional Evolution of the United States Henry Middleton

Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Research Links

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution of the United States of America

    Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
    Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

  • Search:

    About Us



    Image Use

    Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here


    Historic Documents

    Articles of Association

    Articles of Confederation 1775

    Articles of Confederation

    Article the First

    Coin Act

    Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence

    Emancipation Proclamation

    Gettysburg Address

    Monroe Doctrine

    Northwest Ordinance

    No Taxation Without Representation

    Thanksgiving Proclamations

    Mayflower Compact

    Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    Treaty of Versailles

    United Nations Charter

    United States In Congress Assembled

    US Bill of Rights

    United States Constitution

    US Continental Congress

    US Constitution of 1777

    US Constitution of 1787

    Virginia Declaration of Rights


    Historic Events

    Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of Yorktown

    Cabinet Room

    Civil Rights Movement

    Federalist Papers

    Fort Duquesne

    Fort Necessity

    Fort Pitt

    French and Indian War

    Jumonville Glen

    Manhattan Project

    Stamp Act Congress

    Underground Railroad

    US Hospitality

    US Presidency

    Vietnam War

    War of 1812

    West Virginia Statehood

    Woman Suffrage

    World War I

    World War II


    Is it Real?

    Declaration of

    Digital Authentication
    Click Here


    America’s Four Republics
    The More or Less United States

    Continental Congress
    U.C. Presidents

    Peyton Randolph

    Henry Middleton

    Peyton Randolph

    John Hancock


    Continental Congress
    U.S. Presidents

    John Hancock

    Henry Laurens

    John Jay

    Samuel Huntington


    Constitution of 1777
    U.S. Presidents

    Samuel Huntington

    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin


    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party

    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party

    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party

    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

    Please Visit

    Forgotten Founders
    Norwich, CT

    Annapolis Continental
    Congress Society

    U.S. Presidency
    & Hospitality

    © Stan Klos





    Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum