The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


Thaddeus Kosciuszko (1746-1817)
(portrait -- 104k)

Thaddeus Kosciuszko, son of an impoverished member of the Polish gentry, arrived in America in the summer of 1776. Trained in France as a military engineer, he worked briefly on Philadelphia's defenses before receiving a commission as a colonel of engineers in the Continental army. Between March 1778 and June 1780, he was engaged in fortifying West Point. He later played a key role in NG's southern campaigns.
In recognition of his services, he was made a brigadier general in 1783. After the war, he returned to his native Poland. When that country was invaded by Russia in 1792, he began a struggle to regain Polish independence that would dominate the rest of his life, the last twenty years of which he spent in exile. (DAB; see also Miecislaus Haiman, Kosciuzko in the American Revolution [New York: Polish Institure of Arts and Sciences in America, 1943].)
Excerpted from PGNG 5: 321n and 6: 515n.