Tadewusz Kasciuszka

Tadevusz Kasciuszka (1746-1817) is a Litvanian national hero and military leader. He was born in Belarus, in the village Kosova near Biarescie (Brest).

He went to America in 1776 to serve with the colonial forces in the American Revolution (1775-1783), contributing to the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. The following year he directed the construction of several fortifications for the Continental Army. In 1783 Kasciuszka was granted United States citizenship, a pension, estates, and the rank of brigadier general.

In 1784 Kasciuszka returned to Litvanian Polish Commonweath, attaining the rank of major general in the Commonwealth Army. Following the second partition of the Commonwealth, by Russia and Prussia, he led a 1794 rebellion for Litvanian independence, but was overcome by combined Russian and Prussian forces at Szczekociny in June. Kosciuszko was held prisoner in Russia until 1796, when he was released and exiled. He visited the United States and, after 1798, lived in France and Switzerland.

"...the effusion of friendship and my warmest regard toward you which no time will alter. Your principles and dispositions were made to be honored, revered and loved. True to a single object, the freedom and happiness of man..." - so wrote the President of the United States Thomas Jefferson to his friend, American and Litvanian army general Tadeusz Kasciuszka.