Casimir Pulaski Monument

Monterey Square

The Casimir Pulaski Monument is a tall statue of a wounded soldier which pays tribute to General Casimir Pulaski, a young Polish nobleman who fell as a hero during the American Revolution. The cornerstone of the Casimir Pulaski Monument was placed during ceremonies on the afternoon of Oct. 11, 1853

Among those present for the occasion were Savannah militia units, local Masonic lodges, and a large number of citizens. William Bowen read the following tribute to Pulaski:

This parchment is to record the laying of the corner-stone of a Monument in the centre of Monterey Square, at the junction of Bull and Wayne streets, (City of Savannah) to the memory of Brigadier-General County Pulaski, who fell mortally wounded by a swivel shot while on a charge at the head of a body of cavalry before the British lines, at the Siege of Savannah, on the ninth day of October, seventeen hundred and seventy-nine.

Count Casimir Pulaski was born in the province of Lithuania, Poland, in the year seventeen hundred and forty-six. Arrived in the United States in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-seven (1777), and volunteered his service to the American Government in the great and glorious cause of Liberty and Freedom from British tyranny -- received a commission from the Government as Brigadier-General of Cavalry, and fought gallantly in the battles of this country at Brandwine, Germantown, Trenton, Charleston, and Savannah. Aged 33.

A wonderful description of the Casimir Pulaski Monument can be found in a letter written by the designer of the monument, Robert E. Launitz, of New York, to the Pulaski Monument commission;

It is perceived at the first glance that the monument is intended for a soldier, who is losing his life fighting. Wounded, he falls from his horse, while still grasping his sword. The date of the event is recorded above the subject. The coat of arms of Poland and Georgia, surrounded by branches of laurel, ornament the cornice of two sides, or fronts; they stand united together; while the eagle, emblem of liberty, independence, and courage, rests on both, bidding proud defiance -- the eagle being the symbolic bird of both Poland and America. The allegory will need no further explanation. The cannon reversed on the corners of the die, are emblematical of military loss and mourning, while they give the monument a strong military character…The monument is surmounted by a state of Liberty, holding the banner of the 'stars and stripes.' The love of liberty brought Pulaski to America; for love of liberty, he fought; and for liberty he lost his life; -- and thus I thought that Liberty should crown his monument, and share with him the crown of victory. The garlands surrounding the column show that Liberty now is a young and blooming maiden, surrounded with fragrant flowers.

The monument is designed to be fifty-five feet high, which, for a square in a city, is of ample height. The two steps and lower plinth to be of granite; and all the rest, of the finest Italian marble, in solid blocks weighing from one to six tons, and to be executed in the most artistical and workmanlike manner; to rest on a solid foundation six feet deep, or more, if the soil requires it.

Source: George White, Historical Collections of Georgia (New York: Pudney & Russell, 1855), pp. 308-312.

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