Was Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski actually a WOMAN? Shocking discovery suggests the ‘father of American cavalry’ who led the charge against British forces was biologically female
- Georgia Southern University scientists say they made the discovery about General Casimir Pulaski after years of research
- They claim DNA testing and examination of skeletal remains shows Pulaski was biologically female
- A new documentary suggests that Pulaski had an intersex condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- They said Pulaski’s remains showed a female-looking pelvis, as well as a more female facial structure and jaw
- The team’s findings are currently being reviewed by the Journal of Forensic Anthropology
Scientific researchers are arguing that examination of skeletal remains and DNA testing has found that Revolutionary war hero Casimir Pulaski was in fact biologically female
Scientific researchers are arguing that examination of skeletal remains and DNA testing has found that a Revolutionary war hero dubbed ‘the father of the American cavalry’ was in fact biologically female.
Researchers from Georgia Southern University say they made the discovery about General Casimir Pulaski after years of research examining the general’s remains.
Their claims are laid out in a new documentary – The General Was Female? – on the Smithsonian Channel’s America’s Hidden Stories series, which airs next week.
The documentary suggests that Pulaski had an intersex condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
The condition results in genetic females producing excessive amounts of male steroid hormones that can lead to abnormal sexual development and make genitals appear more masculine.
‘That’s pretty much the only way to explain the combination of features that we see,’ Virginia Hutton Estabrook of Georgia Southern University told the Chicago Tribune.
In addition to the female-looking pelvis, researchers say the skeletal remains also had a more female facial structure and jaw.
Researchers from Georgia Southern University say they made the discovery about General Casimir Pulaski after years of research examining the general’s remains, which had been buried at a memorial dedicated to him in Savannah, Georgia
Chatham County coroner Dr. James C. Metts Jr. holds the skull believed to be that of General Casimir Pulaski. Metts went to Pulaski’s native Poland to collect DNA from a descendent to make a positive identification
Backing up their claims, researchers said extensive DNA testing provided a match between the remains and Pulaski’s grand-niece.
They also said the skeleton showed evidence of horseback riding, that he was of a similar height and had a battle wound injury that Pulaski suffered.
Pulaski, who was born in Poland in 1745, fought against Russia before later making his way to America to join the revolution and lead the charge against British forces.
Historians say Pulaski likely saved George Washington’s life during one battle by stalling British forces.
He died in 1779 at the age of 34 fighting a battle in Savannah.
Pulaski was initially buried on a Savannah plantation before his remains were dug up and buried at a memorial dedicated to him in one of the city’s squares in 1854.
How a Polish commander became the ‘father of the American cavalry’
A 19th-century monument to Polish soldier and military commander Casimir Pulaski in Savannah, Georgia
Casimir Pulaski was a Polish nobleman soldier and military commander who has been described as ‘the father of the American cavalry’ – alongside his Hungarian friend Michael Kovats de Fabriczy.
Born in Warsaw in 1745, he was one of the leading Polish military commanders who fought against Russia as part of the Bar Confederation.
After a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski emigrated to North America and joined the Revolutionary War.
Pulaski was accepted into the Continental Army as a volunteer and rose to became a general.
He created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and revolutionized the way the American cavalry operated.
During his distinguished service he even saved the life of George Washington.
While leading a charge against British forces at the Battle of Savannah he was wounded and died.
He was one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship.
Forensic experts are pictured above in 1998 exhuming Casimir Pulaski’s great grandniece in Poland so could make a DNA match to the remains found in Savannah, Georgia
Count Casimir Pulaski statue at Breckling Riverfront Park Little Rock, Arkansas, dedicated to the Polish general
Refurbishment of the equestrian statue of Polish Count Casimir Pulaski in Washington, D.C
The subject of his remains have been a mystery for more than 100 years with some speculating about whether the general was actually ever buried in Savannah or if he was laid to rest at sea.
Permission was eventually granted in 1996 to study the remains buried in the Pulaski Monument.
The initial findings confused scientists when further examination suggested the skeletal remains appeared to be biologically female.
It fueled speculation that the remains did not actually belong to Pulaski.
The research into the general’s bone samples was dropped several years later due to lack of funding for additional DNA testing.
It was taken back up again in 2015 by researchers at the Georgia Southern University and they were given funding by the Smithsonian Channel for the costly DNA lab work.
The team’s findings are currently being reviewed by the Journal of Forensic Anthropology.
A World War I Polish army recruitment poster depicting Casimir Pulaski and Thaddeus Kosciuszko (left) and a bust of the general (right)
An aerial starboard bow view of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine USS Casimir Pulaski named after the famous revolutionary general
Dedications around America to the Revolutionary War war hero Casimir Pulaski
An engraving portrait of Casimir Pulaski
The United States has commemorated Casimir Pulaski’s contributions to the American Revolutionary War with many statues parks, schools, bridges and counties named after the general.
These include the Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey which opened in 1932 and the Pulaski Bridge which links Long Island and Queens, built much later in the early 1990s.
Both the US and his home country of Poland have dedicated war ships to the Revolutionary War hero, with the USS Casimir Pulaski launched in 1964 and the Polish frigate – ORP General Kazimierz Pulaski – produced in 1979.
Fort Pulaski in Cockspur Island, Georgia, near the mouth of Savannah River was also named after the general.
It became the setting for the Battle of Fort Pulaski in 1862 during the American Civil War.
The 112-day siege saw the Confederate-held fort taken by Union forces after a 30-hour bombardment. It has since been turned into a National Monument.
There are Pulaski Parks in Chicago, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Manhattan, Massachusetts, Delaware and Omaha.
Two schools in Wisconsin – Pulaski High School and Casimir Pulaski High School – have both been named after the cavalryman.
Numerous streets around the US bear his name including in Brooklyn and a neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago.
Pulaski County in Indiana and another in Arkansas were named in tribute to him.
The Count Casimir Pulaski statue at Breckling Riverfront Park, Little Rock, Arkansas also commemorates his actions during the Revolutionary War along with an equestrian statue to Washington DC.
In 1879, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death, Henri Schoeller composed ‘A Pulaski March’.
A monument in Monterey Square, Savannah, Georgia, not far from the battlefield where Pulaski lost his life in 1779 was erected in the 19th-century.