Polish patriot who helped American Revolution honored by renaming American post in Poznan

Army Garrison in Poznan, Poland will soon be renamed Camp Kosciuszko in honor of the Polish general and engineer, a national hero in Poland who aided the United States during the Revolutionary War.”/>

An 1897 portrait of Thaddeus Kosciuszko by Julian Rys. The U.S. Army Garrison in Poznan, Poland will soon be renamed Camp Kosciuszko in honor of the Polish general and engineer, a national hero in Poland who aided the United States during the Revolutionary War. (National Park Service/Independence National Historical Park)

The new Polish army garrison will soon have a new name: Camp Kosciuszko.

Kosciuszko (kosh-choosh-ko) does not come out of the American language and could be directed to simplification at “Camp K” by soldiers. But the moniker brings a freedom-fighting flair to a base now known as Forward Operating Station Poznan.

“We believe Camp Kosciuszko is an appropriate name for this facility because it demonstrates our deep historical ties and our commitment to collective defense,” Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, V Corps commander, said Thursday. “This camp also demonstrates the commitment to Polish and European security.”

Senior Polish officials and the V Corps will hold a ceremony on Saturday to officially name the headquarters, which houses the first permanent US troop presence along NATO’s eastern flank.

President Joe Biden announced in June at the NATO summit in Madrid that the United States would establish a new garrison in Poznan, where the V Corps coordinates army troop movements in Europe.

At the Thaddeus Kosciuszko monument in Lodz, Poland, the Polish hero, right, shakes hands with George Washington.  Kosciuszko fought with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and, as an architect, oversaw the construction of American fortifications.  The American post in Poznan will be renamed Camp Kosciuszko.

At the Thaddeus Kosciuszko monument in Lodz, Poland, the Polish hero, right, shakes hands with George Washington. Kosciuszko fought with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and, as an architect, oversaw the construction of American fortifications. The American post in Poznan will be renamed Camp Kosciuszko. (Michael Abams/Stars and Stripes)

Naming the site after Brig. General Thaddeus Kosciuszko taps into an American and Polish connection dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Kosciuszko, a national hero in Poland known for leading troops in battle against the Russians, also came to the aid of the United States in 1776 when he joined the war effort against the British.

He was made a colonel of engineers and was responsible for strategic fortifications at Saratoga in New York, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

He was also assigned to further reinforce West Point as a defensive position along the Hudson River. There, he created a campus garden that is still maintained at the United States Military Academy.

“Victory Corps is grateful to our Polish allies for recognizing a Polish and American hero for this honor,” Kolasheski said. “Brick. General Kosciuszko was a master at constructing military defenses such as those found at West Point.

Polish and U.S. personnel raise the flag in Poznan, Poland, July 2, 2021. The compound will be renamed Camp Kosciuszko during a ceremony July 30, 2022. Brig.  General Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish national hero, came to the aid of the United States in 1776 when he joined the war effort against the British.

Polish and U.S. personnel raise the flag in Poznan, Poland, July 2, 2021. The compound will be renamed Camp Kosciuszko during a ceremony July 30, 2022. Brig. General Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish national hero, came to the aid of the United States in 1776 when he joined the war effort against the British. (DeLancie Horton/US Army)

After the war, he returned to Poland and fought against Russia and Prussia. In 1794, he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Russians. After his release, he returned to the United States

He struck up a friendship with Thomas Jefferson, and that continued when Kosciuszko returned to Europe through a correspondence that spanned more than 20 years, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

In a letter, Jefferson called Kosciuszko “the purest son of freedom I have ever known”.

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