October 10 in Russian history

One more text written by Mosquito. It's a bit late, but it is my fault, sorry.

October 10, 1794

The Battle of Maciejowice between Poland and Russia.

Polish forces of 6200 men and 23 canons led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko planned to prevent the linking of two larger Russian armies, 12,000 and 55 canons under Iwan Fersen and 12,500 under Alexander Suvorov. Kosciuszko requested the support of general Adam Poniński (who had 4,000 soldiers) too late, Poniński failed to arrive on the battlefield in time. The Russians were victorious, and Kosciuszko was wounded and captured.

It was the last important battle of "Kosciuszko's insurection" which was an attempt to stop Russia and Prussia which were partitioning Poland.

Thaddeus Kosciusko (pol. full name Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko) was a Polish and Lithuanian national hero, general and a leader of the 1794 uprising against the Russian Empire. He fought in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army on the side of Washington. In recognition of his service he was promoted by the Continental Congress to the rank of Brigadier General in 1783, and became a citizen of the United States that same year.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born February 4, 1746, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the teritorry of this what today is Belarus. As a youngster he was educating himself in Paris attending various lectures and the libraries of the military academies. After coming back to Poland he didnt find place for him in the Polish army, which after first partitions of Poland was reduced by Russia, Prussia and Austria to 10.000 soldiers. He came back to Paris where was informed about revolutionary war in the USA and recruited by Benjamin Franklin to Continental Army. Congresscommissioned him a Colonel of Engineers in the Continental Army and soon Kościuszko became head engineer of the Continental Army.

Kościuszko's first task in America was the fortification of Philadelphia. On September 24, 1776, Kościuszko was ordered to fortify the banks of the Delaware River against a possible British crossing. In the spring of 1777 he was attached to the Northern Army under General Horatio Gates. As the chief engineer of the army he commanded the construction of several forts and fortified military camps along the Canadian border. His work made significant contributions to the American successful retreat from the battle of Ticonderoga and victory at Saratoga in 1777. After the battle, Kościuszko, then regarded as one of the best engineers in American service, was put in charge by George Washington of military engineering works at the stronghold in West Point on the Hudson River.

After seven years of service, on October 13, 1783, Kościuszko was promoted by Congress to the rank of Brigadier General. He was also granted American citizenship, 2.5 square kilometres of land in America, and a large sum of money. He used the money to help some black slaves gain their freedom. He was also admitted to the prestigious Society of the Cincinnati, one of only three foreigners allowed to join, and to the American Philosophical Society.

In 1784 Kosciuszko came back to Poland. In 1791 Polish parliament enacted first modern written European consitution, so called constitution of 3rd may. Russia reacted invading Poland with the army of 100.000 soldiers. Kosciuszko fought in the war in defence of constitution and after it was lost in 1792 emigrated to Paris.

On January 13, 1793, Prussia and Russia signed the Second Partition of Poland. After the partition Poland became a small country of 200,000 square kilometres and a population of 4 million.

In June of 1793 Kościuszko prepared a plan of an all-national uprising, mobilisation of all the forces and a war against Russia. The preparations in Poland were slow and he decided to postpone the outbreak. However, the situation in Poland was changing rapidly. The Russian and Prussian governments forced Poland to again disband the majority of her armed forces and the reduced units were to be drafted to the Russian army. Also, in March the tsarist agents discovered the group of the revolutionaries in Warsaw and started arresting notable Polish politicians and military commanders. Kościuszko was forced to execute his plan earlier than planned and on March 15, 1794 he set off for Kraków.

During the Uprising, Kościuszko was made the Naczelnik (Commander-in-Chief) of all Polish-Lithuanian forces fighting against Russian occupation, and issued the famous Proclamation of Połaniec, giving freedom and land to serfs. After initial successes following the Battle of Racławice, he was wounded in the Battle of Maciejowice and taken prisoner by the Russians, who imprisoned him in Saint Petersburg. The Uprising ended soon afterwards with the Massacre of Praga when Russian commander, later great Russian national hero, marshal Suvorov ordered to murder civilian population in Praga - one of disctricts of Warsaw. The city was pillaged and burnt to the ground About 20,000 men, women and children were murdered. Suvorov himself proudly wrote that: "The whole of Praga was strewn with dead bodies, blood was flowing in streams."

In 1796 Paul I tsar of Russia pardoned Kościuszko and set him free. In exchange for his oath of loyalty, Paul I liberated also approximately 20,000 Polish political prisoners held in Russian prisons and forcibly settled in Siberia. Kościuszko emigrated to the United States, but the following year he returned to Europe and in 1798 he settled in Breville near Paris. Still devoted to the Polish cause, Tadeusz Kościuszko took part in creation of the Polish Legions. Also, on October 17 and November 6, 1799, he met Napoleon Bonaparte. However, he did not trust the French leader and decided not to support his idea of re-creation of Poland under the auspices of France.

Tadeusz Kościuszko died in Switzerland, falling from his horse in 1817. He became the symbol of fight for independence against Russia.

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