A recent research shows that Casimir Pulaski, who is one of the most famous generals in American Revolutionary War, have been identified to be intersex through DNA tests.
Pulaski was known as the “Father of the American Cavalry”, but new evidence suggests that the general may not have been male even he was regarded as a male before.
Pulaski was born into nobility in Warsaw in 1745, when the Poland was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There, he began his early military career before Benjamin Franklin ultimately recommended that he join the American Revolution. Pulaski reached Massachusetts in July 1777, and made a name for himself only a few months later at the Battle of Brandywine, where he was credited with leading a charge that helped save George Washington’s life and the Continental Army from a disastrous defeat.
Washington made Pulaski a general, and the young commander set to work remaking the Colonial cavalry. He died after being wounded at the Siege of Savannah, Georgia in 1779.
He stood 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-4, and appears in portraits with dark hair, a strong brow and a slender mustache.
Pulaski’s bones had been kept in a metal container underneath a monument in Savannah, Georgia.
When the monument was temporarily removed about two decades ago, researchers were able to exhume and study his skeleton.
The skeleton belonging to Pulaski’s appeared to be that of a woman in DNA tests. The scientists concluded that he may have been intersex.
Charles Merbs, who was a forensic anthropologist at Arizona State University said that he examined the bones with forensic scientist Dr Karen Burns from the University of Georgia.
“The skeleton is about as female as can be,” he said.
Recently, three other researchers proved that the skeleton’s DNA was “identical” to that of Pulaski’s descendant.
The UN says that up to 1.7% of the world’s population are born with intersex traits – meaning they are born with both male and female sex characteristics.
Dr Merbs says it is unlikely that Pulaski, who was raised male, ever believed he was female or intersex.
“Back in those days, they just didn’t know,” he said.