Most Faithful Unto Death - Michael Kovats and the Hussars

Most Faithful Unto Death - Michael Kovats and the Hussars

Michael Kovats is the Hungarian American Founder of the United States.

Kovats assisted in the creation of the Continental Army’s cavalry and went on to die serving the American cause.


Michael Kovats

Michael Kovats de Fabriczy went by many names with many spellings.

Commonly known in America as simply Michael Kovats, this Hungarian nobleman decided at a young age to become a military man.

After serving in the War of Austrian Succession he volunteered his services to Prussia during the Seven Years War.

By the beginning of 1777 he found a new war to fight...in the United States.


Most Faithful Unto Death

Michael Kovats secured passage to North America and wrote a letter to Benjamin Franklin offering his services.

As he was not fluent in English or French, the correspondence was written in Latin.

This letter famously ends with Kovats signing off ‘Most faithful unto death.’

Jump forward 250 years this phrase is the motto of the Hungarian American Federation.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.


Pulaski’s Approval

When Kovats arrived in America, neither the Continental Congress nor George Washington knew if they could trust him.

It wasn’t until Polish nobleman and Brigadier General in the Continental Army Casimir Pulaski vouched for him that Kovats found a place in the fight.

Pulaski had known of Kovats since their warring days in Europe, and was aware of his rise from Private to Captain and the great honors he had received.


Colonel Commandant

Michael had made a name for himself in Europe training hussars, soldiers on horseback similar to what we know as the cavalry.

Pulaski brought Kovats in to complete the same task, training over 300 men to master how to ride a steed in battle.

A year after his arrival in the United States, Kovats was named by Congress as Colonel Commandant of Pulaski's Legion.


Death

Kovats participated in several small skirmishes in New Jersey before getting tasked to remove to the Southern Department.

On the way his men were ravaged by smallpox, killing approximately half of them.

They arrived in time to support the Patriots in the defense of Charleston but, unfortunately, they’re diminished numbers could not perform as intended.

Despite later compliments to their tenacity from the British, the Legion was defeated.

With them Michael Kovats was killed in action.


Legacy

Kovats’ time in the Revolutionary War was brief but his impact was great.

Kovats and Pulaski, as a team, are considered the Fathers of American Cavalry.

Michael, on his own, is one of the few men who could be considered the Hungarian American Founder.


Want more Founders from North Carolina?

OK, here you go:

Richard Dobbs Spaight Overcomes Defeat

Timothy Bloodworth and His Futile Fight Against The Constitution

William Hooper Isn’t a Loyalist…Despite What You Heard

Michael Kovats had an impressive life.

‘Faithful Unto Death’ was published by the Hungarian Reform Federation to celebrate the life of this Founder.

If you’d like a copy you can get one through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).

Want to get fun American Revolution articles straight to your inbox every morning?

Subscribe to my email list here.

You can also support this site on Patreon by clicking here.

Thanks for your support!

Saving Washington - Casimir Pulaski's Legion

Saving Washington - Casimir Pulaski's Legion

The Father of the University of North Carolina - William Richardson Davie

The Father of the University of North Carolina - William Richardson Davie