Officers of the 3rd Polish Half-Brigade (113)
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

map

This map shows the location of Haiti and the Dominican Republic
on the island of Hispaniola.
As you can see Haiti is only 1/3 of the island.
Guantanamo, Cuba is off the coast near Port-de-Pais.
Puerto Rico is off the coast of the Dominican Republic,
and Jamaica is located off the coast near Jeremie and Les Cayes.

OFFICERS OF THE 3rd POLISH HALF-BRIGADE (113):

01. Commander Bolesta
02. Commander Wodzinski
.....fell ill and remained on board their transport ship.
03. Lieutenant Josef Nowicki
.....remained in France
04. Second lieutenant Weygall
.....sent Josef Nowicki a letter on March 10, 1803 from Cap-Haitian
05. General Rochambeau
.....capitulated to the English
06. Przebendowski second in command to General Richambeau
07. Kamieski
08. Lieutenant Josef Zadora
09. Kobylonski
10. Captain Zabokrzycki
11. Second Lieutenant Jurkiewicz of the 11th Half Brigade
12. Major Lozinsky
13. Captain Kastus was a survivor.
14. ? Zditowiecki.

CASUALTIES OF THE HALF-BRIGADE:

01. Citizen Zymirski
.....took command after the suicide of Major Jasinski, as second in command.
02. Lieutenant Romanski
.....still alive on November 27, 1803.
03. Captain Kobylanski (113)
.....met with General Fressinet and Captain Blumer. Captain Kobylanski appropriated the dead officer's wages (which were backlogged for 6 months) He also sold items of dead soldiers for money, and joined the pirates.
04. Major Jasinski-committed suicide after the battle because he felt he failed his men.
05. ADC Niernacki - died of yellow fever at Jeremie.

YELLOW FEVER:

The first major outbreak of yellow fever, in the New World, was recorded from 1495-1496 on the island of Hispaniola. The infection was thought to have originated in Africa, and was brought there by Christopher Columbus and his men during their voyages from Spain. Epidemiologists today, however, believe the disease was endemic in parts of Latin America before Columbus.

Yellow fever is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegyti mosquito. Symptoms are a high fever, acute backache, back and leg pains, and sometimes vomiting of black bile. This disease was called "Yellow Jack" by the English. It was not until 1936 that a vaccine was developed. This vaccine was discovered by South African born United States physician and bacteriologist, Max Theiler.

Most major outbreaks of this disease were located on the island of Hispaniola. In 1502, Nicolas de Ovando arrived in Santo Domingo (founded in 1496) on the eastern coast of Hispaniola. He brought 2,500 colonists, most of whom soon perished from yellow fever. The name was given because of the yellowish tint of the skin which covered the victim's body.

In 1508, an expedition of five ship, led by Diego de Nicueza, left Santo Domingo. During this voyage 600-700 men died on board.

In this same time period, smallpox epidemics struck Hispaniola. Some think this was carried from West Africa, by the slaves. Major smallpox epidemics were in 1507, 1518, and 1971. Statistics were:

1492 - 300,000 people were living on Hispaniola
1541 - 1,000 people left after various diseases.

06. Major Joscicki - fell ill and died at Kay (Les Cayes)
07. Captain Madrzycki was blown up by a grenade
08. Captain Gawlesinski died of his wounds.
09. Captain Berenzdorf died at Dan-Marya
10. Captain Ziemierski deserted
11. Captain Blumer deserted
.....He fled with General Ohilibert Fressinet, in Jeremie, after selling the goods of the dead officers for his passage.
12. Captain Oezelski was held prisoner by brigands

THE PIRATES:

The brigands, referred to above, are the pirates of the West Indies. They often made money from the ransoming of their captives. The crews of these vessels, in the West Indies, were mainly of Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mulatto, and Negro descent. They were named buccaneers from the name given to hunters of wild cattle on the island of Hispaniola. These men barbecued their meat after the fashion of the Awarak Indians, who originally named the island Hay-ti. Buccaneer is from the French word Boucan, or "barbecue." Cuba was a BIG pirate haven, especially near present day Havana. Port Royal, in Jamaica, was called "the wickedest town in Christendom." In its heyday, it was the home of pirates, privateers, merchants, and whores. It was virtually destroyed in 1692 when an earthquake sent it into the sea, and two thousand people were killed. In 1720, Anne Bonny and Mary Read were raiding ships off Cuba and Hispaniola, before they were captured. Beginning in 1822, the U.S.A. had cruisers that sailed through the West Indies to keep pirates in control.

13. Lieutenant Orzelski was killed on the field at Kay (Les Cayes)
14. Lieutenant Szumski was killed on the field at Kay (Les Cayes)
15. Lieutenant Josef Zadora left for Europe without permission
16. Michael Zadora left for Europe without permission, and went to Santo Domingo
17. Lieutenant Wiszniewski died at Jeremie
18. Lieutenant Plachtowicz died at Koray
19. Lieutenant Rusiecki took a ship from the harbor and escaped with
20. General Ohilibert Fressinet, Frenchman
21. Bialoszicz was held prisoner by the brigands
22. Laskowski was held prisoner by the brigands
23. Golinski was held prisoner by the brigands at Jeremie
24. Ilnicki was held prisoner by the brigands at Jeremie
25. Sub-lieutenant Bialkowski was killed at the battle of Kay (Les Cayes)
26. Sub-lieutenant Grvedy died in battle at Petit-Trou.
27. Sub-lieutenent Tokarzewski died at Jeremie
28. Sergeant Major Glinki died at Jeremie
29. Captain Mechance of the Grenadiers killed in the battle at Kay (Les Cayes)
30. Major Krulikiewick (1st Batallion/113) killed in the battle at Kay (Les Cayes)
31. Sub-lieutenant Wegiel (1st Batallion/113)
32. Citizen Romanski (Gen. Noel's Division)
33. Citizen Zukowski (Gen. Noel's Division)
34. Citizen Wielhorski (Gen. Noel's Division)
35. Citizen Woroniecki (Gen. Noel's Division)
.....was originally a General in 1797, under Dombrowski at Reggio and/or Civita Castellana.
36. Citizen Billewicz (Gen. Noel's Division)
37. Citizen Orleski (Gen.Noel's Division)
38. Citizen Grynski (Gen. Noel's Division)
.....was freed and reached Cuba, but French General Sarrasin Fressinet refused to help him and his men
39. Citizen Zaleski (Gen. Noel's Division)
.....it is thought that he MIGHT have been the first officer to have fled to the mountains and settled in Casales.
40. Citizen Myszakowski (Gen. Noel's Division)
41. Sergeant Winkler(Gen. Noel's Division)
42. unknown sergeant
43. unknown sergeant
44. unknown sergeant
45. unknown sergeant
46. one orderly
47. twelve corporals (unknown)
60. sixty privates (unknown)
121. two drummers
122. Second Lieutenant Jurkiewicz of the 114th Half-Brigade was in a British prison on Jamaica for eight months. His family lived in Cracow, Poland
123. one drum major
124. a shoemaker

Numbers 32-124 were all officers and civilians of Gen. Noel's Division. They returned to Saint Domingue to the port of Mole which was under Noel's command. They were the last division to surrender.

***Those taken by the brigands were held for ransom, which could not be paid, since no Poles had received any pay since leaving France. One of their Generals, Fero, gave Zymirski/Ziemierski (with 2 officers and 20 men) permission to embark (board) their ship and it is presumed they made it to a safe port.

*****

CLICK HERE for more info.

SOURCES:

Banaszek, Dariuz, Thomas Bibu, et al. An Illustrated History of Poland Poznan, Poland: Podsiedlik-Raniowski & Co., Lyd., 1998.

Kohn, George C. The Woodsworth Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence New York: Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 1995, 131-132.

Pivka, Otto von. Napoleon's Polish Troops. Berksire, Eng.: Osprey Publishing Limited. Men-at-Arms Series, 1974.

Orizio, Riccardo. Lost White Tribes: The End of Privilege and the Last Colonials in Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Brazil, Haiti, Namibia, and Guadeloupe. New York: Free Press, 2000, 124-179.

Mr. Orizio presently lives in Kenya, Africa.

RELATED LINKS

Poland's Caribbean Tragedy: A Study of Polish Legions in the Haitian War of Independence 1802-1809 ... Poles in Haiti and Haitian Revolution ..... Haiti's Early History

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