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Ignacy Szymański
Personal Information
Born: 1806
Place of Birth: Krakow, Poland
Died: 1874 (aged 67–68)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: Colonel Ski or Old Ski
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: File:November Uprising.svg November Insurgents
File:Confederate Seal.gif Confederate States Army
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: File:CSAColonel.png Colonel
Service number :
Commands: Chalmette Regiment
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Ignacy Szymański Ignatius Szymanski (1806–1874), nicknamed Colonel Ski or Old Ski, was a Polish and American soldier. He served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Early life[]

After the Poles had lost the November Uprising, Szymański emigrated to the United States and in 1835 he settled in New Orleans, Louisiana. Soon he also established a cotton plantation. His friends in the South were the other Poles who had been living nearby: Gaspar Tochman, Valery Sulakowski and Hypolite Oladowski.

Civil War[]

When the Civil War had begun, Ignatius was appointed to colonel of Chalmette Regiment[1], mainly made of Scandinavian immigrants from the Louisiana State Militia. Later he served as the agent of exchange of prisoners in the Trans-Mississippi Department. After the war he came back to his plantation Summer Hill Farm and his cotton and sugar cane field called Sebastopol, he accumulated goods and real estate, up to the point to be considered a rich man. He even had race horses and a yacht.


He was married to Elise Romain, a French immigrant who he met during his ship venture from Poland to the US. They had three children: Ignace Francoise, Jean and Constance Francoise (later she married a French immigrant a Mr. Cavalier); among them the most known was Jean, who worked for the Sinclair Oil company. Jean moved to Mexico and settled at the port of Tampico, Tamaulipas, marrying Carmen Castello Caimares, cousin of Carmen Romero Rubio Castello, wife of the Mexican President Porfirio Díaz. Due to the untimely death of his brother, Ignace Francoise who left no descendants, Jean decided to extend the Ignatius line - his first son was named Ignacio Francisco (1877–1933), second Juan Melquiades. Jean and Carmen had two more children and also twins yet they did not survive. One of the two latter children (Jose Amado) drowned at the age of 19 during Regatta festival. Her other children were called in Julio Fructuoso and Jose Ramon Blas. His grandson, son of Ignacio Francisco was Ignacio Sabas Szymanski Rodriguez (1905–1999) lived in San Antonio, Texas until he was 21 and then returned to Mexico to work for the Sinclair Oil Company as a book keeper. He was the founder of Mexicana de Aviación along with others upbrought in Tampico. He worked as Supplies Director and as President of the Airlines Association of the Americas until his death.

How Jean lost the family fortune or how Elise Romain lost the family fortune still a mystery. Nowadays (2009) a drama about the Szymanski Family is still presented at the Sebastopol Residence located in Chalmette LA. Main roles are played by local actors.


  1. Lonn, Ella (2002). Foreigners in the Confederacy. UNC Press. pp. 566. ISBN 080785400X. 
  2. Praga, Jacek; Wróblewski, Wiesław (2002). United Poles in America. Iowa State University. p. 33. ISBN 8388329464. 


pl:Ignacy Szymański