Short Bios | Jacob Lawinsky

Private Jacob Lawinsky, 32nd Indiana
By Michael A. Peake

Jacob Lawinsky, one of the Ft. Wayne Turners who joined Company “A” at Indianapolis, mustered in as a 26-year old private September 10, 1861. He quickly became a favorite subject in Adolph Metzner’s artwork, and served as a valet to the company officers, all the while gaining the reputation of company clown. Lawinsky served through many of the regiment’s campaigns, but deserted while on detached service April 2, 1864. Four months later, Lawinsky joined the company from desertion at Chattanooga on August 5, 1864, and the following month he mustered out with the regiment at Indianapolis.

Perhaps his reason for absence is explained by his next move following the war. In 1869, Lawinsky settled in Chilton County (then Baker County), Alabama, and three years later, got married to a local girl, Mary "Mims" Clanton. They had four kids, and owned a hardscrabble 13-acre farm with some goats, cows, and a horse. Lawinsky, who listed all of his children as Lavinsky with the census, died at Cooper, Chilton County, Alabama, on August 27, 1901.

Penciled on the back of the card: Jacob Labinsky, valet; Portrait by J. C. Webb, Photographer, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Private Jacob Lawinsky
Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-129036