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Donald W. Pugh
Frederick Lemský at San Jacinto
Painting, Frederick Lemský at San Jacinto, by Henry Wilson. Image courtesy of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

LEMSKÝ, FREDERICK (?–1844). Frederick Lemský, a flute player at the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Europe. Different sources describe him as Polish, Czech, or German. He moved to Texas in February 1836, enlisted in the Texas army on March 13, 1836, and served in the company of William E. Howth and Nicholas Lynch. He was a musician in the army until December 31, 1836. He is said to have played "Come to the Bower" on the flute at the battle of San Jacinto and is listed in Capt. Andrew Briscoe’s Regular Infantry Company A (along with two other flute [or fife] players, John N. Beebe and Martin Flores).

Lemský advertised in the Telegraph and Texas Register on January 27, 1838, offering his services as a music teacher and teacher of German and French. He was a charter member of the German Union of Texas, incorporated on January 21, 1841. In March 1842 the Brazos and San Luis Canal was being dug near the site of what is now the town of Oyster Creek in Brazoria County; Lemský was the employer of thirty men digging there. The work lapsed for a while but may have begun again in late 1843.

In January or February 1844 Lemský and a partner named Franke drowned when a "hard norther" capsized the barge on which they were hauling corn. Lemský's body was recovered near Virginia Point, on the mainland side of Galveston Bay. According to the probate records in Brazoria County, "1 octave flute" and "1 keyed flute" were included in the inventory of his property. They were sold for $2.25 at auction in June 1844.


James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Officers and Enlisted Men: Battle of San Jacinto, 21st April 1836 (http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/sjvetsunit.htm), accessed October 24, 2011.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Donald W. Pugh, "LEMSKY, FREDERICK," accessed July 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fle28.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 1, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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