Henryk Dembinsri, a Polish general, born in the palatinate of Cracow, Jan. 16, 1791, died in Paris, June 13, 1864. His father, a zealous adherent of the anti-Russian party and of the liberal constitution of May 3, 1791, urged his sons in his will to defend the same principles; and their mother educated them accordingly. Henryk studied at the Vienna academy of engineers, and left it in 1809, refusing to accept a commission from the Austrian government, and enlisted as a private in the Polish army. He became a lieutenant at the opening of the campaign against Russia in 1812, was made captain by Napoleon at Smolensk, and distinguished himself in the battle of Leipsic. After the fall of the French empire he returned to Poland. In 1825 he was elected to the Polish diet, where he acted with the opposition. After the outbreak of the revolution at "Warsaw in November, 1830, he was intrusted with the command of the mobile national guard of his native palatinate, marched with his troops to the capital in February, 1831, received from Skrzynecki the command of a cavalry brigade, fought bravely at Dembe, Liw, and Kuflew, and on the banks of the Narew, where he repulsed the Russians. He was next attached to the unsuccessful expedition to Lithuania, and alone led his detachment through the marshes and forests back to the capital, where he was received with great enthusiasm by the people, and with public thanks by the diet.
Made governor of Warsaw, he was also for a few days successor of Skrzynecki in the chief command, but soon lost popularity. After the fall of Warsaw in September he followed Rybinski to Prussia, went thence to France, where he published his Memoires sur la campagne de Lithuanie (Strasburg, 1832), and in 1833 to Egypt, to assist in the organization of the army of Menem et Ali. He then returned to France, where he lived till 1848, when after the outbreak of February he went to Germany, and was present at the Slavic congress of Prague. He accepted a command in Hungary, passed through Germany and over the Austrian frontier, and made his appearance on the battle field in the camp of Perczel, Jan. 23, and received the chief command of the main Hungarian army on Feb. 5. The machinations of Gorgey, however, hindered his plans and operations. He lost the battle of Kapolna against Windischgratz and Schlick (Feb. 26, 27), and retreated beyond the Theiss. He was removed from the chief command on the complaint by several officers of their want of confidence in his abilities. On July 2 Dembinski received the virtual, and Meszaros the nominal command of all the Hungarian armies.
Dembinski was defeated at Szoreg (Aug. 5), forced to give up the lines of the Theiss and Maros, and retreated toward Temesvar, and there lost (Aug. 9) the battle which sealed the fate of the revolution. He sought refuge with Kossuth in Turkey, whence he went to Paris, where he occupied himself in writing his "Memoirs of the Hungarian Campaign," which have not yet been published. A Polish pamphlet, entitled "A Glance at the Last Events of the Polish Revolution," was published by him in Paris in 1837.