Dominik Dziewanowski served in the Prussian Army, then in the Polish Army, where he was adjutant to Prince Stanisław Poniatowski. In the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising he fought at Rypin and Łabiszyn. After the suppression of the Kościuszko Uprising, he settled on his country estate but nevertheless maintained contact with the Polish Legions and supported them financially.
In 1806 he formed the 6th Lancers Regiment and joined the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw. At the head of his regiment he fought in Napoleonic campaigns: in 1807, in Pomerania, at Tczew and Gdańsk, and in 1809 at Sandomierz. During the second campaign he also took Lublin and took part in the capture of Zamość. In 1810 he was promoted brigadier general and appointed military commandant of the Łomża Department. He did not assume the Łomża Department post, as he went on sick leave, which he spent in Teplitz and Karlsbad. In 1810–12 he was military commandant of the Lublin Department; and in 1812, of the Radom Department.
In Napoleon's 1812 Russian Campaign he commanded the 28th Light Cavalry Brigade of the 4th Cavalry Division (4th Cavalry Reserve Corps) and fought at Mir and Romanov. During the defense of Barysaw in Belarus he was seriously wounded and was taken prisoner by the Russians. In 1814 he settled back in his rural estate, where he spent the rest of his life.
Military historian Janusz Staszewski writes of Dziewanowski:
He was one of the most capable and enlightened military men of his period. Bold in battle, he combined with courage and a quick grasp of situation—which brought him fame as an accomplished raider—a notable ability to constructively influence subordinates. He strove to train younger officers and give them the benefit of his experiences.... He was also fearless in expressing his views. In the event of a setback, he did not blame someone else or circumstances, or seek excuses; he took the blame upon himself.
In 1824 and 1825, at Szafarnia, Dziewanowski was the summer-vacation host of his son's schoolmate, Fryderyk Chopin. It was here that Chopin, for the first time, encountered Polish rural folk music.
- "Dziewanowski, Dominik (1759–1827)", Generałowie Księstwa Warszawskiego (Generals of the Duchy of Warsaw)
- Seweryn Uruski, Rodzina: Herbarz szlachty polskiej, vol. 3, Warsaw, 1906, pp. 358–59.
- Kornel Michałowski and Jim Samson (n.d.), "Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek", Grove Music Online, §1 para. 2 (accessed 25 July 2013). (subscription required)
- Janusz Staszewski, Generał Dominik Dziewanowski, Poznań, 1933 (Seria: Życiorysy Zasłużonych Polaków Wieku XVIII i XIX).
- Mirosław Krajewski, Dobrzyński słownik biograficzny. Ludzie europesjkiego regionu, Włocławek, 2002, pp. 196–98.
- Mirosław Krajewski, Nowy słownik biograficzny ziemi dobrzyńskiej, vol. 1, Dobrzyńskie Towarzystwo Naukowe, Rypin, 2014, pp. 246-247.
- Polski słownik biograficzny, vol. 6, p. 168.