Redfield, Henry Prentice (1819–1900)

By: Jack R. McKinney

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: May 1, 1995

Henry Prentice Redfield, an early colonist and soldier in the Army of the Republic of Texas, was born in Derry, New Hampshire, on May 27, 1819, the son of William and Susan (Prentice) Redfield. After the death of his father, his mother married John C. Cunningham, a friend of Moses and Stephen F. Austin, and soon thereafter the family (including Henry's brothers, John Albert and William) immigrated to the Austin colony in Texas; they left New York in late 1830 and arrived by ship at Matagorda in 1831. They lived at San Felipe for several years, then settled on the Colorado River in lower Bastrop County on a large grant of land that became known as Cunningham's Prairie. Besides farming, the Cunninghams later ran a stagecoach inn on the old road from Austin to San Felipe. During the Texas Revolution Redfield was in Capt. John Henry Moore's company at the battle of Gonzales, October 2, 1835, and with Benjamin R. Milam at the siege of Bexar in early December 1835. Though not an actual participant in the battle of San Jacinto, he helped round up the fleeing Mexicans after the battle. Redfield continued to serve in the Texas army in various Indian fights and was wounded in the battle of Plum Creek on August 11, 1840. That year his brother William was killed in a battle involving the Republic of the Rio Grande.

In 1842 Redfield was with Mathew Caldwell on the expedition against Adrián Woll at San Antonio and fought in the battle of Salado Creek. During the Mexican War (in 1846) Redfield joined the First Texas Cavalry, United States Army, and served under Gen. Zachary Taylor at the battle of Resaca de la Palma and the siege of Monterrey. In 1850 he was the first census taker in Bastrop County. Redfield was married to Sarah Card of Fayette County on September 11, 1842, and they had nine children. After her death he was married to Julia Kersting of Washington County in 1872, and they had seven children. Redfield died on February 27, 1900, at Giddings and was buried in the Giddings Cemetery. An official Texas historical marker honoring Redfield was dedicated at his grave in 1971.

Files, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum, Austin. Louis Wiltz Kemp and Ed Kilman, The Battle of San Jacinto and the San Jacinto Campaign (Houston, 1947). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

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

Jack R. McKinney, “Redfield, Henry Prentice,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995