Warfield, Charles A. (unknown–unknown)

By: Horace P. Flatt and Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 14, 2014

Charles A. Warfield, fur trapper and officer in the Republic of Texas army, was the son of a New Orleans merchant. Little is known of his early life, but by 1832 or 1833 he was fur trapping in the Rocky Mountains. He traded with the Indians in New Mexico and Colorado, sometimes working out of Bent’s Fort on the Arkansas River. On August 16, 1842, George W. Hockley, Texas secretary of war, issued Warfield a commission to organize an expedition against New Mexico in retaliation for the capture of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition by Mexican troops. Warfield received the commission in New Orleans from Col. William Christy, the Republic of Texas’s agent there. By March 1843 he had been successful in recruiting only a small band of twenty-four volunteers, mostly mountain men. In May, partly out of frustration, the Warfield expedition attacked the small New Mexican settlement at Mora. They killed five Mexican soldiers and took eighteen prisoners and seventy-two horses. Subsequently the prisoners were released. The next day the expedition was attacked by Mexican troops. Warfield escaped, but five of his men were captured. His expedition decided to return to Texas. At the crossing of the Arkansas River, Warfield met the Snively expedition. He led this expedition for a short time after Capt. Jacob Snively's resignation as commander, but subsequently returned the leadership to Snively in July. Most of Snively’s men returned to Texas, but Warfield apparently stayed in the mountains and little is known of his later life. He is known to have accompanied a wealthy Scottish sportsman to Europe in 1844 and to have been in New Orleans in 1845. Texas historian John Henry Brown believed that Warfield died before the Civil War.

Texas Historian John Henry Brown warned that this Charles A. Warfield should not be confused with an individual with the same name who was born in Maryland, came to Texas during the 1840s, and represented Hunt County in the Texas State Legislature in 1859–1861. This second Charles A.Warfield left Texas after the Civil War and appeared in the United States Census for Butte County, California, in 1880.

William Campbell Binkley, “The Last Stage of Texan Military Operations against New Mexico, 1843,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 22 (January 1919). John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: L.E. Daniell,1894–1896). LeRoy R. Hafen, ed., The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Vol. VII (Glendale, California: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1969).

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas

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

Horace P. Flatt and Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Warfield, Charles A.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/warfield-charles-a.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 14, 2014