Warnell, Henry (1812–1836)

By: Bill Groneman

Type: Biography

Published: August 1, 1995

Henry Warnell, Alamo defender, was born in 1812. He lived in Arkansas before emigrating to Texas, where he made his living as a jockey and hunter. He and Ludie Ragsdale were parents of a son in November 1834. Miss Ragsdale died in childbirth, and Warnell left his infant son in the care of friends and left for Texas. In January 1835 he settled in Bastrop, where he lived with and worked for Edward Burleson. Warnell took part in the siege of Bexar and later served in the Alamo garrison as a member of Capt. William R. Carey's artillery company. There is some evidence that he escaped from the Alamo during the battle of March 6, 1836, but died in Port Lavaca in June 1836 from wounds received in the battle. Warnell's son, John, was his only heir and in 1860 received two-thirds league and one labor of land, plus a donation grant of 640 acres. Warnell was described as, "small, weighing less than 118 lbs., blue eyed, red-headed, freckled and an incessant tobacco chewer."

Albert Curtis, Remember the Alamo Heroes (San Antonio: Clegg, 1961). Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Walter Lord, A Time to Stand (New York: Harper, 1961; 2d ed., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). Amelia W. Williams, A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1931; rpt., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36–37 [April 1933-April 1934]).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Bill Groneman, “Warnell, Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/warnell-henry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995