Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    HENRY ARTHUR (HARRY) MCARDLE (American, 1836-1908)
    Henry W. Karnes, circa 1905
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 25 inches (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
    Signed lower right: McArdle

    H.A. McArdle;
    By descent to Marie McArdle;
    By descent to George Bland;
    By descent to Elisabeth Bland.

    In 1812, Henry Wax Karnes was born in Tennessee and later came to Texas. His father was a hunter and trapper, who taught him the skills associated with the American frontier. Karnes was a hero of the Texas Revolution and distinguished himself in several battles. He was also the first scout to return to Gen. Sam Houston with news of the fall of the Alamo. At the battle of San Jacinto, Capt. Karnes was second in command of the cavalry corps led by Mirabeau B. Lamar. After San Jacinto, Karnes was promoted to Colonel because his scouting and pursuit of Mexican troops contributed greatly to the success on the battle. After the revolution, he commanded a troop of Texas Rangers. Although the Texans had achieved an overwhelming victory at San Jacinto, Karnes sustained an arrow wound that never fully healed. He died of yellow fever in 1840 and later Karnes County was named for him.

    Around 1905, this portrait of Karnes was painted by artist H. A. McArdle. Painting mostly battles and portraits of heroes from the Civil War and the Texas Revolution, McArdle was known for his meticulous research. A letter describing Karnes, written by his sister Susan Karnes Corley, is among McArdle's papers. In his epic painting, The Battle of San Jacinto (see lot 76013), McArdle depicts Karnes in combat with Mexican Col. Antonio Trevino. In his notebooks, under a detail of their fight in San Jacinto, McArdle writes, "Gallant Trevino in combat with the brave Henry W. Karnes." As in this portrait, Karnes is easily recognizable by red hair, coonskin hat, and buckskins. Henry W. Karnes is inscribed "Painted for J.T. DeShields" in the lower-right corner and was recently found in the attic of the West Virginia home of McArdle's descendents, along with the lost version of McArdle's The Battle of San Jacinto also being offered in this sale.

    Condition Report*: Heavy surface grime; visible craquelure; a 4 x 8" patch and 4 x 9" in patch on verso of canvas; 3 x 1.5" and 2 x 2" repaired areas visble on front of canvas; stretcher creases visible; heavy frame abrasions with paintloss along lower right and bottom edges; 3 x 4" area with scattered paintloss in bottom left corner; punctures along figure's right forearm; scattered paint chips throughout.  UV examination reveals scattered extensive strengthening throughout. Fair condition. Not framed.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    20th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,147

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Nov 20, 2010 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 October 5 Photographs Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    A few months before the Auction we received a beautifully printed Auction Brochure that showed the painting to its best advantage.
    Shauna Y.,
    Dallas, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search