Camp Verde, Texas. In the 1850s, the U.S. Department of War sought to establish a transportation and communication link to the West Coast for military purposes by importing camels from North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. They trained the camels at Camp Verde and then sent them on expeditions to California and southwestern Texas. Camels proved to be hardier than mules and horses under the demanding conditions of travel through arid and rugged terrain, carried heavier loads, grazed on native vegetation, and existed for days without water. Experiments conducted in 1857, 1859, and 1860 proved the worth of camels for military purposes in the American Southwest.