“In the 1850s the U.S. investigated ways to move military equipment over land to protect the California goldfields. Camel caravans were deemed a possible solution.” (pg.159) The Department of War proposed importing camels to use for military services. Camels have great stamina, they can go days without water, they could eat prickly plants along the road, and they can carry up to 900 pounds, it was for these reasons they thought the camel was a good option. In 1855, Congress designated $30,000 to experiment with these camels. They purchased 33 camels from ports on the Mediterranean. Camels were proven useful on expeditions and even served in combat successfully. The downside to using the camels was, they smelled, they are stubborn, and they made awful noises. They also spit large, sticky, smelly masses of cud at people they do not like.
Wills, Matthew. “The U.S. Army’s Remarkable Camel Corps of the 1850s.” 26 Feb. 2001.
Stephens, A. Ray, and Carol Zuber-Mallison. Texas: a Historical Atlas. University of Oklahoma Press, 2010.
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