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Since 1997, the Texas Camel Corps has been a crowd favorite at Texas frontier forts' Living History Days and 19th
A labor of love for Texas Camel Corps owner, Doug Baum, these events allow the public to learn about the
little-known part that camels played in settling Western America.
||Here, the skeleton of an original member of the US Army Camel Corps is shown on display at the
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately, this particular dromedary camel, a white bull named Seid that
was a favorite of Lt. Edward F. Beale, was killed by another camel, Tuili (a hybrid cross of the Bactrian and
dromedary) during breeding season. Quick thinking by a man named Sylvester Mowry allowed for the bones of the camel
to be shipped to Washington, D.C. where they remain on display to this day.|
Imported during the Pierce administration of the 1850's under then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, more than 100
camels called Texas home. The US military utilized the camels on numerous road and boundary survey expeditions for
packing supplies through the arid Southwest before, during and after the Civil War. Some of the beasts even changed
hands between Confederate and Union troops as control of the Camel Corps' homebase of Camp Verde, Texas shifted from
North to South. Following the Civil War the camels were used less and less, due probably in great part to Jefferson
Davis' lack of popularity given the political climate at that time. Most of the camels were auctioned off, ending up in private hands and later were sold to
circuses and traveling menageries. The last captive offspring of the government camels, Topsy, died in
Griffith Park Zoo in Los Angeles in 1934, and there are those who still believe wild descendants of
Uncle Sam's camels still roam remote parts of Texas, Arizona, and California.
The Texas Camel Corps is the first and only group in the world to reenact this colorful part of US and Texas
Texas Forts that have hosted
the Texas Camel Corps:
Fort Martin Scott;
Fort Phantom Hill;
E-mail or call (254)675-HUMP (675-4867)
to schedule an appearance.