Condoned by Congress, The USS Comfort Carried Captured Camels


In 1855, Congress approved a plan developed by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to import camels as pack animals for the U.S. Army operating in the American Southwest.

The camels were also considered for use as a long-range mounted force that could drive “hostile Indians out of the country.” The storeship USS Supply was refitted with special hatches, stables, hoists and a “camel car” for the sole purpose of loading and transporting dromedaries.

Once the first herd of camels was obtained in North Africa, Supply [w]as further modified to compensate for the towering humps of the camels by cutting away part of the main deck. The camels were delivered to Texas where their potential was recognized but the plan was never fully implemented due to the advent of the Civil War.

So instead of wasting them, the U.S. Army sold the camels to zoos. TRUE

[Image and story found here. More about the Camel Corps here.]


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2 Responses to “Condoned by Congress, The USS Comfort Carried Captured Camels”

  1. Leonard Jones Says:

    The U.S. military actually conducted trials at a place called
    Fort Tejon in California using camels. The idea was that
    their ability go a long way without water would make them
    ideal for fighting Indians in the Southwest. There was even
    a Western comedy called Hawmps starring Christopher
    Connely and Slim Pickens based on this story.

  2. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Leonard J–

    Nice update on an oddity. I remember the name of the movie “Hawmps” but I never saw it. Aside from that, EVERY movie featuring Slim Pickens is worth watching, whether you like it or not.

    My personal favortie is from “The Flim Flam Man.”


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