The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 29
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Importation of Camels by the United States Government 29
Davis sent this word to Wayne, asking the latter first to repair to
Washington for a consultation prior to meeting Porter at New
Orleans." Wayne was late in reaching Washington and was forced
to turn over to a subordinate the task of aiding Lieutenant Porter
in landing the camels.
Porter arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi on January 30,
1857, with forty-one camels, having lost three en route. The
animals were transferred to the steamer Suwanee and were landed
at Indianola on February 10, 1857.
PART II. AT CAMP VERDE, TEXAS
It will be recalled that the first load of camels was landed at
Indianola on May 14, 1856. There they remained until the morn-
ing of June 4, when they began their journey overland to San
Antonio, Texas. At first the camels were frisky and unruly, for
the road was very bad; the pack saddles and loads were constantly
requiring adjustment. By June 11, the camels had improved in
appearance and were rapidly accustoming themselves to their new
environment and were causing no further trouble to their new
owners. San Antonio was reached on June 18, and the animals
were at once moved out about twelve miles to the ranch of Major
Howard for temporary quarters. Jefferson Davis had written to
Wayne admonishing him to give the camels plenty of time to
recruit from their long sea voyage before putting them to work.
For, said Davis, "horses under the same circumstances, would
require many months to regain their full efficiency, and animals
of a larger size would require a still longer period of rest."35
Major Wayne ran afoul of the wrath of the War Department
when he stated, in a communication, that he felt it would be best
to give the camels a permanent home where experimentation in
breeding could be conducted for five years or so, along with careful
observation. In no unmistaken terms, came a reply on July 30,
1856. "In regard to the preparation and place for keeping the
camels, the first and important point to be determined is their
fitness for our military service, and until this can be established
"aReport, 151. Davis to Wayne, Washington, July 5, 1856.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/37/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.