The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 31
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Importation of Camels by the United States Government 31
arrived in San Antonio in less than two days. While in this town,
it rained heavily, which made anything like a load in a wagon
impossible. Here was an opportunity for another test, the travel-
ling of the camel in muddy weather, which Mr. Ray immediately
Packing loads of only three hundred and twenty-five pounds on
each camel, he left for the camp. In spite of the continued rain,
the caravan reached the camp in about the same time consumed
en route to San Antonio. Even the greatest skeptics of the region
had to confess that the usefulness of the camel had been demon-
strated beyond cavil.40
As the year 1857 approached, Major Wayne began to worry about
the future disposition of the camels, for the election of a new
President in 1856 meant that Jefferson Davis would terminate his
connection with the War Department in March, 1857, and that
Wayne himself would probably be transferred elsewhere. In a
communication from Camp Verde to Davis, dated December 4,
1856,41 Wayne pointed out that the camels must be left in charge
of some military officers who would be sympathetic toward the
experiment. Said Wayne: "The experiment, to be fairly deter-
mined, will require time, five or six years at least; and as this is
an important military point, and will be so for ten years to come,
the presence of troops here for the length of time necessary to
demonstrate the experiment may be regarded as a certainty. . . .
The usefulness of the camel for all military purposes, and its
economy, I hold to be fully shown already, though they have
necessarily been handled with extreme care. Their condition is
excellent. Their acclimation I regard as certain . . . and in six
weeks more they will have passed the severity of winter." Further-
more, Wayne recommended that the camels be kept at Camp Verde
and that the entire camp be managed on the basis of strict military
One element of discord was always to be encountered in the form
of "doubting Thomases" in Texas and elsewhere who opposed what
they termed the "novelty" of the camel experiment and who felt
that the animals were useless. There was only one way in which
' Report, 159-160. Wayne to Davis, Camp Verde, November 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/m1/39/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.