Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Four out of Five Soldiers Who Tried Camels Preferred Horses

In 1856, the United States Army imported 34 camels to be utilized in the American Southwest. The cavalrymen who were assigned to the animals had no understanding of how to ride them, how to care for them, or even the slightest notion of camel psychology. To complicate matters further, the American Civil War broke out and the majority of the Camels (which had been delivered to Texas) were in the hands of the Confederate Army, who ignored them altogether as potential mounts.

When the War ended, the Military had lost all interest in its camels and they were sold or turned loose. Eventually all of the former Army camels either died or were shot.

The following story is set in 1874. Which is not only nearly a decade after the last camel saw military service in the U.S., it's also far too late for the Shako hats the troopers are wearing. But, I'm not here to be the anachronism police, so please enjoy this unusual yarn from Amazing High Adventure #3 , October 1986. Story by Mike Baron, art by John Severin.


  1. The movie "Hawmps!" was based on this incident but played it for comedy - it was from the guy responsible for the Benji movies.

  2. Dell's F-Troop comic had a story based on the US cavalry's camel experiment. Like the Amazing High Adventure story, it was anachronistic, taking place after the Civil War. IIRC, Red Ryder encountered former cavalry camels in the comic strip and/or a Big Little Book.