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Author Topic: Camel Corps officer, Gordon relief expedition  (Read 2992 times)
PitYak Studios
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« on: August 27, 2015, 04:45:49 am »

Some of you may remember my Camel Corps trooper from a few months back: promoted myself this week.

 



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Maets
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 12:44:11 pm »

Congrats on you commission.
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 01:26:35 pm »

Cheers. Well deserved I felt.
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 01:44:45 pm »

But where is the camel?  A nice mechanized one would be perfect.
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2015, 05:50:57 pm »

Is it possible to get a more detailed shot of the badge?
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2015, 08:36:49 pm »

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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 08:46:48 pm »

Thanks!

Did you make that, and if you didn't, where did it come from/what was it in its previous life?
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 09:05:09 pm »

I made it from a horse brass
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 09:06:23 pm »

(no one has ever noticed it's a bactrian camel)
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 09:12:14 pm »

It's the Loch Ness Monster profile, so it's forgiven... Wink
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Banfili
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 01:31:33 am »

Congratulations on your self-promotion, and a very nice uniform too!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 04:50:20 am »

I think I have a perfect task for you in your new station.  I was reading on rthe history of the Camel Corps and they're basically an Anetbellum (pre-US Civil War) innnovation by the former Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

http://www.texasescapes.com/CFEckhardt/US-Armys-Camel-Corps.htm

It's what happened after the US Camel Corp was disbanded and after the US Civil War that is most interesting...

Quote
The idea of using camels as overland transport in the deserts of the American Southwest was the brainchild of then US Secretary of War Jefferson Finis Davis. Horses and mules, the Army's only transportation at the time, had to be fed on corn or grain to stay alive and functioning, and had to have water on a daily basis. Neither was readily available in the vast reaches of the Southwest. Camels, however, were desert animals. They could survive, even prosper, on desert vegetation. Though they required tremendous amounts of water when they drank, they could go days without drinking, hence they could cross the vast distances between water supplies in the desert without dying of thirst. As beasts of burden, they could carry far more than the 300 lbs that was considered a 'mule load.' They were simply ideal for the purpose-making regular routes across the desert Southwest an actuality rather than a remote possibility.
Jefferson Davis realized this in 1855 and sent a delegation from the US Army to the Middle East to observe and report on the feasibility of using camels in the American deserts. The officers reported seeing camels being used in every environment from the Sahara to the Alps, carrying loads that would crush even the biggest mules, and making trips between waterholes in deserts that would leave horses and mules dead of thirst. Camels were ideally suited, they reported, for the American Southwest. Davis authorized the purchase of some 30 camels and their transport to the United States.

*snip*

The US Camel Corps was established at Camp Verde, Texas, in the hill country north of San Antonio. Buildings were constructed, one of which-the camp's headquarters building-still stands. The chimney is marked 'Pisé Work, 1856.' (This is not a misspelling of 'piece work.' Pisé is the French word for adobe.)
Almost immediately tests began to find the animals' capabilities and limits. Of capabilities they had many, but they seemed to have no limits. They were observed eating-and apparently relishing-the foliage of Texas mountain cedar. No other animal would touch it. On one notable occasion, the camels made a freight haul from the supply depot in San Antonio to Camp Verde in a driving rainstorm that would have halted wagon freight operations for days, until the ground dried enough for wagons to move without bogging down in the mud.

*snip*

Time, unfortunately-in the persona of American politics-caught up with the camels. In 1861 the Southern states seceded and Jefferson Davis was elected President of the Confederacy. The camels, based in Texas, were in the possession of Davis' government, but there was little use the Confederacy could make of them. Once the Confederacy surrendered, anything with Jeff Davis' stamp on it was anathema to the Union. The Camel Corps was a Davis idea. Therefore it cannot have been good. Of course, a purely West Point-trained officer corps in the Army and the US Cavalry Corps were also Davis' ideas, and they weren't dispensed with. However, the Camel Corps was a distinctly visible Davis innovation that could be disposed of with some publicity.
The camels were sold at auction.

An Austin attorney bought at least one, which he used for transport between Austin and San Antonio. He took his breakfast at Austin's Driskill Hotel, mounted his camel, and arrived in San Antonio in time for opening of court at 9 AM-some 70 miles to the south.


The distance between San Antonio and Austin is about 120 km, or about 24 hrs mounted  on camel  Grin That's about the same distance as going to Auckland from Hamilton.... It'd be awesome to arrive for Breakfast in Auckland mounted on a camel  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 06:59:56 am »

Anyone remember this one?


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f7/Hawmps_movie_poster.jpg
Historically sketchy (as the opening credits said, "..Or, at least, essentially the way it happened.")

Alternately, I read this a while back:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Camel-Charge-Experiment/dp/0425245691/ref=pd_sim_14_3/176-8290657-1875238?ie=UTF8&refRID=0F33BJCA62R55FTNQ1V4
If I remember correctly, the narrative hook was the fate of Old Douglas (Company A, 43rd Mississippi Infantry). Very comprehensive, tracking the camels and their Arab trainers from Africa to the demise of the Camel Corps. A very decent read.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/%22Old_Douglas%22.jpg
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 07:34:14 am »

Curious, I did a really quick search and found the following two books. I haven't read either or them, and so am unable to offer commentary on them.

(The pictures turned out to be really huge, hence the spoiler.)

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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2015, 04:03:39 pm »

Sorry; I meant to get back here sooner with this...

The Facebook page for The U.S. Army Camel Experiment:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-US-Army-Camel-Experiment/103706399662668?fref=nf

A living history presentation (travels to schools, etc.), with real, living camels.
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2015, 08:55:23 pm »

cool
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2015, 09:12:30 pm »

I'm curious:  does anyone reenact the Gordon Relief Expedition, with camels? Or any other 19th century group reenact with camels?
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2015, 09:25:01 am »

you ever ridden a camel? it takes a special kind of crazy
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2015, 02:52:39 pm »

you ever ridden a camel? it takes a special kind of crazy

I've been on one; I wouldn't dignify what I was doing by calling it riding...
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PitYak Studios
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2015, 01:14:06 am »

well, yes, if i'm honest that's more what i would say. or even more like screaming and trying not to fall off
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2015, 01:43:27 am »

Well, I did manage it without the screaming...Cursing, on the other hand...
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Will Howard
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2015, 03:15:06 pm »

I'm curious:  does anyone reenact the Gordon Relief Expedition, with camels? Or any other 19th century group reenact with camels?

There is a fellow here in Texas who occasionally brings camels to events here (the U. S. army experimented with camels for the Western desert before our Civil War- the historical event "Hawmps" was loosely based on.).
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2015, 03:58:39 am »

...as I recall, some escaped into the desert, where they were unfortunately hunted and shot years afterwards
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Banfili
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2015, 02:25:46 pm »

They are both feral and farmed here. Ironically, Australian racing camels are the best - and are exported to Saudi Arabia and other places were camels are required.
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2015, 06:59:05 pm »

They are both feral and farmed here. Ironically, Australian racing camels are the best - and are exported to Saudi Arabia and other places were camels are required.

Presumably they are required by people who do a lot less cursing than I did...
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