This morning we begin with a ‘Trivial Pursuit’ type question. (Slide 1)
The United States Army once had a Camel Corps. The year the Camel Corp was organized was: A) 1917 B) 1856 C) 2003 D) 1943
The correct answer is 1856. According to wikipedia, some of our national leaders felt that having camels to traverse the difficult and hot places of the southwestern United States was a good thing to do as they could handle the desert climates better than horses and mules. So some men were authorized to go to North Africa buy some camels and bring them home.
After a journey that lasted 10 months, 33 camels and 5 drivers were brought home to the US and placed on duty with the US Army. The camels proved to be successful but because of their temperament, and the US Civil War, the experiment failed and the corps was disbanded.
Many of the camels were sold to individuals and some were bought and sent to Canada to work the Yukon Trail. Some of the camels were turned loose and became wild and were seen in the southwestern US as late as 1942.