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WW2 US Army Cavalry Officers Collar Insignia Thin Saber Type
$14.95
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US ARMY 2ND ARMORED CAVALRY BEVO MADE PATCH VARIANT TOUJOURS PRET
$9.99
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RARE WWII BELGIAN MADE US ARMY FIRST ARMY CAVALRY PATCH
$34.99
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b0394 Original WWII Army Cavalry Reconn Cap Braid
$7.00
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WWII US Army Cavalry Garrison Dress Cap
$30.00
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English Britain UK BEF Army Battle England Household Cavalry Patch Regiment
$19.99
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ORIGINAL OLDER Vintage BRITISH INDIA ARMY KUCHAVA HORSE CAVALRY COLLAR BADGE
$9.95
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$157.50
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US Army 61 Cavalry Unit Crest DI DUI
$4.99
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HORSTMANN Uniform gold lined CAPTAIN CAVALRY Commandant Colonel ARMY Dress Cape
$750.00
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Rare Custer Easy Echo Troop Guidon Flag 12th Cavalry Army Banner 2 Sided Stitch
$188.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 83RD CAVALRY RECON SQUADRON CREST DI DUI PIN BACK MEYERS MARKED
$8.00
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WWII Gold Plate Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Amcraft Acid Test GREAT SHAPE
$19.99
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WWII ARMY 6th ARMORED CAVALRY REGT BLACK BORDER CUT EDGE SNOW BACK NO GLOW
$9.99
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WWII Lead and Brass Army Cavalry Officer Collar Insignia Lot Of 2
$12.79
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$1,720.00
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flag104 US Army 305th Cavalry Regiment flag original
$1,200.00
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US Army WW1 WW2 CAVALRY OFFICER RUSSET LEATHER RIDING BOOTS Size 9 1 2 Vtg RARE
$69.99
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b1593 WW 2 US Army 1st Cavalry Division patch OD boarder
$22.00
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Original Cotton WWII Army Cavalry Garrison Overseas Hat Yellow Piping
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Pre WWII 1930s Army Cavalry Enlisted Collar Disc Set and Hat Badge Lot Of 3
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Amcraft
$19.99
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WWII Gold Filled Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Balfour
$22.49
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WWII 1943 Lead Army Cavalry Officer Home Front Sweetheart Pin
$12.59
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Pre WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia Set
$37.99
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia Set by Amico
$34.19
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b0617 112 US Army 112th Aromored Cavalry Armored patch
$12.00
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b0618 WW 2 US Army 17th Cavalry shoulder patch
$12.00
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Rare WW 2 US Army Twill 1st Cavalry Patch
$90.00
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b0619 pre WW 2 US Army 3rd Cavalry shoulder patch
$12.00
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Original US Army 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment Patch framed
$20.00
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b0620 WW 2 US Army 6th Cavalry Regiment patch yellow blue
$12.00
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b0621 WW 2 US Army 6th Cavalry Regiment Embroidered DI yellow blue
$17.00
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b0622 WW 2 US Army 2nd Cavalry shoulder patch
$17.00
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1941 1st Army Maneuvers 3rd Cavalry Spotter Press Photo
$23.62
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b1456 WW 2 US Army 15th Cavalry Group
$12.00
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Lot Of 10 WWII 1942 43 COMIC Linen Postcards Army Cavalry Outhouse Camp Polk
$6.00
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WWII US Sixth Army News Pictorial 1945 1st Cavalry beyond Manilla Newspaper
$3.95
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US Army Armored Cavalry Collar Disk
$15.00
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ORIGINAL GERMAN WWII ARMY CAVALRY SIGNALS BLITZ PATCH
$14.95
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WWII US ARMY st Cavalry Division PATCH with OD Border NO GLOW
$3.39
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WWII German RP Army Soldier Rifle Cavalry Infantry Horse French Car Auto
$3.49
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Original WW 2 US Army 1st Army Cavalry Off Uniform Patch Inv TH477
$55.00
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Original WW 2 US Army 1st Army Cavalry Patch Inv JQ272
$50.00
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Named WWII US Army 1st Cavalry Uniform Jacket Hat Pants M43 Field Jacket
$199.95
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ANTIQUE WESTERN US CAVALRY ARMY MILITARY PISTOL GUN LEATHER FLAP HOLSTER
$74.95
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WW11 US Army Cavalry Mrkd 1942 Collapsible Canvas Water Bucket Marines Jeep
$27.50
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VTG 1941 Sz L Chest 44 L SWEDISH MILITARY ARMY CAVALRY FIELD JACKET COAT
$36.53
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Meyer
$18.99
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Pre WWII 1930s Army Cavalry Officer Insignia
$18.99
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Pre WWII 1930s Army Cavalry Enlisted Collar Disc
$16.99
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WWII Army Cavalry Enlisted Collar Disc
$17.99
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Collar Insignia by Amcraft
$19.99
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WWII Army Cavalry Home Front Sweetheart Pin
$16.99
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WW 2 US Army Silk 1st Cavalry Patch Inv TH509
$100.00
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WW2 1930s RUSSIAN SOVIET RED ARMY CAVALRY SOLDIERS SABER SWORD PHOTO
$49.95
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WWII US Army Cavalry Collapsable Folding Canvas Jeep Water Bucket Dated 1942
$56.99
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Army DI pin 91st Cavalry Recon Troop cb nhm COPY
$5.95
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Original WWII US Army 1st Cavalry Division Patch
$12.00
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US ARMY 1 POCKET PATCH 112th CAVALRY REGIMENT SQUADRON HORSE WW2 WWII REGIMENTAL
$12.95
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Greenback ORIGINAL WW2 Vintage 2nd CAVALRY DIVISION US ARMY SHOULDER PATCH
$24.95
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WWII German RP Army Reiterkorps Cavalryman Cavalry Horse Washes Down Horses
$3.95
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WWII German RP Army Reiterkorps Cavalryman Cavalry Horse Tied to Wooden Pole
$3.95
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2nd Cavalry Division Patch WWII US Army CAV
$9.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION PATCH
$13.99
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WW II US Army Cavalry Saddle Soap Tin
$15.00
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WWII German RP Army Officer Mounted Soldier Rides Cavalry Horse 1940s
$3.49
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WW2 Officers Riding BOOTS US CAVALRY US ARMY SIZE 10 STAMPED INSIDE REGAL
$1,200.00
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Orig WW2 US Army OFFICERS CAVALRY Equestrian DRESS PANTS Pinks Size 32 Waist
$78.12
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WW II US ARMY CAVALRY OFFICERS CROSSED SABERS COLLAR INSIGNIA MODEL 1941
$65.00
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Ultra Rare SMALL WW 2 US Army 1st Cavalry Division Patch Inv 4777
$150.00
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Original WW 2 US Army 113th Cavalry Group Patch Off Uniform Inv 4978
$200.00
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WWII German Bulgarian Army Cavalry Branding Kit
$225.00
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VINTAGE WW2 US ARMY MOUNTED OFFICER RIDING BOOTS US CAVALRY MILITARY 17 1 2
$79.99
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ORIGINAL US ARMY 3rd ARMORED CAVALRY REGT ACR COTTON CE PATCH
$4.99
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WW2 U S ARMY CAVALRY M1921 SAM BROWNE BELT VERY NICE LOOK
$156.78
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WW2 1st Army Cavalry Patch Nice Snowy White Cotton Reverse Side
$50.00
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US Army 1st Cavalry Division solid brass belt buckle
$64.99
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ORIGINAL WW2 Vintage US ARMY CAVALRY ENLISTED OVERSEAS CAP OD GARRISON HAT
$19.95
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WW2 US Army 101st Cavalry Regt Red Border SW Matchbook Cover
$7.99
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WW2 ORIGINAL WWII MILITARY PATCH US ARMY 66TH CAVALRY DIVISION FELT
$30.00
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WW2 WWII 63rd Cavalry Division Wool felt patch US Army
$20.00
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1930 40s Japanese Army or Navy Aircraft Truck Eating Chow Cavalry Flag Prints
$15.19
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WW2 US ARMY 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION PATCH
$4.99
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1930 40s Japanese Army or Navy Aircraft Seaplane Battleship Cavalry Prints
$15.19
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1930 40s Japanese Army or Navy Cavalry Warship Destroyers Torpedo Flag Prints
$18.99
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WW2 US Army 2nd Cavalry Division Green Back cloth patch
$10.00
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WWII US Army Original 1st Cavalry Division MINT Cut Edge Patch SSI
$9.99
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Army Cavalry

Camel Cavalry - Civil War History

Discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Dec. 1848 set off a rush for California. Eager miners had to choose from three difficult and dangerous routes to get there.

The fastest, but expensive, was a sea journey to Panama, a portage to the Pacific and another trip by ship to San Francisco. A mid-continent route required arduous climbing through the Rocky Mountains. A southern route through desert country -- newly won as spoils in the Mexican War -- had to contend with lack of water and animal forage.

Jefferson Davis, a senator for Mississippi --- later president of the Confederacy --- suggested that camels be imported to carry supplies across the southwestern desert to the miners --- and gold on the return trip. His proposal was greeted with jeers and laughter in Congress.

In 1853, Davis was appointed Secretary of War and in a position to pursue his camel venture. Two years later, Congress appropriated $30,000 to buy camels for military purposes.

Major Henry C. Wayne was given the task of acquiring the camels. U.S. Navy Lt. David Porter, commander of the cargo ship Supply was directed to transport the exotic animals. Neither man had ever seen a camel except, perhaps, in a circus.

At Tunis, Wayne purchased the first camel he laid eyes on, paying the asking price by an astonished camel herder. In short order, Wayne and Porter had bought four broken down camels that soon died. One good camel was given to them by the Bey of Tunis.

Fortunately an American named Gwinn Heap, who had lived in Tunis many years, joined the expedition. He took the two neophytes to Egypt were nine camels were purchased at greatly inflated prices.

With this, Heap went on alone to Smyrna where his connection with the American government was unknown. There he purchased 23 healthy animals by the time Wayne and Porter arrived.

Included in the motley herd of 33 camels were "21 Arabian beasts of burden (one hump), two Bactrians (two humps), nine Dromedaries (bred for fast riding) and one Tuili (an enormous offspring of an Arabian female and a Bactrian male)."

Three native handlers were taken along to manage the camels during the three-month Atlantic crossing. The camel drivers were Hadji Ali (shortened to Hi Jolly by the sailors), George Caralambo (Greek George) and Elias Calles.

The camels were quartered below deck in straw-padded stalls. A hole was cut in the deck to accommodate the Tuili's hump. In rough weather, the animals were tied down in a kneeling position so they would not break their legs.

One camel died on the voyage. However, six colts were born; and two of these survived. Thus, the expedition landed at Indianola, Texas, with one more animals than it started with. Upon reaching shore, the camels went berserk --- breaking their harness, bellowing, kicking, and romping about.

The camels were a great curiosity. Newspapers front-paged the arrival. Folks at San Antonio laughed at the camels and doubted their strength. Whereupon, Wayne arranged a demonstration of their prowess.

He asked the crowd to point out a camel. That one kneeled and was loaded with two bales of hay weighing altogether 613 pounds - a heavy load for a mule. Then, two more bales were placed on the camel's back. Upon command, the camel arose easily and strode away - to cheers from the crowd.

Total cost of the expedition was $7,331. The balance of the $30,000 appropriation was returned to the government -- a precedent that never caught on.

Maj. Wayne set out in caravan for Camp Verde, an Army post 60 miles northwest of San Antonio. Heap and Porter returned immediately to Asia Minor where they purchased 42 more camels. This brought to 75 the total number of animals imported.

En route to Camp Verde, the caravan stopped for rest at Victoria. There Mrs. Mary Shirkey was allowed to clip enough camel hair to knit a pair of socks. She mailed them to Wayne, and he sent them to President Franklin Pierce. The president sent Mrs. Shirkey a silver goblet.

The 1st U.S.A. Camel Corps was designated in March 1857. Edward Beale was placed in command. He was promoted and assigned duties in Washington, D.C., where a Civil War was brewing.

Beale's appointment to the camel cavalry was a quirk of fate. He had been graduated from the Naval Academy but resigned when President Millard Fillmore appointed him Superintendent for Indian Affairs at California.

When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1849, Beale and an Army courier were selected to carry the news to Washington, D.C. They were ordered to take different routes so the news would get through even if one of them perished in the attempt.

Beale chose a dangerous route. He shipped south to San Blas then struck out overland by horseback to Vera Cruz through bandit country. On the Gulf coast he caught a ship to Washington. He was the first to arrive at the Capital, proudly carrying an eight-pound gold nugget.

The government in 1885 was still seeking an acceptable, all-weather route through the vast American continent to California. Beale was ordered to take his camels and survey a possible route along the 35th parallel from Fort Defiance, Arizona, to a Colorado River crossing.

The party left Camp Verde in June, 1857, with 25 camels, mules, sheep, dogs, supply wagons and regular Army cavalry.

The camels at first fell behind with sore humps due to inaction of the sea voyage.

By the time they reached El Paso, however, Wayne reported to Secretary of War Floyd:

"Laboring under all the disadvantages arising out of the fact that we have not one man who knows anything whatever of camels, or how to pack them, we have nevertheless arrived here without an accident.

"Although we have used the camels every day with heavy packs, they have fewer sore backs and disabilities by far than would have been the case traveling with pack mules.

"The camels live and keep on food which the mules reject and which grows in the greatest luxuriance in the most barren of our American deserts --- namely, the greasewood, a small, bitter bush useless for any purpose.

"I was told by the highest authority on leaving San Antonio, that not one of them would ever see El Paso; that they would give out on the way. This prediction has not been verified by fact."

In another report, just before reaching a water hole, Beale wrote:

"Our horses were now beginning to suffer very much, having been almost constantly at work for 36 hours without water. One of the most painful sights I have ever witnessed was a group of them standing over a small barrel of water and trying to drink from the bung-hole, frantic with distress and eagerness to get at it!

"Our camels seemed to view this proceeding with great contempt and kept quietly browsing on the grass and bushes."

Upon arriving at the Colorado, the regular cavalry viewed the wide crossing warily. It was supposed the camels had a horror of rivers and would balk, or would be unable to swim. However, they waded in unperturbed, and all reached the other side safely. Ten mules and two horses drowned.

Beale and Hi Jolly, decked out in Arabian garb and bells, rode triumphantly astride their two Bactrians into the village of Los Angeles. The mission was a complete success.

The route they charted one day became the famous highway Route 66, now Interstate 40.

Wishing to test the endurance of camels in winter, Beale followed the same route back in early 1858. The camels were indifferent to cold weather.

Secretary Floyd was impressed with the camels' performance and ordered the purchase of 1,000 additional animals. However, Congress was more concerned with the possibility of civil war at home. All monies were spent on conventional defenses.

Camp Verde and its camels fell to Confederate forces in February 1861. Without any experience in managing camels, the confederates killed many "ships of the desert" as nuisances.

When Union forces regained Camp Verde, the remaining camels were scattered to various owners. Beale gave 28 of them to Los Angeles. They were housed on main street to transport mail and baggage from San Pedro.

The last 33 animals were auctioned off by the government to a rancher named Sam McLeneghan. He sold three to a circus, and used the others for freight service for many years.

The camels performed able and cheaply. Yet, as the caravans approached a town, a driver would have to go ahead on a horse and shout, "Camels coming, camels coming!"

This was a warning to horse riders whose mounts usually spooked at the strange looking, foul smelling camels. Nevada passed a law levying a $100 fine for using a camel on a public highway.

McLeneghan finally turned his camels loose. They and their few descendants wandered about the wastelands of Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona for many years.

Historian Robert Froman confirms by contemporary newspaper articles that a huge, wild camel with the skeleton of a man strapped to its back roamed Arizona and trampled to death a woman when surprised at a spring.

Thereafter the enraged camel was called the Red Ghost. It was shot to death in 1893 -- some human bones still strapped to its hump.

The Middle East drivers who came with the original shipment of camels scattered also. Calles ended up in Mexico where his son, Plutarco, became president of Mexico in the early 1920's. Greek George served a long term with the U.S. Army and died in Montebello, California, in 1913.

Hi Jolly became a living legend in the west. Once -- insulted because he had not been invited to a picnic at Los Angeles -- Hi Jolly broke up the gathering by driving into it with a cart pulled by his two pet camels.

The Syrian camel driver, and U.S. Army scout, is said to have died in 1903 with his camel out on the Arizona desert, his arms around the neck of his faithful steed. A monument marking Hi Jolly's "last camp" was erected at Quartzsite, Ariz.

In April 1934, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported: "Topsy, the last American camel that trekked across the desert of Arizona and California died today at Griffith Park -- destroyed by attendants when she became crippled with paralysis of old age." Her ashes were interred in Hi Jolly's monument at Quartzsite.

April 20, 2003

Click here to see this article on Lindsey Williams' website

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Army Cavalry
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