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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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Army DI Pin 1st Cavalry Regiment pb Meyer
$9.95
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Army Patch 62nd Cavalry Division WWII era embroidered
$9.95
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Army Patch 66th Cavalry Division WWII era embroidered
$9.95
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LUXENBERG STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY CAVALRY OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA
$31.99
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Japanese WWII Matching Type 32 Army Cavalry Sword
$450.00
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French Army Crest Badge Lot of 2 Artillery Cavalry Lot 21
$10.00
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Excellant Original WW2 US Army 1st Cavalry Ike Jacket Size 36L
$74.99
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WW II Eisenhower Wool Jacket w 3rd Armored Cavalry Army Regiment Patch Sz 38L
$29.99
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Vintage WWII Military Army Shoulder Patch 1st Cavalry Division
$11.99
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World War II US Army 1st CAVALRY Division Patch
$6.00
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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 British made Canteen Cover Mounted Cavalry RARE dated 1944
$9.99
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Army DI pin 91st Cavalry Recon Troop cb nhm COPY
$5.95
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WWII Japanese Large Army Cavalry Wood Lacquered Sake Tray
$100.00
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REPRODUCTION GERMAN WWII ARMY CAVALRY OFFICERS SUBDUED SHOULDER BOARDS
$21.99
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6th Cavalry Regiment Group patch WWII US Army wool felt
$29.99
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WW2 US Army 1st Cavalry Division SSI Shoulder Uniform Patch
$6.00
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WWII 1943 Lead Army Cavalry Officer Home Front Sweetheart Pin
$13.99
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WW2 US Army 2nd Cavalry SSI Should Insignia Patch
$6.00
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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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WW2 ERA US ARMY SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION PATCH
$13.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION PATCH
$17.99
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WW2 US Army 24th Cavalry Division SSI Unifrom Patch
$6.00
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WWII German RP Army Officer Mounted Soldier Rides Cavalry Horse 1940s
$3.49
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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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OLD ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY CAVALRY BRASS SCREWBACK COLLAR DISK DISC
$10.17
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Original WW 2 US Army 113th Cavalry Group Patch Off Uniform Inv 4978
$200.00
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ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY 2ND CAVALRY PATCH NEW
$5.00
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WWII US Army 2nd Cavalry Division Pin Crest Unit DI DUI Insignia NR
$4.50
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1941 WWII US Army CAVALRY BOOTS Leather 3 BUCKLE Military RIDING Motorcycle
$674.95
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Lot Of 3 US Army 2nd Cavalry 2 Lapel Pins Screw Back Pinbacks Signed
$9.99
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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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US Army Cavalry solid brass belt buckle with insignia
$34.99
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Original World War II 64th US Army Cavalry Division Cut Edge Insignia Patch WW2
$25.00
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WW2 US Army 101st Cavalry Regt Red Border SW Matchbook Cover
$7.99
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION KHAKI CUTEDGE MINTY ORIGINAL
$2.25
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 2ND CAVALRY DIVISION SNOWBACK KHAKI CUTEDGE MINTY ORIGINAL
$1.25
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 2ND CAVALRY DIVISION YELLOW MINT GREENBACK KHAKI CUTEDGE MINTY
$2.25
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 2ND CAVALRY DIVISION ORANGE MINT GREENBACK KHAKI CUTEDGE MINTY
$1.29
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 63RD CAVALRY DIVISION MINTY KHAKI CUTEDGE PERIOD ORIGINAL
$7.50
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PATCH WW2 US ARMY 3RD CAVALRY REGT NICE KHAKI CUTEDGE PERIOD ORIGINAL
$5.50
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WW II WW2 US ARMY 24TH CAVALRY DIVISION CUT EDGE ORIGINAL PATCH
$15.00
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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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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
$19.99
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WWII US Sixth Army News Pictorial 1945 1st Cavalry beyond Manilla Newspaper
$3.95
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2 WW2 US ARMY 2ND Cavalry DIVISION PATCH s
$14.99
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WW2 US Army 2nd Cavalry Division Green Back cloth patch
$10.00
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2 VINTAGE WWII US ARMY 1st CAVALRY REGIMENT DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIAS
$5.00
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UNITED STATES ARMY CHAPLAIN CAVALRY PANTS OR JODHPURS WITH BLACK LEG STRIPE
$69.99
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Original World War II US Army 2nd Cavalry Division patch
$6.99
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WW II US Army 61st Cavalry Division Snowy Back Insignia No Glow Patch
$25.00
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IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY WW2 CAVALRY LIEUTENANT TUNIC ORIGINAL
$99.00
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WWII US Army 63rd Cavalry Patch
$9.99
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WWII US Army 3rd Cavalry Patch
$9.99
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WWII US Army 24th Cavalry Patch
$9.99
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WWII US Army Cavalry Patch Lot
$14.99
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WWII US Army Original 66th Cavalry Division Insignia Patch Snowy Back WW2
$22.00
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Rare WW 2 US Army Silk 1st Cavalry Patch Inv CA005
$100.00
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VINTAGE WWII ERA US ARMY 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION SHOULDER PATCH hell for leather
$9.99
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b0835 1930s WW 2 US Army 61st Cavalry shoulder patch
$22.00
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Rare WW 2 US Army Twill 1st Cavalry Patch Inv CA006
$110.00
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WW2 German army cavalry reconnaissance officer visor hat size 57reproduction
$45.00
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Original Italian Army M1908 WW2 WWII Leather Cavalry Model Pouch Dual Cell
$23.99
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b0833v US Army 4th Cavalry Guide on 1870s thru today
$80.00
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VINTAGE 1943 WWII CAVALRY ARMY SADDLE SOAP IN CAN
$119.99
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WW 2 US Army Felt Campaign Hat with Cavalry Cord Dated 1938
$38.88
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WW2 U S ARMY ENLISTED MANS INSIGNIAS DEVICES CAVALRY MATCH SET LOOK
$43.21
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MEYER GOLD UNITED STATES ARMY CAVALRY OFFICERS COLLAR PIN INSIGNIA
$4.99
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1st Cavalry Division patch WWII US Army cut edge
$9.99
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3rd Cavalry Regiment ACR patch post WWII US Army cut edge
$5.99
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Army DI Pin 112th Cavalry Regiment pb Meyer
$9.95
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Army DI Pin 5th Cavalry Regiment sb Meyer
$7.95
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ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY 15TH CAVALRY REGIMENT PATCH
$36.00
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ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY 15TH CAVALRY RECON REGIMENT PATCH
$35.00
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Army DI Pin 1st Cavalry Division sb Meyer
$6.95
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Army Patch 15th Cavalry Group WWII era
$12.95
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Collar Insignia by Amcraft
$19.99
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Army Patch 1st Army Cavalry Units early WWII original
$9.95
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WWII Gold Filled Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Balfour
$24.99
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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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