SHORT STORY: Douglas the Camel

Every so often when researching a topic I could come across as a story that just needs to be told. This is the story of the domesticated dromedary camel who fought for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

In 1865 the American States Army created a United States camel corps, a division to use camels as pack animals in the south western regions of the country. The project was abandoned following the outbreak of the American Civil War, however one camel was to join the war, travelling into battle with the 43rd Mississippi Infantry.

His name was Douglas. The men of this division tried to treat Douglas as one of the horses, however they were unable to tie him up and he was known to scare the horses and so he was allowed to roam freely, though never being too far away from his division.

I feel like I am writing a children’s story. Though try not to think of it like this because unlike most children’s stories this does not have a happy ending.


His first sight of action was in the Battle of Iuka and later he was part of the 1862 Battle of Corinth, an incredibly bloody battle with over 6500 casualties. Douglas became a hero in his regiment, though tragedy struck during the Siege of Vicksburg, where Douglas was shot by a Union sharpshooter.

In an act of revenge his division gathered 6 of their best shooters to pick off the Union soldier that killed Douglas. They were successful in killing the individual, though they did eventually lose the battle.

Douglas was given a grave marker at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg for his heroism.




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