Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> U.S. CAMEL CORPS
Fort Davis
West Texas

No, it isn't the Santa Clarita Valley. It's Fort Davis in West Texas, launching point of the ill-fated U.S. Camel Corps.

Back of postcard reads:

WEST TEXAS — Old Ft. Davis was established in the heart of Comanche and Apache Country during the troublesome years of the Gold Rush. Army detachments protected settlers and wagon trains, the first "U.S. Camel Corps" was tried on desert expeditions to the Rio Grande.

Photo by Peter Koch, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Genuine Natural Color Made by DEXTER PRESS, Inc., West Nyack, N.Y.

Having proved their mettle carting supplies to the Rio Grande, in 1857 the camels were put under the stewardship of Col. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, who was assigned by War Secretary Jefferson Davis to establish a route from West Texas to the Colorado River. The beasts — imported from Asia and Africa — proved far more stalwart than horses and mules in hauling packs through the unforgiving desert, but they were too ornery to gain favor from Army officers and the experiment was scrapped. (The Army was too busy preparing for war with the South — and Davis — to trouble itself with the beasts anyway.) Eventually several were set loose in the desert and others were sold to circuses; Beale bought some and used them to cart supplies back and forth from Los Angeles to his station at Fort Tejon by way of Beale's Cut in Newhall and the route through the Santa Clarita Valley. (You figured Santa Clarita would enter into this somehow.)


LW2130
U.S. CAMEL CORPS
~ HI JOLLY ~

thumbnail

SCV History Moment

thumbnail

Hi Jolly Song

thumbnail

Hi Jolly's Tomb 2002

thumbnail

Hi Jolly's Tomb 2018

thumbnail

Trek Map

thumbnail

1858 Story

thumbnail

Story 1940s

thumbnail

E.F. Beale & the Beasts of Tejon

thumbnail

Fort Tejon Camels by Vischer

thumbnail

Loading Camels ~1857

thumbnail

Fort Davis TX

Reynolds Story


RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply