U.S. Camel Corps

A drawing from Harper’s Illustrated c. 1857 of the U.S. Army camels trekking from Texas to Los Angeles.

In 1857 the Army sent a herd of about 35 camels overland from Texas to Los Angeles in what was its first-ever field test of new “equipment.” The camels were auction off during the Civil War, and about six of them were bought by Major Henry Hancock. They lived briefly at an abode cabin near present-day Melrose Place in West Hollywood.