"Old Douglas", the Confederate Camel

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I was reading about postal service during and before Civil War when came across article on Old Douglas. He has grave marker at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Old Douglas was the Mascot of the 43rd Ms Infantry. He served with the Unit until he was killed by a Union sharpshooter at Vicksburg.

The marker reads: "Old Douglas was the faithful, patient camel of the 43rd Ms. Infantry Vols. CSA. Douglas was a Dromedary Camel, and was given to Col. Moore by Lt. Hargrove of Co. B._"

There is a picture of memorial at flickr photo sharing. Look up Confederate Camels or Old Douglas and will come up.
 

donna

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There is more about Old Douglas at Wikipedia. There is also picture of his marker at Vicksburg. I wondered why a camel would be shot. The article states " a battalion of Union Sharpshooters were ordered to shoot Douglas. They did, but those sharpshooters were soon killed by sharpshooters from 43 Ms. Company."

I just don't understand why you would kill the Camel. He was their mascot and could hurt no one.
 

mt155

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4794804019_72aa9bdf28_z.jpg
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
I also want to thank you for posting photo. That is another thing I am figuring out to do. I finally got the joining group and accepting friend down. When it comes to some things on computer takes me awhile.
 

gary

Captain
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Feb 20, 2005
Thanks for the photo of Old Douglas. I heard that a camel was eaten at Vicksburg, but didn't know the story behind him. The "sharpshooters" must have been the men of Lt. "Coonskin" Foster.
 

mt155

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The main ranger at Vicksburg told the story on Park Day that when the yanks entered Vicksburg via the Jackson Rd. they passed buy a dead Douglas. Some of the enterprizing fellows collected all of the bones and made trinketts such as pinky rings and such for sale as souvenirs. Maybe we'll see one turn up on Antique Roadshow one day.
 

whitworth

2nd Lieutenant
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Jun 18, 2005
The camel would have been a great part of psychological warfare by the Union. The Union forces could have indicated that they were attempting to protect the camel, but not the purpose of the camel. The camel had been part of Jefferson Davis' plan to militarily control New Mexico, Arizona and even California, from Texas, and that had also failed.
The Confederacy was seeing the end game. The Confederacy had no real hope of now controlling the western states with the then siege of Vicksburg, the loss of the Mississippi River, and the numbers of states and areas the Confederacy already lost.
Soldiers often fight harder when defeat is really at their door. Defeat can come militarily, but many times opponents have to be psychologically prepared to accept the inevitable. Unfortunately, that often comes with a burial ground for both sides, and often the only solution for some.
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
A good site to read on Re: Douglas the Camel's ulitmate fate is at:

http//history-sites.com/cgl-bin/bbs53x/mscwmb/webbbs+pf?noframes;read=19140

The writer of this post quotes from several sources about camels and Old Douglas. He states that Douglas' bones or what he says is "Price's camel" were taken and used for making rings and other ornaments. Actually, when the bones of the camel were exhausted they took "the bones of cattle slain for beef were substituted, the souvenir fiend being fully satisfied they were part of "Price's Camel".

"He also includes other sources where Douglas is mentioned.

1. Confederate Veteran, Vol 1, p. 267
2. Confederate Veteran, Vol 11, p. 494.
3. "Lone Star defenders: A Chronicle of the 3rd Texas Cavalry, Ross' Brigade" by Samuel Barron, p. 101-102
4. "History of the First and Second Missouri Confederate Brigades" by R.S. Bevier, p. 435."

It would be interesting to look these references up and see what is written. It is sad that Douglas, an innocent mascot, was killed and that then they would take his bones and make souvenirs. But then what is fair about war.
 

LT.J.H.McDaniel

Sergeant Major
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Location
Covington,Tennessee
There is more about Old Douglas at Wikipedia. There is also picture of his marker at Vicksburg. I wondered why a camel would be shot. The article states " a battalion of Union Sharpshooters were ordered to shoot Douglas. They did, but those sharpshooters were soon killed by sharpshooters from 43 Ms. Company."

I just don't understand why you would kill the Camel. He was their mascot and could hurt no one.
cuz thier yanks...
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
There is memorial to Old Douglas on Find A Grave. There is picture of grave but none of him. I have searched for a picture but do not believe any exist.

That is interesting about Robert E. Lee's camels.
 

diane

Retired User
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Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
i heard that Robert E.Lee had 24 camels wile stationed in sanAntonio Texas. Douglas was probably either one of these camels or in relation to these camels.

The Great Texas Camel Drive! That was Lee's camels getting from the port to where he was... He was keen on seeing how Davis' experiment would play out, so he sent somewhere in northern Africa for some.
 
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