Douglas Camel

Douglas Camel

Death 27 Jun 1863
Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 13890400 View Source
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This is presumably a memorial marker, not a grave stone. It is with a group of Confederate markers a good distance from the Soldiers Rest section of the cemetery. Soldiers Rest is part of Cedar Hill Cemetery, with no divider separating it from the rest of the cemetery and with Civil War graves spread throughout Cedar Hill.

The following was provided by Phoebe Ezell:

The 43d Mississippi Infantry's mascot, Douglas the Camel, remained with the regiment until Vicksburg where he was killed by Union sharpshooters. Douglas is honored with his own grave marker in Vicksburg's Cedar Hill Cemetery. Two accounts related to Douglas the camel where taken from the Confederate Veterans Magazine excepts listed below source

"Company B, of the Forty-third Mississippi Infantry, had a veritable camel, belonging to Lieut. W. H. H------ [Lt. William H. Hargrove], and the use he was put to was to carry the baggage of the officers' mess. The horses of the command were afraid of the camel, and the driver was instructed to stop just outside the camp when it halted. But in a forced march toward Iuka, Miss., the command had halted just after dark, and the camel and driver got in the line of march before he knew it. The result was that a horse made a break with a fence rail attached to his halter, and running through the camp, he stampeded men and animals in every direction. Many men took [to] trees or any other protection, and the panic spread through much of the brigade, and many men and animals were badly hurt,and one or two horses, I think, were killed. The camel was in the siege of Vicksburg, and was killed there by a minie-ball from the enemy. But none of the Forty-third have forgotten the stampede near Iuka, Miss., just before the Battle of Corinth."

J. W. Cook, of Helena, Ark., who belonged to Company A, Forty-Third Mississippi Regiment, writes of an interesting attache of the regiment who could not speak for himself even had he survived the carnage of war: ‘Old Douglas' was an African camel and belonged to the Forty-Third Mississippi Regiment. He was given to Col. William M. [actually ‘H.,' for Hudson] Moore, of the regiment, by Lieut. [William H.] Hargrove. of Company B. Col. Moore assigned Douglas to the regimental band, for whom he carried instruments and knapsacks. The camel's first active service was with Gen. Price in the Iuka campaign. He was sent to the wagon train, and stampeded all the teams. There was only one horse in Little's Division which would face Douglas at first, and that was Pompey, the little bay stallion belonging to Col. Moore, but it was not long till he was on intimate terms with all. His keeper would chain him to keep him from wandering off, but Douglas would sit back and snap any kind of chain, then proceed to graze at leisure, though never leaving the regiment or interfering with anything that did not interrupt him. When the regiment was ready to start, Douglas would be led up to the pile of things he was to carry, and his leader would say, 'Pushay, Douglas,' and he would gracefully drop to his knees and haunches and remain so till his load was adjusted and he was told to get up. His long, swinging gait was soon familiar with the entire command, and ours was called the 'Camel Regiment.' Douglas was in the engagements of [Gen. Sterling] Price and [Gen. Earl] Van Dorn in Mississippi, and went with us to [Gen. John C.] Pemberton at Vicksburg, where he was killed by a skirmisher during the siege. His gallant owner had fallen in the second day's fight at Corinth. Douglas was a faithful, patient animal, and his service merits record in the Veteran."

[Birth and death dates provided by James Earl (Sam) Price and Kairbear.]