Douglas the Camel at Cedar Hill
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Not Forgotten

Home    Known CSA Veterans at Cedar Hill     Known CSA Soldiers at Soldiers' Rest
Douglas's markers in the cemetery, located with the men of the 43 Miss. Inf.
Douglas was their mascot and carried much of their equipment.


Photos by Wayne McMaster

Coins left on Douglas's marker.

Another view of coins on Douglas's marker. Note in the lower right hand corner, in the grass, the gift of a tiny dinosaur, blown off the top of the marker by the wind.


What Do Coins On A Marker Mean?

A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier's family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respects.

Leaving a penny means you visited.

A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together.

A dime means that you served with the soldier.

A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier died.


Photo by Wayne McMaster

The coins from the marker of Douglas the Camel add up to $2.13 and One Dinosaur, undoubtedly from a child's pocket.

"Teach your children who these dead men were. Tell them of their lofty courage. Instruct them in their virtues."

     -- Capt Ellis, Confederate Memorial Day, 1874

Photo by Bryan Skipworth

The marker of William A. Hicks, Confederate States Navy, with a visitor's coin on top.

Today, visitors leave coins out of respect and with special thoughts of the soldier's sacrifice.

Traditionally, coins left on a marker (or on Douglas the Camel's marker) go to the upkeep of that grave.


Why is Douglas the Camel Buried Here?




Douglas and musicians of the 43rd Miss. Inf.



Photo by Doug Baum

Douglas the Camel carried equipment for the 43rd Mississippi Volunteer Inf. Regt. and gave them their name of the Camel Regiment. He served proudly in the Iuka, Corinth, Central Mississippi Railroad, and Vicksburg Campaigns.

Douglas was a privately-imported camel. He did not belong to the US Camel Corps. Undoubtedly, the men of the 43rd and Douglas believed they belonged to each other. When he was killed by a Union sharpshooter, there was much anger, mourning, and even revenge.



The Camel Regiment: A History of the Bloody 43rd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry, CSA 1862-65 by W. Scott Bell and co-author Jim Huffman, tells the story of the 43rd Mississippi and its beloved mascot, Douglas the Camel.

Many of the 43rd killed at Vicksburg and Douglas, murdered by a Union sharpshooter, are buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg.







Forrest Bryant Johnson has written about the US Army's experiment of using camels in the American West in The Last Camel Charge: The Untold Story of America's Desert Military Experiment.


Camels were brought from the Middle East in the 1840s to form a cavalry mount for the U.S. Army in the American southwest. Camels helped greatly with transportation and expansion into the new and often hostile territories. They could reach speeds of up to 40 mph, travel days without water, carry heavier loads than mules, and, in the end, push wagon trails westward to expand the nation. The last of these camels died in 1934, but their descendants are still roaming the southwest.


Other books about the camels in America can be found online.




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