SUPPLY. The Supply was used from 1855 to 1857 to transport camels from Africa for use in transportation on the Great Plains. The vessel, a United States storeship, was fitted up in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the lower deck was walled in and divided into stalls. The camel deck, sixty by twelve by ten feet, had windows for ventilation and a hatch for loading. The animals were brought aboard by a car set on a flatboat. The Supply set sail from New York under the command of Maj. Henry C. Wayne of the army and Lt. David D. Porter of the navy on May 20, 1855. It left Tunis on February 15, 1856, with some sixty-five camels and Egyptian dromedaries and arrived at Indianola, Texas, on May 13, 1856. Because of rough water at Indianola, the Supply had to transport its cargo to the Fashion, a lighter, for unloading. Between July 1856 and January 30, 1857, the Supply made a trip from Indianola to Smyrna for an additional load of forty or fifty camels.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (8 vols., Washington: U.S. Navy, 1959–81). Leo Edwin Mahoney, The Camel Corps: An Attempted Solution of the Problem of Western Transportation (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1928).