Benicia, California

The Benicia Camel Barn – A Former Arsenal For The United States Camel Corps

In 1850, the U.S. Army built a warehouse, in Benicia, California, that they named the “Benicia Camel Barn” because it was used to store supplies for the experimental U.S. Camel Corps.

The United States Army referred to the Benicia Camel Barn as the “Benicia Arsenal”.

During the U.S. Civil War, the Benicia Camel Barn was guarded, by the Union, to prevent the arms inside from being raided by the Confederate troops in California.

The Benicia Arsenal was used as an army training post, but its troops never saw battle inside the state of California during the United States Civil War.

During World War II, the Powder Magazine building, within the Benicia Arsenal, was utilized by the United States as a German prisoner of war camp. When looking on the walls, there was still graffiti from the prisoners who used to stay there.

In 1964, the Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns, also referred to as the Benicia Camel Barn Museum, was established after the army decommissioned that depot.

Author’s Note:

I got a tour of the museum from the author Jim Lessenger whom has written several books on California military history including:

“The History Of Benicia And The Arsenal”

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