I started like most beginners at the library. I searched the catalogs for books the event itself, and found several books written on the subject. I ordered every one listed in WorldCat.org from libraries across the United States. Then I read them. By the time I was done, I knew my first step was to access the camel files from the U. S. National Archives.
Once I read through the Congressional Records of the 1853 decision to import camels for use by the military in the Southwest, I had a list of over 50 possible resources I needed to access. Since I wasn't sure what information I would use, I checked every one of them. Some articles, newspaper accounts, and personal diaries were in government collections. Others were held by historical societies. I wrote letters, collected historical maps, downloaded pictures of the terrain the camels traveled through, joined Jstor (www.jstor.org/) and Newspaper Archives (www.newspaperarchives.com), sought out every biography of the people involved, and contacted Texas Camel Corps to check my accuracy. I even spent the day with a camel so that I could conceptualize some of the diary entries.
In all my research took several months and hundreds of hours. The result was a clear, condensed, historical account of the importation of camels for military use in 1856 in the form of my book, The Great Camel Experiment of the Old West.