They see us rollin’, they hatin’, they tryin’ to catch us Rough Ridin’…

Roosevelt and the Rough Riders atop San Juan Hill, Cuba, Spanish-American War, 1898.

The “Rough Riders” were the most famous of all the units fighting in Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt actually resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join and help create this volunteer cavalry. He ended up leading the cavalry. He formed the “Rough Riders” because he believed they would be a dominate force in helping United States’ win the war in Cuba. Roosevelt and his commanders supplied their unit very well and because of the hard work and training they all put in results were seen very quickly. The original plan for this unit was to have it made up of men from the Indian Territory, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. However, once Roosevelt joined the group, it quickly became the place for a mix of troops ranging from all over, with various amounts of experience.

Their most known battle took place atop San Juan Hill, during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Because of all Roosevelt did during the war, he became a national hero to the Americans. After the capture of San Juan Hill, overlooking Santiago, the city surrendered, and the war was virtually over. Although, the battle atop San Juan Hill was said to be the bloodiest battle of the war it is to this day known as the most famous battle of the War as well as the location of the greatest victory for the Rough Riders.

If Roosevelt or any of his men from the “Rough Rider” cavalry were alive and in class today two of the many questions I would like to ask them are:

1) What motivated you to want to join a volunteer cavalry? If you could do it over, would you have chosen not to join?

2) What feelings/ emotions did you feel after the victory on San Juan Hill? Was the win at that one battle worth going through everything you had to, in order to get there?

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