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Full text of "The story of the Rough Riders, 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry : the regiment in camp and on the battle field"

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I'Yom a photograph by WiUiain Dinwiddie. 

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in the Field. 



THE STOIIY OF 

THE ROUGH RIDERS 

1ST u. j^. VOLUNTEER CAVALRY 

THE REGIMENT IN CxVMP AND ON THE BATTLE FIELD 



BY 

EDWARD MARSHALL 



ILLUSTRATED FROM I'llOTCKiKAlMlS TAKKN ON TlIK I'IKLD AND WITH 
DKAWlN'CiS MADK MY 

men A 111) V. OUTCAULT 



^ 



NEW YORK 

Q. W. DILLINGHAM CO., Publishers 

MDCCCXCIX 

[All rnjhlK ri'xi'rrtuf] 



Copyright, 1899, by 
G. W. DILLINGHAM CO. 






?OPU 



• o Kt:,w_.i w i£Q, 



1889 ) 







EXECUTIVE MANSION. 

WASHINGTON. 



February 21, 1899 



All of our soldiers in Cuba did well. 
It was an honor to the First United States 
Volunteer Cavalry to be with them, and it 
was an honor to the army to have this 
splendid regiment at the front . 



/Z^zJ^Jt^^ X-*"^ 




A TRIBUTE FROM THE SECRETARY 
OF AVAR. 

The First United States Volunteer Cavalry was an 
admirable regiment, and did good service dnring the 
war. Officers and men alike acquitted themselves most 
creditably. They were promptly organized, were 
equipped with smokeless-powder carbines, and took 
])art in every military engagement in Cuba, except the 
light at El (Janey. Wherever they were they did well. 




MAJOR-GENERAL LKONAKI) WOOD'S 
OPINION OF THE REGIMENT. 

Notwithstanding tlio fact that my connection with the 
rcginicnt, as coninianding- otHccr, ceased on June ^Oth, 
the (hiy before the San Juan charge, my interest in it 
has ne\er lessened for a moment. 1 was naturally ])r()U(l 
of my connection with it at the heginning. i am ])rond 
now of the fact that I went into the war as its colonel, 
and I am proud of its record. AVhen I began to do what 
I coukl at San Antonic^, to organize the regiment into a 
creditable military body, I said to the men of it: 

'' Make yourselves as much like regular soldiers as you 
can in the shortest possible time. If you think only of 
that you will be thinking exactly of the right thing and 
you will have enough to think about to keep you very 
busy. If you devote your time and attention to that, 
the regiment will be a success." 

The men did make themselves so much like regulars 
that it was hard to tell the difference, and the regiment 
was a success. 

It would be utterly useless for me to recapitulate now 
the history of the good work the Itough Riders did. 
They were U(A llie ouly good soldiers in the army, but 
they were among the best, and they did not do any bad 
work. 






FROM LIEUTENANT-COLONEL (FOR- 
MERLY MAJOR) BRODIE. 

Never in the history of the world had such a regiment 
been organized. It was made up of men of the frontier, 
who were joined by volunteers from nearly every State 
and Territory in the Union. The former were accus- 
tomed to adventure, and the latter joined the regiment 
because they were looking for it, so there was no man 
in the whole organization who was not anxious to face 
hardship and brave death. AVe had all either seen or 
wanted to see hard work. We got it. The regiment 
contained no shirkers. I was wounded at Las Guasimas. 
It is one of the regrets of my life that I could not have 
l)een with the men at San Juan. I rejoined the regiment 
at Montauk. 

AVe were as lucky in our two commanding officers as 
we were lucky in our men. Wood and Roosevelt were 
of the very few worthy to command a regiment like the 
Rough Riders. They were strong of mind and body, 
knew the military business, were self -forgetting, patient 
and brave. Both have since won high honors, and both 
have absolutely deserved them. To neither of them, in 
all his life, can any honor come which is too high. 

Alexander O. Bkodie. 



PREFACE. 

The author makes no apologies for devoting an entire 
book to the story of one regiment in the Spanish- Ameri- 
can War. The history of the Hough Kiders is really 
the history of the war, for from its beginning to its (nid 
these men were at the forefront of the fighting, and did 
work on a par with our very best regulars. The Auu'ri- 
ean people has already formed its estimate of them. 
Captain Lee, who was the English military attache dur- 
ing the entire campaign, told me that they were the best 
regiment of volunteer soldiers ever organized, and this 
English estimate quite agrees with that made by George 
Lynch, an experienced correspondent from London. 
He said: 

" No European, who has had an opportunity to study 
the Hough Riders, fails for a second to appreciate the 
American soldier. It would be madness to back the 
English, German, or French fighting machines against 
men like those in the First Volunteer Gavalry." 

The Rough Riders were the first vohmteer regiment 
organized, armed, and equipped. They were the first 
volunteer soldiers to land in Cuba. They raised the 
first flag flown by the military forces of the United 
States on for(>ign soil since the Mexican AVar. 
They were the first regiment of the army to fire a shot 
at the Spaniards, and the first man killed was one of 
them. Lideed, they bore tlic l)ruut of tlie first battle, 
and they bore it witli niicxainjih'd l>rav('ry. In tlie 

xi 



PREFACE. 

second battle, their colonel and his men led the van and 
headed one of the most desperate charges in the history 
of warfare. From first to last they were always in the 
lead, and always a credit to themselves and to their 
country. 

If these men do not deserve a history book devoted 
entirely to them, then I am ignorant of any men who do. 

My own connection with the regiment began the day 
after they landed in Cuba (where I had gone as war 
correspondent for the New York Journal), and lasted 
just twenty-four hours. It was then quickly put a stop 
to by a Mauser bullet. ]^ot more than six weeks ago 
C\:)lonel, now Governor, Theodore Roosevelt sent me the 
medal of the regiment, and was good enough to say that 
he was glad to consider me a member of it. Like medals 
and like letters were sent to Richard Harding Davis, the 
able correspondent of the New York lleraJd and Scrib- 
v/er'.s ]\[a</azlii(\ and to Captain j\rc(V)rmack of the regu- 
lar army. lioth of these gentlemen were witli the 
Itough Riders in the battle of Las (iiiasimas, and, I think, 
afterwards at the l)attle of San Juan. 

I'hc fact that I was shot while on the batth'ticld with 
this regiment, natni'ally made me feel a deep sympathy 
with it, a hearty pride in all its achievements, and con- 
stant interest in everything it did in Cul)a and, after 
its retni-n, in America. When Mr. John 11. (Jook, the 
President of the (J. AV. Dillingham Company, asked me 
to write a histoiy of the regiment I Avas, therefore, 
greatly pleased. Of course it was impossible that I 
should not liav(» at hand some of the required material. 
]\!y long illness, however, had not I'terniittcNl me to 

xii 



I'KKFACK. 

i!,;illi('r it in a systematic or siiliit'iciii way, and so 1 liavc 
had t(» call to my iissistaiico scxcrai iiicmhci's ot tlrj 
rciiiiiicnt, as well as others. I am deeply indehled to 
( 'olouel Leonard S. Wood (now J\lajor-(ieneral and 
Military (iovernor ot" Santiago Province), Captain dames 
11. ^IcC'lintock, Major Alexander IJrodie, Lieutenant V. 
P. Hayes, and Privates (leorge W. Burgess, Sam. \\\ 
Noyes, and "dudge" Murphy. T liave l)orrowed anec- 
dote and fact freely from the newspaper press, and only 
regret that the almost universal anonymity of American 
journalism makes it ini])ossil)le for me to thank and 
credit the writers by name. Kichard F. Outcault, who 
has made the drawings for the book, has caught the spirit 
of the regiment and the scenes in which its work was 
done, admirably. I am further indebted to Mr. W. Tv. 
Hearst, the proprietor of the New York Journal, wdiose 
constant kindness has permitted me to take time to write 
this book while still a mend)er of the Journal staff. 




CONTENTS. 



CIIAP'I'KK I. 

PAGE 

THE BUILDING OF THE REGIMENT ... 19 



CHAPTER IT. 
THE REGIMENT AT SAN ANTONIO .... 35 

CHAPTER HI. 
AT TAMPA, AND THE TRIP TO CUBA ... 48 

CHAPTER IV. 
IN CUBA, BEFORE THE FIGHTING .... 65 

CHAPTER V. 
THE FIRST SHOT ....... 84 

CHAPTER VI. 
THE FIRST BATTLE . . . . . .1(11 

CHAPTER VII. 
DE.^TH AND SUFFERING . ... • . 1'22 

XV 



CONTENTS. 

CHArTER vm. 

PAGE 

AFTER LAS GUASIMAS ... oo. 137 

CHAPTER IX. 
THE BEGINNING OF SAN JUAN . » . .169 

CHAPTER X. 
THE CHARGE OF SAN JUAN . . c . . 184 

CHAPTER XI. 

THE MEN WHO DIED . . .- . . .203 

CHAPTER XII. 
AFTER THE FIGHTING WAS OVER . . , .211 

CHAPTER XIII. 
LAST DAYS IN CUBA . . . . . . 224 

CHAPTER XIV. 
HOME AGAIN ....... 235 

CHAPTER XV. 
IN NEW YORK . . . ' . . . 25(> 

ROSTER . 259 



LI8T OF FULL-PAdE ILLUSTRATIONS. 

I'AliE 

Colonel Tiikodore Roosevelt in the Field . Frcmdsjiiece 

A Group of K 'I'roop Men ....... 31 

The Dock at Port Tampa, Flortoa, on the Day oe Sailing . 4.5 

Col. Leonard Wood in Consultation with Lieut. -Col. Roose- 
velt at Daiquiri 59 

The First Camp of the Rough Riders, at Daiquiri . . 73 

Building Palm Shelters 87 

Lieut.-Col. Roosevelt Examining the Severed Wire just 

before the Battle of Las Guasimas .... 97 

Cooking a Cuban Half-ration Breakfast .... 113 

Captain McClintock Wounded at Las Guasimas , . . 129 

The Battle-field of Las Guasimas 141 

Making Camp after the Battle of Las Guasimas . .153 

Where the Rough Riders Waited in the Quivering Heat 

BEFORE THE ChARGE OF SaN JuAN 1(>5 

The Shell at El Poso 177 

A Gun in Grimes's Battery 189 

Asleep in the Shade on the Railroad Leading to Santiago 201 

Troopers at Mess at Montauk 213 

The Famous Regimental Colors 225 

Colonel Roosevelt and His Staff at Montauk . . . 237 

The Last Guard 249 



TTTE 



STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS 



CHAPTER L 

THE BUILDING 

OF THE REGIMENT. 





'^^ 



Rough, tough, we're th(^ 

stuff, 
We want to figlit, and 

we can't get enough, 
Whoo-pee. 



This was the cry of the Hough 
Riders. It is just as Avell to put it at 
the head of the chapter on organiza- 
tion as it wouhl be to put it anywliere 
else, for it un(iuestional)ly expresse;! 
the sentiments of the men who joined 
the regiment, from the very begin- 
ning. 

The moment that the newspapers 
sent l)roa(lcast the tale that such a 
regiment was contemplated, excite- 
ment began in nearly every State in 
the Fnion, and did not end until th(> 
announcement was made that the regi- 
ment was complete. 
19 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

As it stood finished, the troops which made it up, 
theoretically, came from the following sections, although 
men from the East and from other States and Territories 
were scattered through each troop. 

Troops A, B, and C, from Arizona. 

Troop D, from Oklahoma. 

Troops E, F, G, II, and I, from ISTew ]\[exico. 

Troop Iv, from Eastern colleges and cities. 

Troops L and M, from Indian Territory. 

Senator Warren, of Iowa, is responsible for the idea 
of the Rough Eiders. He introduced and carried 
through Congress, aided by Senators Kyle, Carter, and 
others, a bill authorizing the enrollment of three regi- 
ments, to be made up of expert hunters, riflemen, cow- 
men, frontiersmen, and such other hardy characters as 
might care to enlist from the Territories. 

Captain Leonard Wood, of the Medical Corps, was the 
President's chief medical adviser, and had had much ex- 
perience in Indian fighting in the West. 

Theodore Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the 
ISTavy, and had had some knowledge of men and things 
on the frontier, through his life on his own and other 
ranches. 

It was the President's intention to offer to Wood the 
colonelcy of one regiment, to Roosevelt the colonelcy of 
a second, and to Griggsby, of ^Montana, the colonelcy of 
the third. Wood and Roosevelt received their offers at 
about the same moment. Roosevelt promptly declined 
his, on the theory that he had not had sufficient military 
(experience to warrant liini in taking command of a regi- 
ment, lie asked that ho might be given the second 

20 



THK BUILDING OF TllK REGIMENT. 

])lac(^ ill tlic rcginicnt coiiiiii;iii(l('<l hy Wood, wliicli was 
(loiu*. 'riiiis the Ivough Riders began. 

Alexander Brodie, who afterwards became major of 
the regiment, was probably the first man to systematieally 
start towards the oriiaui/atioii of this particular rcgi- 
iiu'iit. lie was sliot at J.as (iuasimas, and after the war 
lie ran for ( ^ongress from his section, with disastrons 
resuhs. \o more gallant soldier ever wore Uncle Sam's 
nniform. 

Major iJrodie started about the organization of the 
regiment with characteristic impetnosity. Before he 
teh'graphed to the President that he had engaged him- 
self upon the enterprise at all, he telegraphed to each 
county in Arizona, saying that he wanted men; that lie 
wanted good men, and that he wanted them ([nick. 
Brodie's first fear was that he would not receive sufficient 
replies, so that he could tender the services of a respecta- 
ble number. He made the conditions of enlistment very 
rigid. He demanded, first, that the men should be 
good horsemen; second, that they should be good 
marksmen; and, third, that they should be of good 
moral character. He asked for as many references as 
you would ask for if you were investigating the ante- 
cedents of a prospective servant girl. He had an idea 
that this request would bar from service in the regiment 
many men otherwise desirable, and it undoubtedly did. 
But his amazement was WTit in large characters on his 
face and in his language, when lie found that Arizona 
contained enough men, exactlv to his liking and ardently 
anxious for enlistment, to form a full regiment. This 
information he telegraplicd to the President with great 

21 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

glee. But the President wired back to Brodic, that 
Arizona's quota of troops previously decided upon by 
(.'ongress assembled, was insufficient to enable him to 
accept the services of a whole regiment from that Terri- 
tory, lie added to the message, and this well-nigh broke 
Brodie's heart, that not more than two hundred men 
could be taken. 

Brodie started on a process of sifting, and presently 
gathered at Prescott the l)est three luuKh'cd and hfty 
ont of the lot. From these he selected two hundred, 
after having examined them first as to their qualifica- 
tions for killing Spaniards and, second, as to their cpiali- 
fications for entering into the heavenly choir, in case 
they should l)y chance be killed themselves. 

James 11. McClintock, afterwards eaptain of B Troop, 
])robably gave Brodie more assistance than any other 
one man. McClintock would have been a bad man him- 
self had he not been prevented by the restraining in- 
fluence of the profession of journalism, which he fol- 
lowed, lie had been the editor of half a dozen ]iapers 
in the Territory, some of which are as dead as he canu^ 
near to being at Las Guasimas; some of which now sur- 
vive on half-total disability, as he does; and some of 
A\'hich are as active and as sturdy as he was when he 
helped Brodie to organize the Arizona troops. 

I shall not attem]it to tell a chronological history of 
the organization of this regiment, because I do not be- 
lieve that anyone coidd ])repare such a chapter. The 
regiment was organized, as most of its members had 
previously lived, and as it fought at Guasimas and San 
J nan — helter-skelter. 



TIIK JJUlLDJNCi OK I'llK KKd I M KNT. 

Arizona I'm iiislicd I lie rciiiiiiciital ciiloi's and llio 
I'cgiiuental mascot. Tlic tiiiiversal sympathy wliich 
existed between the peo})k' of tl:e 'I'erritory and the ob- 
ject of the oruani/.ation, c(»uhl not be more phiinly shown 
ihan it was by these two episodes. Tlie huHes ot the 
Women's Relief ( 'or})s at Phoenix gave the Ihig, which 
was presented by the Governor. As CViptain iMcCUintock 
received the coh)rs, a chorns of fenude voices from the 
Territorial Kormal School sang "God be with yon till 
Avo meet again." The regimental nuiscot was given to 
the regiment by Robert Brow, a ])r()minent and jovial 
gentleman of Prescott, and if the band ])laye(l at all 
dnrine- the ceremonv, the tnne was ijrobablv either 
" We -won't go home till morning," or " The Streets of 
Gairo." 'llnis extremes met. 

The flag was a beantifnl silk standard, sewed togetlier 
by devoted women who did not mind sitting up all night 
in order to get it ready in time, and it is said that tlien^ 
was much (]itHcnlty in finding tlie material of which to 
make it. The same rnnior tells of a blue silk ball gown, 
wliich may or may not have been nsed as the field for the 
flag's white stars. Tt was understood and hoped tliat 
President IMcKinley would, when the regiment was in 
AVashington, formally present the colors to it in behalf 
of tlie ladies of Phoenix, but for some reason this plan 
fell throngh. 

The regimental mascot was a mountain lion cnb, who 
had been named Florence l)y ]\lr. RolxM-t Brow's patron, 
who bronght her in to him, and possibly tm-ned her over 
to him in payment for a stack of bliu^ chips. She was 
an extremely handsome animal, with soft, dee]i, tawny 

23 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 




fur, and eyes which were deceptively mild in their ap- 
pearance. Xothing could possibly be more satisfactory 
and comforting' than the gentle purr of this jDleasant cat, 
and nothing could certainly have been 
sharper or more lacerating than the points 
of the claws which, for a certain portion 
(tf the time, she kept aniial)ly concealed in 
the velvet pads of her muscular paws. 
Florence was fond of soldiers, and never 
attacked them. She hated civilians, and 
the man who did not wear a uniform was 
reasoiial)ly certain to carry her signature 
away with him if he went near enough for 
her to reach him. This is literally true. 

The flag was the first to l)e raised by the 
army during the war, and the day we 
landed floated ])roudly on the summit of ]\Iount Losil- 
tires. It was gallantly borne through every engagement 
in Cul)a, and has now l)cen returned to the Women's 
Relief CS:)rps of Phoenix, who point with ])ardonable 
pride to the many bullet holes which are in it. 

The mountain lion was very Avisely left at Tampa 
when the regiment sailed. Some of the troopers advo- 
cated her transportation to Cuba on the theory that the 
colonel could sick her on the Spaniards just before each 
battle, Avith disastrous results to the enemy, but still, she 
was left at Tampa. She has now gone back to Arizona. 
Probably Mr. Robert Brow has her again. She did her 
duty nobly, and deserves a pension. 

One more word about Arizona, which does not entirely 
concern the Rough Riders. This Territory, both on the 

24 



THE BUILDING OF THE RECIMENT. 

first and second calls for ti'iKips, had her full quota organ- 
ized, armed, and e(iuippt'd htd'oro anv (ttlicr State or Ter- 
ritory in the Union. 

At Whipple Uarraeks, when the two hundred selected 
men mandied away to take the train for San Antonio, 
they left behind them fifteen hundred to two thousand 
sorrowing ones, who woukl liave gone with them at tlm 
di'op of the hat, and who mourned because the hat 
fell not. 

It was on the 3d of ^lay that the Arizona men startcxl 
for San Antonio. 

It was on the Sth of May that the very last men of all 
— those of K Troop — left AVashington for San Antonio. 
These were the "" dude warriors," the " dandy troopers," 
the "gilded gang." AVhen their train pulled into San 
Antonio, and they started stragglingly to march to camp, 
they encountered a contingent of three hundred and 
forty cowboys from ISTew JMexico. Oil and water are not 
farther removed than were the everyday natnres of these 
two groups of men. Yet, instantly they fraternized, 
and from that moment — through the hardships of it all, 
throngh the blood and death and fever of it all — these 
men were brothers. 

( \ineerning the voyage of the AVashington swells, I 
will quote an item from a newspaper. It indicates some 
interesting things about the regiment: 

"A well-known Xew Yoi'k clubman had enlisted. 
When departing for San Antonio he engaged a 
sleeper, and was shown to his place by the porter. 
Just as he depositcnl his haggage, Sergeant Tluid- 
deus Iliggins, an old ca\'alryman of tlu^ regular ser- 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 



vice, who had charge of the party, tapped him on the 
shoulder. 

" ' Take these things back there, ' he said, jerking his 
thumb in the direction of the ordinary day coaches pro- 
vided l)y the Government for the troopers. 

" The chibman looked sTir})rise(h It was his first ex- 
perience in military disciplin(\ 

" ' That's where you belong,' acMcd Sergeant Higgins, 

with the thumb still pointed 
to the rear. 

" The clubman was made 
of good stuff, lie saluted, 
picked up his things, and 
went back to the day coaches, 
lie did not sleep at full 
hMigth until the train ar- 
rived at San Antonio." 

I )etiiiit('ly, tlu^ Arizona 
contingent started for San 
Antonio May 3d; the troop 
from Guthrie, Oklahoma, 
started May 4th, and the four 
trooi)s from Xew ]\Iexico started May 6th. 

And it may be as well now to go back to some of the 
experiences which Colonel Roosevelt, then Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy, was having in Washington. 

Froui the very start, as I have said, Colonel Roosevelt 
was considered the head of the regiment. The fact that 
he had declined to accept the colonelcy on the ground 
that he did not have enough experience, and that the 
post of commanding officer had been given to Captain 

36 




THE JUILDINC OF TIIK liKClMENT. 

Lcoiiiird \\'(mk1 ol' llic Mcdicnl Slntl', luid no clVcct (Ui 
the liclief of the people, that lloosevelt was the colonel; 
thar Uoosevelt was the organizer; and that Kooscvelt 
would canv the regiment tliroiigh to victory, although 
this belief was not wholly accui'atc. All kinds oi' a|>|ili- 
cations for places in the regiment were made to him. 
l*'or instance, on April 2Tth, Uepreseutative (*at(diings, 
(d' M ississi])])i, called upon him to otlcr the ser\ices of a 
conipanv from N'ickshnrg, under the guidance of Jack 
( 'onley, known to be one of the most daring chai-acters 
in that State. Tloosevelt had to dr(dine. At that very 
moment lettci's and telegrams lay on his desk, which tol 1 
of over fifteen thousand men who wanted to join the 
regiment, l^robahly no military organization has ever 
b(>en made up of men selected from so large a nuudx-r 
of applicants, or of men so carefnlly selected. I could 
till a clia})ter easily by telling of the men who wanted to 
be Ivough liiders, but couldn't. The Kocky ^Mountain 
sharpshooters, alone, comprised more than two hundreil 
men, and among them were many who had seen seryice 
during some of the regular army's most desperate Indian 
cain])aigns, and men who are known as being among the 
best hunters of l)ig game in all the West. A large dele- 
gation of men from Harvard College called upon Roose- 
velt one day in AVashington and offered their services in 
a body. Indeed, delegations of that kind from most of 
the Eastern colleges went to him, but went to him in 
vain. His secretary answered more than five thousand 
individual a])plications for places in the regiment, and 
answered ninety-nine per cent, of them with declinations. 
Finally, Roosevelt decided, after a consultation with 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

the Secretary of War and General Miles, the command- 
ing general of the army, to organize a troop in Wash- 
ington, 

It may not be amiss to speak rapidly of the personal- 
ities of some of the men whom he accepted for this troop. 
There were among them some of the best football players 
in the conntry; a noted steeplechaser; a crack polo 
player; famous clubmen; honor men in almost all the 
Eastern colleges; and many famous amateur athletes. 
Two others — J. C. Clagett, of Frederick, Maryland, 
and L. IM. Montgomery, of Bradley, Maryland — rich 
farmers, Avere so anxious to join that they offered to 
pay their own transportation and furnish their own 
horses and equipments. An idea of K Troop is given 
below. 

Woodbury Kane was a polo player of note, and a hard 
rider on the hunting field. He came of a fighting 
family; played football at Harvard. 

Craig Wadsworth was one of the " fighting Genesee 
Wadsworths," whose name had always been among the 
foremost in the annals of the country in war. He had 
led the Genesee Valley hunts for some years, and at other 
times had led many a german in Xew York ballrooms. 

William Tiffany was a nephew of the late Mrs. August 
Belmont, and grandnephew of Commodore Perry. He 
spent several years on the plains of Montana. 

Reginald or " Bcggie " Ronalds was the son of Mrs. 
Pierre Lorillard Ronalds, who is the best known Ameri- 
can in London, is a great friend of the Prince and 
Princess of Wales, and has a voice that has held Europe 
and America under its spell for two generations. 

28 



'I'llK lllIl.DINC OK 'I'lIK UKClMKX'l". 

Ronalds oiicc |ilavc(l tackli a raiiioii- \ ale t'n..|l,;ili 

team. 

1 )iitllc\- S. Dean, captain of I lie llarxard I'ootl.all I cam 
(tf 'ill, was in cliaruc <•!' the l)nsiiicss of tlic Mexican 
Central K. U. at Las Ve^iis, ^Mexico, np to tlic time when 
lie I'esiii'ned and came NTortli to enlist. 

(hiy Mnrtdiie was the wclhknown Harvard coach. 

Waller was the cdninipion hii;li-juniper (d ^ ale. 

Stephens was a <>Teat polo })layc'r from Colorado. 

Henry AV. I hill, (»f California, was one of the leadini; 
members of the Harvard crew. 

Hoi lister was Harvard's champion half-mile nmner. 

Horace Devereanx, from Colorado S])rin<;s, was the 
leader in one of Princeton's most famons football 
teams. 

Basil Kicketts was the son of the late General Tviek- 
etts, and was Lorn jnst across the street from the ]ilace at 
which he entered service that day. 

Sterne was a well-known jxdo jdayer. 

Percival Cassett, of Boston, was a grandson of Com- 
modore "Mad Jack" Percival, who commanded the 
frigate " Constitntion." Gassett had served f(»r three 
years in Troop A in Boston, and in Light T>attery A. 
He hore a medal for marksmanshi]). 

There were three Xew^ York policemen in the troop. 
Henry Haywood, F.dwin Ehernian. and William Preen. 
Eherman also served in the Sixth Cavalry at Pine Pidge, 
and wears a medal for gallant conduct there. Two other 
ex-cavalrymen were in the troop, Pirst Sergeant Higgins, 
of I^ew York, and Private Pric(\ Tt is interesting to 
note that the ])olicemen who joined the regiment were 

29 



THK STUUY OF THE liOUGH KIDERS. 

,<i,ivon indofinito leave of absence with full pay by the 
eity. Pour Haywood was killed July 1st. 

I devote considerable space to these men, not because 
their work was any l)etter than that of the men of whom 
1 do not speak by name, but in order to illustrate the 
extraordinary materials of which the regiment was made. 
That such chaps should have joined at all was, perhaps, 
more to their <-redit than it was to the credit of the 
Westerners who joined, for they had more to lose in 
iAoino', and the hardships of a soldier's life meant more 
to them than they did to the men who had known hard- 
ships all their lives. There were those among this dude 
contingent, however, who had done service on the plains, 
and who could ride as well, or throw a rope as well, or 
shoot as well, or do any of the things which are asso- 
ciated with life on the frontier, as well as the men who 
were ])ro]ierly known as cowboys. 

It was on the tith of May that Theodore Iloosevelt 
was sworn in as lientenant-colonel of volunteers. I'lie 
ceremony took place in the office which he had occupied 
as Assistant Secretary of the iSTavy, and there were a 
good many prominent men there to see the famous 
civilian fighter change to a military fighter. There were 
senators and representatives there and many army offi- 
cers. General Corbin administered the oath. 

Tliiit same day most of the members of Troop Tv were 
mustered in. They were in the Army Dispensary 
building in AVashington when Roosevelt made his first 
speech to them. Tt was the first speech he had made 
as an army officer, nnd he evidently enjoyed the situa- 
tion. Dnring the Santiago campnign he made almost 

m 






li 



I'llK HLILlMNd Oh- 'JllK ICKdlMKNT. 

as nuiiiy s[)('cciK's to his soKlid's as lie did \n the votors 
of Xcw ^'ork Stat(> dui'in<;' his political ciiiiipaiiiii, and 
the >()ldi('rs alwavs ciijovcd tliciii. lie -aid lo llif iiifii 
wlio had leathered there: 

" ( Jeiltleiiiell : Y n\] li;i\'e iio\v rea(die(| the lasl point. 
I i' anv one ot \du doon't mean l>n>ine», lei him >av so 
now. An hour tVoni now it will he too late to i)ack out. 
Once in, \oir\-e ^ni ii, >e( il tlii-oni:h. Vou'vf jn'ot to 
pcrl'orni withont llimdiin^' \vhate\ci- dntv is assii>ii('(| to 
yon, regard less of the difficulty oi- dani;cr attendinu- it. 
Von ninst know how to I'ich', yon mnst know how to 
shoot, yon must know how to li\'e in the open. Ahsolnto 
ohedience to every eoinmaud is y(Mir first lesson. Xo 
matter what comes yon mustn't s([ueal. I'hink it over 
— all of you. If any man wants to withdraw, he will 
l)e gladly excused, for there are thousands who are 
anxious to have places in this regiment." 

Of course no one withdrew. The comic paragraphers 
had a deal of fun over the enlistnu'nt of these men — 
these petted ones of fortune who were going to war — l)nt 
the comic paragraphers stopped saying funny things 
when the ]»ette<l ones of fortune, later, stoo(l up like the 
real men they were and took, without whimix-ring, their 
doses of steel medicine on the hatth^ticdds of Cuha. 

They ga\-e their lientenant-eolonel a rou.-ing cheer, 
and three times three times more ronsini; cheers. Atter- 
wards they cheered him in the staid and (piiet pi-eciucts 
of the ISTavy Department until all the (dei'ks, who ha<l 
never heard sn(di a disturhance within its sacred walls 
before, swarmed into the hallways and wished that they 
were going to war too. 

3 33 



THE STORY OF THE HOUGH RIDERS. 

In the meantime, Colonel AVood was busy at San 
Antonio. The men beg,an to pour in there from the 
Territories in which they had been enlisted. By May 
10th the regiment was all there, and was being licked 
into shape with a rapidity that was probably never 
equalled before. 



34 



CHAPTER II. 

THE REGIMENT 
AT SAN ANTONIO. 

The lite nf tlic rci;iiii('iil ;il Sail Antonio was almost, 
as interesting as the life of the reii'iinenf, nftorwards, in 
C'ulia. Pi'obably there never was banded toi>'etlier such 
an incongruous mass of men as this one which gathei'ed 
in the Texan city for the puri)ose of being put into shape 
as a cavalry regiment. 

The men were at first pnt into the old Exposition 
buikling, becanse there were no tents for them. All the 
officers expected clashes between the Eastern contingent 
and the Western men; bnt the clashes did not come. 
The men mixed fraternally, and officers ceased to be 
snrprised when they found that an Arizona bronco 
buster had chosen as his bunkie some Eastern college 
man. 

Colonel Koosevelt quickly won the love and confi- 
dence of the men who were under him, by refusing to 
accept for himself any conveniences which he could not 
offer to his uien. lie slept as they slept, and ate what 
they ate. Another thing which pleased them was the 
early announcement that it had been arranged in 
Washington, throngh his personal efforts, to arm the 
regiment with Krag-Jorgenson carbines. The Rough 
Riders thus became the only volunteer regiment of the 
army properly equipped with modern guns. 

35 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 



After the tents came, the men left the Exposition 
building and made a regular military camp on the Ex- 
position grounds. A very large majority of them had 
never seen a shelter-tent before, and knew much less 
about how to make a military camp than some of them 
knew al)()ut differential calculus, and others about stop- 
ping stampeding cattle. ^lany of the officers quartered 
themselves in the buildings therealwuts, but llooseveh. 

slept in his shelter-tent 
with his jjoncho and his 
blanket. The regiment, by 
the way, had no regimental 
or officers' tents assigned 
to it until it arrived at 
Montauk, after the war 
was over. 

There were men ad- 
mitted to the regiment 
after the mobilization at 
San Antonio, and there 
were men who left it after 
that. Some of these were finally rejected on their 
physical examination, and some were dropped or dropped 
themselves for other reasons. 

One of the latter class was a German, who must cer- 
tainly liave been accepted by mistake. AVhile tlie 
Hough Uiders were not all educated men, they were 
mostl_y cha])s Avith breech-loading, ra])id-fire-high-speed- 
projectile minds. The German's liead lacked these 
characteristics. lie was undeniably stupid. lie suf- 
fered, lie went. 

30 




THE REGIMENT AT SAN ANTONIO. 

Tt oniiM' iiIhihI ill tills wiiy. TIh' nicn in ]\'\< ti'<.<i|» 
liiid decided lluil tlie\' did Hot enre Id neei mi |i;iii v liiiii In 
('uli;i, lull tliev ttiok liiiii ;iside, :iiiil willi many words 
e.\|ilaiiied to liiiii their liiuli re,i;:ird. They told him thai 
he was a man whose reputation I'or hravery had _^om<' 
before him, and that as tlie Spaniards had crossed the 
.Mexican hor(h'r into Texas, and were moiiieiilarily ex- 
pected to attacdv that cam]) at San Antonio, lie lia<l heeii 
selected as the one man of all men to ]>rotect it from 
their devilish wiles. Tviii'ht was approacdiinu', and th' 
last snow <d' the tardy spring was lalliiii:'. They uave him 
three candles and they posted him in a remote place l.y a 
tree. 

" If one rei-'iment of Spaniards attacks yon," said tlioy, 
" liuht one candle; if the attack is iiia<le hy two re.uT 
nients, then lii^ht two; if three regiments come njioii yon 
in the niiiht, lii;ht all of them, and may (lod have mercy 
on your soul. We are sorry that we cannot uive yon a 
liiin." 

The German accepted th(> responsihility, and hi- 
leave-tahino' was impressi\-e. Solemnly the men ot his 
troop tile(l np, and sadly and affectionately they >lionk 
his hand. They assnred him that it was a iireat tliini; 
to he the hrsf man in the war to die for his country, aii<l 
he wept in dialect as he thanked them tor the chance. 

Strict military reunlat ions had not heen i>ut in force 
at San Antonio, else it would have been impossil)le for 
the twenty men to leave the camp who stole away at 
midniuht toward that watchful Cermaii. Ihit they left 
it, and when ihey canu' upon the ( Jeriiian, his reu'ret was 
that he had not nioi-e than three candle<. tor he was 



THE STORY OP^ THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

convinced that the entire Spanish army of not three, 
but three thousand regiments had begun a night attack. 
Also he became impressed with the idea that there are 
other things nicer than dying for one's country. 

His disappearance might have been recorded as de- 
sertion. But it was not. 

Another episode — B Troop had no cook. That is, its 
cook had expressed his opinion of his assignment to that 
duty by remarking : 

" What the hell do I know about cooking? All I do 
is to throw the stuff together, boil it and then yell 
' dinner! ' " 

This, unfortunately, was too true, and great was the 
grief of Captain McClintock and Lieutenant Alexander 
thereat. Desperate, they dined at a restaurant. That 
meal was a taste of Paradise. McClintock said: 

" I'm going to get that cook! " 

He disappeared into the kitchen, and great was the 
woe and loud the protests of the proprietor of the res- 
taurant while McClintock w^as explaining to the cook the 
beauties of service in the uniform of Uncle Sam. N^o 
recruiting officer in the service of the Queen ever worked 
harder to earn his fee than McClintock did to get that 
cook. His eloquence won the day, and the cook enlisted. 
Then did B Troop begin to feast like lords. But sud- 
denly the cook was missing. !Ro search availed the 
grief-struck officers. Days passed. Frank W. Schenck 
had gone. 

When he reappeared, McClintock's joy at his return 
was too acute to permit much scolding. He, however, 
demanded an ex])lanation of his five days' absence, and 

38 



THE KEdlMENT AT SAN ANTON'K). 

I'Vniik \V. Scliciick replied wltli lnnieved sweetness, lliat 
he liiul gone to San Antonio (a mile awav) and .-tailed 
to return on time l»nt liad misried Ids ear. 

At Montank, the same cook obtained a fnrlouuli, an<l 
went away. When lie returned, he IumuuIiI a Mrs, 
Frank \V. iSelienek with him. lie had iione all the way 
to San Antonio to he married, and that lii-st pu/./liiiii' ab- 
sence was at last made (dear. For eourtshii) must i)re- 
cede marriage. 

The Easterners were scarcely less at home <>n the 
Western broncos, than the Westerners were on the Me- 
Chdlan saddles. They missed the gi'eat Mexican |)nm- 
mels whi(di had been theirs since (dnldhixnl, and one 
of them announced that riding a ^^IcChdlan wa> like 
clinging to a v\\\\) at sea. One night tlie men had to 
liandle tlnrty halt'd»roken terrors. They rejected their 
saddles altogether, and worked the aninuds with ro])es 
alone. 

ISTothing could have been more ins])iring to tlie on- 
looker or more interesting to the participant than the 
first regimental evolutions on these wild AVestern 
ponies. Idiere would be five or six horses in every 
troop whose refusal to stay in line was tii-m and ])er- 
manent. It was fre(|uently necessary to stop t\\o entire 
mana'uvre while some cowboy paused to throw his un- 
willing little brute. Bridles were scarce at first, and 
some of the men got on with the simple liileh of a lariat 
around their animal's lower jaw. For a horsi- to bolt 
was common, for on(^ or two to rear so enthusiastically 
that they eventually fcdl backward, excited n(. comment. 
ISTothing less tlian the stam]»ede (d" an entire tn.op ann<l 

39 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

the howling of the men was considered really excit- 
ing. 

The second mounted regimental drill occurred May 
24th, and with it came one of these stampedes. Dozens 
of the troopers were thrown, and among the victims 
were as many Western cowboys as members of the gilded 
Eastern gang. They had attempted to charge, with 
Roosevelt in the lead. That some of the men were not 
killed in the ensuing mix-up was wonderful. Ilallett 
Allsop Borrowe was thrown beneath two strapping cow- 
boys and had his new uniform blouse literally torn off 
his back. The Government provides not for such con- 
tingencies, and Borrowe had to buy his own new blouse. 
Afterwards the charge was tried again with some success. 

Tlie next day J()se])h Jenkins Lee, of Baltimore, and 
Roscoe Channing, who was Yale's great half-back in '90, 
were assigned their mustangs. They took what they 
themselves called a trial canter. That there were more 
trials than cantering al)Out it was shown by their con- 
dition wlien they returned. Inasmuch as they took 
solemn oath that they liad not been thrown, tlie regi- 
ment concluded that they must have ]iaused by the way- 
side to mix mud pies. 

The first man sent to hospital was Private (Jreenway. 
He tried to stop his nuistang with his kneecap. 

Just before the regiment departed for the concentra- 
tion camp at Tampa, the gathering and shipping of the 
live stock afforded nmch pleasure and instruction to the 
men. That any of the men who entered the corrals 
lived to go afterwards to Cuba was not the fault of the 
merry mustangs who plunged therein. " Judge " 

40 



TlIK 1{K(;IMENT AT SAN ANTONIO. 

.Miiri»liy was the sergoant of the uuanl. His heart liad 
liccii Itrokcn l>_v the work of getting the horses out. lie 
liacl been at it for tweiitv hours, mid war seemed cruel to 
him. That was when he h'arued to lovo Captain Cap- 
ron. Jle was hetween two ])hiugiug hrntes in the uiid- 
(Ue of the corral, finding it dilhcult to keep awake, even 
in such distressing circumstances. Captain Cain-on, long 
and i)ig, climbed over the surrounding fence and said: 

"Go u}) and go to sleep on one of those boxes. I'll 
do your work for you. 1 don't want to kill my men — 
yet)' 

Afterwards at Las Cuasimas, they were glad to die for 
him and he was glad to d'w with them. 

The second wounded man was ^larshall IJird, whose 
subsequent wonderful escap'e at (luasimas is mentioned 
in \\io st(n'y of that battle. I'.ird was thrown whih^ he 
was a nuMuber of a detail going after horses, and it was 
thought foi- a time that his skull was badly fractured, 
but he turned \\\) foi- duty and went on with the others. 

It mav be well now t(t devote a few briel' words to the 
startling experiences of the Eastern men who went west. 
When they arrived in San Antonio, May lOtli, they 
gathered by ])re-arrangemeut at the best hotel in the 
city, 'i'hey made elaborate toilets and they ordered as 
fine a breakfast as San Antonio provided. 

" It's all oif after this," they said to themselves, and 
they enjoyed that breakfast with great joy. Thei-e 
were in this little ]iarty, O. Konald Fortescue, Henry W. 
Sharp, J. r>. Tailor, Henry W. l]ull, Kenneth Robinson, 
William Tudor, Jr., R. II. :\I. Ferguson, William Quaid, 
dr.. II. K. Devereaux, F. (\ Waller, Jr., George Kemji, 

41 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 



Maxwell Norman, 
William Tiffany, " 
Reginald Ronalds. 








</■ 



J. A. Massie, Woodbury Kane, 
Ham " Fish, Craig Wadswortli, and 
After the breakfast was over, it 
was, as they had said, " all oft"." 
They donned their flannel shirts, 
their duck trousers, and their 
l)louses, put on their campaign 
hats and went to work. 

They were assigned sleeping 
quarters in a somewhat remote 
]iart of the Exposition building, 
evidently on the theory that they 
and the Westerners might disagree, 
l»ut this Avas wrong. For instance, 
W(»()dbiii-y Kane met Henry Rem- 
ming and formed a friendshi]) that 
day which lasted all through Cuba. 
He was set to Avork digging a 
trench in front of tlie officers' quar- 
ters, and finished his job with clieer- 
fulness, despite his blistered hands 
and stitt'ened back. Craig Wads- 
worth was ordered to devote two 
hours to chopping wood. Goodrich 
and Kane afterwards took lessons in 
handling lassoes, and got badly 
tangled \\\). A couple of days later, 
a rift in the lute appeared when 
Tift'any complained that he had no 
clean shirt. He finally got a pass, 
so that he could hunt his washer- 
4-3 



'I'llK ItKClMKNT AT SAX ANTONIO. 



woiiKUi Up, :iii<l was iiiiiiicrci fully guyed. Poor 'I'ltViiuy 
— ho is tleacl now. Vhv only charge of favoritisni cxcr 
made among the Ivongh Jiiders came less than a week 
after lloosevelt landed in San An- 
tonio. AVoodbui'v Kane was given 
charge of the rapid-fire gnns, and 
llandlton Fish, ( ^raig Wadsworth, 
and Maxwell Xornian wei'e made 
non-commissioned otHeers in ri'iiop 
Tv. The Westerners thought for a 
while that too many promotions 
were being given to the Eastern 
men, but this unpleasantness soon 
blew over. 

]\Ineh exciteinent was created at 
one time by the announceme^nt 
that IJorrowe was keei)ing his valet 
at a liotel, and that he daily made a 
])ilgrimage to the place to shave and 
take a bath. The valet was sent 
East. The same day a jSTew jMexi- 
can c()wl»oy refused point lilank to 
obey an order given by Sergeant 
Tiffany. He said, " AVait till yon 
get to be a brigadier-general before 
yon give out orders in such a high 
and nnghty fashion," and Tiffany 
made threats about the guardhouse. 
It was all forgotten in a day or two. 

'^riiis same day two members of 
the Xew A'oi'k Stock {•".xeliange 

4a 



*! 



vn 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

joined the regiment. They were J. Lorimer Worden 
and C. E. Knoblauch. Worden is an athlete, and Knob- 
lauch a giant who boxes, wrestles, swims, and rides 
expertly. 

A few days later, AVoodbury Kane had trouble. He 
sawed u}) an ammunition box to make a desk, and the 
ordnance officer called him picturesquely down. Kane 
was extremely sorry. 

Perhaps the most impressive day in San Antonio was 
Sunday, ]\Iay 22d. The whole regiment, fully uni- 
formed, was arrayed in squadron formation before 
C\)l()iicl Wood's tent early in the morning. The object 
was the reading of the articles of war, and the cere- 
mony lasted nearly an hour and n lialf. The stately pas- 
sageswere pronounced in solemn sentences by thecaptains 
of the troo])s, and the men were iinicli impressed. After 
l)reakfast, religious services were held in the great Fair 
building, and twenty Western terrors melodiously acted 
as the clioir. Tlie (nily instrumental music was fur- 
nished by a silver bugle at the expert lips of Trumjjeter 
Cassi. J^oud as he blew, the sound of his cornet was 
lost in the fine harmonies of the cowboj^ choir, wlien 
they started in with ''How iirm a foundation,'' and 
when the rest of tlie regiment joined in the chorus, the 
sturdy singing was |)lainly heard in San Antonio, a mile 
away. From the Arizona plains came the soloist. He 
was A. ri. Perry, and famous in the regiment as the 
best bronco buster of them all, l)ut his untrained voice 
was clear and high and melodious, and when he sang 
" ()n\\ai-d. Christian Soldiers," many of his comrades 
cried. 

44 



TllK KKlilMENT AT SAN ANIONlU. 

v^aii Antonio was Iiot, (.lusty, and (lisa,i;rccalilc. Tlic 
men, Easterners and Westerners alike, I'ound canip life 
hard, beyond their dreams. The officers of the reuiment 
worked themselves and their commands ni_i;hl ami day, 
in order to make soldiers out of them, and no regiment 
was ever \)\\\ into tiuhtinn' shape so (inickly. No detail 
was iieulecled which conld ((uickly |>lace the men on a 
|)ar with the i-ei;nlar ti-oops, with whom they would he 
liron,uht into conijx'tition when the first expedition to 
( 'id>a started, and the men took it all cheerfully, and did 
their work with ij;ladness. This was hccanse anioui;' 
them there was but one thought — the desire to go on 
that expedition. 

Officered as they were, with the President's own 
medical adviser in command, and tlu^ ex-Assistant Sec- 
retary of the Navy as their lieutenant-colonel, they knew 
that they would be considered kindly when the opportu- 
nity came, and they were anxious to see to it that that 
consideration found no ilaws in them. 

When Colonel Wood announced to the men that 
marching orders had at last arrived, the news was i-e- 
ceived with cheers which lasted for many minutes. In- 
deed, nothing except the sound of taps coming from 
the bugles -with the night, could still the exuberant 
spirits which infected the regiment. Ko wilder hurrah 
was heard in Cwha when we learned our victories than 
that which went up in San Antonio when marching 
orders were received. Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt 
read the message, and then he and Colonel Wood em- 
braced like schoolboys. 



47 



CHAPTER IIL 

AT TAMPA, AND 
THE TRIP TO CUBA. 



It wa.s on May 2Utli tliat the Rough Riders went away 
from San Antonio with high hopes in their hearts that 
they would not ])ause long again until they paused in 

Chd)a. indeed they had l)et- 
ter luck than any other regi- 
ment in the army, for be- 
tween the embarkation at 
San Antonio and the moment 
when they actually faced the 
Spanish l)ullets, less than 
thirty days intervened. 

Every captain luid orders 
to send his troops to bed 
early that Saturday night, 
for Wood and Roosevelt al- 
ready had inklings of the 
imperfect transportation which the Government could 
furnish to the regiment. They knew the trip before 
tliem would be long and wearisome, and they wanted 
their men to be well prepared for it. 

The \\'ork of breaking camp took all of Saturday. 
Colonel Wood ordered all superfluous baggage left lie- 
hind, telling the men that they could take with them 
only such necessaries as they could find room for in their 

48 




AT TAMPA, AND THE TKU' TO CIBA. 

blankest rolls, lluiulri'ds of boxes were sent by express 
that day to Western ranches and Eastern mansions. 
Kane, Tiffany, and Jionalds sheepishly admitted that 
their rejections included the swallowed-tailed cuats and 
low-cnt vests of fnll dress suits. Just why these gentle- 
men took dress suits to war with them I do not know. 

The Last packing was done after supper. Then most 
of the cooking utensils were stowed away, leaving the 
men only their blanket rolls to pack, and their shelter- 
tents to " strike " (or take down), before they started on 
their journey. 

At three o'clock the sweet notes of reveille rang out, 
and Can.q) Wood woke up. The dawn was cool and 
lovely, and the men were as full of energy as they after- 
wards pr(ned themselves to be full of fight. Breakfast 
was a hasty meal, prepared under great difficulties, be- 
cause so many of the cooking utensils had been packed 
up. Drilhnl as they had been in the preparation of the 
blanket rolls, there Avere those among tlie num who 
packed theirs so badly that many of their little treas- 
ures were shaken out before they reached the railway. 
They were shaken out to stay, for when the ride once 
started, ( Vdonel AVood ]>ernutted no stoppage. 

The cars into which the men were huddled were in- 
finitely less comfortable than the cars making up the 
trains on which most of the regular troops went South. 
I travelled from Chickamauga to Tampa with the Ninth 
Cavalry, and the negro troopers were furnished with 
emigrant sleeping cars. The men of the Rough Kiders 
had no such luxury. They slept in their seats, if they 
slept at all. 

4 49 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

The experiences which the men had had with their 
Western horses at drill and regimental manoeuvres, were 
as nothing- to the time they had in loading them on the 
stock ears for tinal shipment. It is well here to call 
atention to the fact that these horses were practically 
neglected during the five days' trip which followed. 
This was no fault of the regiment, but can only be laid 
at the door of the railway companies. 

Roosevelt left on the last section. Wood remained 
to see that everything got off all right, and followed on 
a regular passenger train. It was fidly half-past ten 
at night before that third section pulled out, and when 
it went, the sleeping car berth which had been reserved 
for Lieutenant-Colonel Iloosevelt was occupied by a 
private soldier. Roosevelt found him suffering from 
an illness, and had him taken in and put to bed. From 
then on, until the regiment reached Tampa, Roosevelt 
took pot-luck with his men in the dingy day coaches 
which Uncle Sam liad furnished to them. 

There was a good deal of trouble in getting food for 
the men during that long day's wait in the San Antonio 
railway yard. Their dinner finally consisted of a thin 
slice of canned beef between two hardtacks. This was 
tlie first day the regiment went hungry. Many others 
followed after they reached C^iba. 

The first man to be taken sick on the tri]i was Private 
Nicholson, of Troop K. His home was Baltimore, and 
he had the measles. It is believed that he may have 
carried this disease into the regiment, for many men 
afterwards came down with it. 

All along the line the men were received with the 

50 



AT TAMPA, AND THE TRIP TO CUBA. 

utmost oiitlnisiasm l)y <2,'rcat crowds waitiiii;' at I lie sta- 
tions. Even as early as four o'clock in the morning, in 
some instances, pretty girls were dressed in white, and 
waiting to give them posies as they passed. The most 
enthusiastic reception of all occurrtnl at New Orleans, 
where tremendous crowds were at the Southern Pacitic 
and Louisville and Nashville stations to bid them (God- 
speed as they passed through. There were unaccount- 
able delays, and for hours the men, who were k('j)t 
closely in the cars by guards stationed at all entrances, 
sweltered and sweated in the heat of a New Orleans day. 
They bore the hardship of this kind of travelling with a 
certain rough philosophy, but the remarks they made 
about the railway companies are not printable in this 
volume. They were dirty, hot, and hungry, and while 
it cannot be said that language ever suffers from dirt or 
hunger, that used by the Rough Kiders on this occasion 
was certainly hot. 

It was early in the cool dawn that the regiiiicnt 
reached Tampa. It was dumped without consi(h'ration 
by the railway company at Ybor City, although it could 
easily have been taken half a dozen miles nearer to its 
camping place. The baggage cars were run off into 
some remote district, thoroughly out of sight, atul \\io, 
regiment's mess kits were hidden in them. They had 
been assigned three days' rations. Ilieir journey had 
taken five days, and they werc^ hungry. Probably a 
trooper's remark on this occasion, " that war is hell," 
was spoken with more fending than marked the expres- 
sion of any sentiment afterwards during the entire cam- 
paign. Roosevelt and AVood were l)otli wildly indig- 

51 



THE STORY OF THE HOUGH RIDERS. 

nant over the way the regiment had been treated by the 
railways. Roosevelt made the acquaintance of at least 
a dozen officials of the road before the day was over, 
and those officials can be classed with the Spaniards 
whom he met afterwards and who never wanted to renew 
their communication with Colonel Roosevelt. So 
crowded was the train that grain, hay, and other forage 
for the animals had to l)e packed in the aisles of the pas- 
senger coaches, and the tups of the freight cars carried 
tons of supplies of all kinds. 

The animals were unloaded in the stock pens, and 
plainly showed the effects of the starvation and neglect 
which they had suffered on the way. But like the men, 
they were glad enough to get there, no matter how. 

The ride from the point of disembarkation to the 
camping grounds was not less than eight miles long. It 
was made with some pretense of troop formation, but not 
much. The men rode through Tampa, with its filthy 
shanties and deserts of sand, to a point back of the 
Tampa Bay Hotel. Their destination had previously 
been used as the Sixth Cavalry's drill ground. 

Not much effort was made to form an elaborate camp 
here, for the men were tired and it was the belief of 
everyone that they were ()nly pausing for a day or two 
before they were to be sent to the transports and on to 
Cuba. They simply formed in lines — a row of tents 
and a row of horses at their picket lines. It was not a 
good camping ground. Rains were frequent, and the 
formation of the soil was such that the water would not 
soak in. Those who had the money were comforted by 
the proximity of the Tampa Bay Hotel, but those who 



AT TAMPA, AXi) THE TRIP TO ClHiA. 

had not, were less pleasantly situated than they had 
been in San Antonio. The arrangement of the tents 
close to the picket lines brought a plague of flies about 
the men, and Tampa contributed its pleasant little share 
of tarantulas and centipedes. It is scarcely worth wliile 
to go into great detail about the stay of the men at 
Tampa. It was an unpleasant period, but it was only pre- 
liminary to the embarkation. It was simply one of the 
necessary evils which led up to the glorious Cuban cam- 
paign, and the men have forgotten as much of it as they 
can forget. 

It is only fair here to make some slightly detailed 
mention of Troops C, M, I, and H. These included 
the unfortunates Avhose memory of Tampa is their mem- 
ory of the war. Probably no grief stands out as more 
acute and ]iainful in the minds of the men who foniuMl 
these troops than that which came to them when they 
found that they were to be left behind. I^early every 
regiment of the army was forced to desert some (^f its 
men in this way, and the men who stayed Ix'hind deserve 
quite as ample credit as the men whose ])rivih'ge it was 
to hurry to the front. Ilieirs were the long and ag- 
gravating days of inactive discomfort; of weary, weary 
waiting. Major Hersey was left in command of those 
who stayed in Tampa. After Major Brodie was 
wounded and promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy, Cap- 
tain Jenkins was made the junior major, and through 
a special dispensation from General Coppinger, Ilersey 
became the ranking major, and joined the regiment in 
the field. Afterwards, IMajor Dunn took command ;it 
Tampa. The troops at Tampa suffered ttM-ribly from 

53 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

sickness. For instance, there were eight j-three men in 
C Troop. When the war was over, and they finally 
started Xorth, only forty-five men were left who could 
travel, or who had not already been sent North. It has 
been shown that the men in Tampa really suffered more 
from sickness than the men who went to Cuba. The 
hospitals were so overcrowded that it was almost ini- 
possibh' to find room for ailing Kough Kiders there, 
and many sufferers from typhoid and typhus-malaria 
were, perforce, neglected. Scarcely a hospital train 
went North which did not carry Avith it some of these 
uufoi'tunate Hough Kiders, and the lot of the iiicu iu 
Tampa was generally unhappy. They had eleven hun- 
dred liorses and mules to look after. lleveiHe was 
hal)itually sounded at 4.80. Drill came on at 5. ,'50 and 
hT,sted until S.P>0 or I>, and after that tlic iiicii ])cvforuied 
such dreary camp work as eame in their daily routine. 
Then they could only lie in their shelter-tents out of 
the sun, and s])eud the horrid days iu fighting mos(initoes, 
flies, and heat. 

Their only hope was that they might be ordered to the 
front. Three times the glad news came. They were 
instructed to ])rep;ire their goods and strike their tents. 
The last time they were even told that transportation 
was all ready for them, and that the ship which was to 
carry them on to CHiban battlefields lay anchored, ready, 
in Savannah harbor. But each time when they were 
prepared to start, their orders were countermanded, and 
the dr(\'iry, dreary hopeless days at Tampa l)egan again. 
I should have said before that the camp of this waiting 
contingent was transferred from Tampa to Port Tam]ia, 

54 



AT TAMPA, AND THE TRIT TO CUliA. 

after their more fortmiate coinpanioiis ]ia<l sailed away, 
aiul that the sanitaiy conditions were as good as any. 

An episode of the days at Tampa was th(^ football 
game. There were a good many foothall players in the 
regiment, and some of tlnnn had college records not ex- 
celled. The game was progressing merrily, when Ham- 
ilton, the strong man, from Indian Territory, who had 
been to town as Major Ilersey's orderly, came along. 
He conld not keep ont of the game and forgot that he 
still had his spnrs on. He jnmped for Ricketts and Mc- 
Farrin, who had played on the University of Pennsyl- 
vania team. There was scarcely a man in the scrimmage 
that ensned who left it withont wonnds from Hamilton's 
spnrs. 

The newspapers have already told the story of how 
the troops were loaded on the transports; how the trans- 
ports sailed ont into Tampa Bay, and how the spectre 
of a mythical Spanish fleet drove them inglorionsly back 
to their docks. 

Finally they started. The troops on board the " Yn- 
catan " were A and B, from Arizona; D, from Okla- 
homa; E, F, and G, from i^Tew Mexico; K from the East, 
and L from Indian Territory. There was als(^ a part 
of the Second Infantry on board, with its regimental 
band. 

There had been the wildest excitement and heart- 
bnrning among the men Avhen it was fonnd that some 
troops were to be left behind and some were to be chosen 
to go to Cnba. There was not a man in the whole 
regiment who did not voice in his heart that cry which 
he shouted from his lips: 

55 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

' ' Rough, tough, we're the stuff, 
We want to fight, and we can't get enough." 

But there were those of them who were to see no 
fighting and thej took their disappointment then as 
bravelj as their comrades afterwards took their danger, 
although the danger was much more welcome than the 
disappointment. Knowledge of the troops which had 
been selected was spread throughout the regiment the 
night before, and there Avere those among the Kough 
Riders who worked for transfer to the troops which were 
to sail under the favored letters. More demonstrative 
than the others, because they were of the elect, were 
Woodbury Kane and Lieutenant Tiffany, who had been 
among the most ardent workers from the start. These 
two men had done more, perhaps, than any others to 
persuade the Westerners that because a nuiii caiiic from 
the East, and because he was college bred, lie did not 
necessarily shirk his tasks nor fall off his horse. 

The day of (•inl)arkation was a great day. Sergeant 
Higgins expressed it well when he remarked: 

" Hell won't be worse crowded on tlie last day than 
this dock is now." 

I have inserted a pliotogra})h of the eHd)arkation in 
the book, and its wild mix-up only slightly pictures the 
insane confusion of the scene. On the transport, the 
quarters were anything but pleasant. ]\Iost of the 
bunks were in the vessel's hold — and she was a rattle- 
trap old hulk that had been used in the freioht-carrving: 
trade — and they were badly built of rough and unplaned 
lumber. The work of the contractors who had put 
the berths u]i, proved to be so inefficient that many 

56 



AT TAMPA, AND THE TRIP TO CUBA. 

of them fell down Avlien the men piled into tliciii tlie first 
night. After that those particular Kough Riders were 
without beds. At the best, the bunks were so close to- 
gether that the men could move about between them 
only with the very greatest difficulty, and when they 
crawled into them at night they found them so narrow 
that turning over ordinarily meant splinters in their 
skins. 

The transport's capacity was 750 men. At first 1,0G0 
men were on board. One hundred were afterwards re- 
moved to another ship. Early in the voyage a waggish 
trooper hung the sign, " Standing Room Only," over 
the side of the ship. 

Another came along, and with the same marking pot 
added: " And danm little of that." 

In the meantime, of course, such luxuries as artiiicial 
ventilation had been utterly neglected, and the room on 
deck was greatly circumscribed by the building of a 
rough board superstructure. A little space was left 
clear, fore and aft of this, and if the men wanted air they 
had to seek these spaces, trust themselves to the some- 
what shaky roof of the superstructure, or cling to the 
swaying shrouds. 

It was on the first day out that the third man wounded 
met his injury. Thomas II. Young, who was the son of 
a Kentucky colonel, and whose father had ai)])li('d for 
enlistment at the same time the son had, hail a good 
place to sleep, where the fresh air came in thrcuigh the 
cargo hatch. He had been a student in a New "^ ork 
law school and had shown himself to Ix' an excellent 
soldier. He had especially wou the faver ef Mc('liu- 

57 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

tock, who was the captain of his troop, and was slated 
for a non-commissioned officership, but that unlucky day 
a heavy cargo stanchion fell down on him and crushed 
his arm and head. 

Young was one of half a dozen men who were taken 
to the hospital ship '' Olivette " from the " Yucatan," 
during the voyage to Chiba. I sailed down, as well as 
home, on the "■ Olivette," and, with other correspondents, 
crowded eagerly to the rail at first whenever we heard 
that Rough Riders were to be brought aboard. After 
the first two or three had arrived, however, we held wnth 
equal firmness to the opposite side of the hospital ship, 
when such news came, for Young was the only Rough 
Rider wlio voyaged with tis who did not suffer from 
some contagious or infectious disease. There were cases 
of measles, there Avere cases of ty|)h()i(l, and there was one 
case of scarlet fever brought to us from the regiment. 

Aside from these slight episodes, the trip to Cuba 
was uneventful to the Rough Riders. In the liistory of 
warfare no siu-li imposing array of troojiships had ever 
been gathered together to carry an invading army. 
Thirty-four transports, arranged in three great lines, 
steaming so slowly tliat tlie alignment could be very 
well kept up, convoyed by one of the greatest battleships 
afloat, and by cruisers and gunboats, made a spectacle 
which every man who watched, realized was great, and 
in thinking of it, each man made tlie first letter of his 
thought a capital letter. Great in his mind, (hn-ing that 
voyage, began with a tremendous G. 

We went down on tlie inside of the Florida coast, and 
tlie first sign we had that there really was any Cuba on 

58 




From :i photo^aph by William Dinwiddie. 

Cd. Leonard Wood in consullation ivi/h Lieut.- Col. Eoostielt at Daiquiri. 



AT 'I'AMI'A, AM) TlIK 'I'KII' 'I'O CI liA. 

tlic map, was the flashing of great searchlights thrown 
from ]\]orro Castle in Havana against the iiiidiiiglil sky. 
The " Segnran(;a " was the riagshij). Slic \v;is not a 
pretty hoat, hut she steanied at nine knots wliilc we 
steamed at less than five, and tlms made her way altont 
among ns with somc^ facility. Jn the iiicantiiiic, signal 
men were always wigwagging to tlic other hoats from 
her dingy bridge, and smutty little toi-pedo boats wei-(; 
ever dodging aI)ont among the fleet, giving orders from 
her as to formation — as to who should come forward and 
who should fall hack. 

There were things which happened, before we passed 
Cape Maisi, of which we had no knowledge. 'i'lie 
Spanish papers have, since the war, told of a trip wliicli 
one of their torpedod)oat destroyers made through the 
middle of our fleet on a foggy midnight, when she did 
not know whether she was among friends or foes; when 
she did not know whether to fire or hold her ammunition, 
and when she was suddenly enlightened ly a sturdy 
hail from the bridge of one of our warships, asking her 
if she were the '' Porter," one of our torjx'do boats. 
The Spaniards promptly answered, " Yes," and when the 
warshi]^ threw her searchlight round, showing six or 
eight American ships in sight, she ski|)ped for the ( 'uban 
coast and safety with all the rapidity there was within 
her boilers. 

The "' Yankee," an American gunboat, converted 
from a millionaire's steam yacht, also nearly opened fire 
upon us when our flagship failed to give the projier night 
signal. But of these perils our men. Rough Riders and 
other troops alike, were wholly ignorant. 

61 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

As our troopsliips passed Santiago, a shot was fired 
at only one of them, and tliat sliip, strangely enough, 
was named the " Santiago." The thing with the Rough 
Riders was still a picnic and not war. Indeed there 
were dead among them before they learned that war is 
grim and war is awful and war is real. 

So far as the trip on the transports was concerned, 
much more excitement was occasioucd ])\ pat hands at 
poker than was ever caused by dread of Spaniards. 

Here is a story told by Col. Henry Wigham, an officer 
on the staff of the Governor of Arizona, and one of the 
men who hel})cd to organize the Rough Riders: 

" Among the troopers Avas a cowboy named Frank 
Briggs. He was a dead shot, a reckless frontiersman, 
and a good, game sport. Briggs wrote a letter to me 
after he liad gone on l)oard the transport, Avhicli I re- 
ceived at Tampa, and which said in part: 

"'I won $200 last night and $400 the night l)efore. 
There is money to burn on this boat. If CUiarlie Avill 
only send me the dice he prondsed, I will be well 
stamped.' " 

A letter from an officer afterwards, to Colonel Wig- 
ham, s])oke of the splendid work b}" P)riggs, at Las 
(xuasimas. He was as cool and accurate as thougli ho 
had been in a turkey shoot back home, instead of in a 
battle on an enemy's hillside. 

" Officers' school " was hold cvei'v day iu the morning, 
and in the afternoon the men were trained in handling 
Krag-Jorgenson carl)ines. Colonel AVood feared that 
the men would suffer from their inactivity during the 
trip, and made them exercise, as do the sailors on board 

02 



AT TAMPA, AND TIIK TIM I' TO CIHA. 

a iiiaii-o'-war. It was a i;rcat lai'k I'oi- tliciii in |nit tlicii- 
hands on one another's slioiihh'i-s and ni>h alMnil in a 
kind of trotting lock-step for an honr and a half each 
day. 

The first Cuban land that came in sight was the blue 
point of Cape Maisi, The men cheered it with great 
enthusiasm, as they slowly ploughed throngh the south- 
eastern passage. For a fnll half «hiy Ix'foi-e they hnnhMh 
they again had sight of the lia/y shores of ('uha ami 
their <"li(>ering weariecL 

Their tirst hurrahs at sight of ( -uha were not so hearty 
as the cheers they gave wlieu they parted from it, less 
than fifty days later. 

This reminds me of a story told of ^Mr. W. 11. IFearst. 
It is said that when he first landed in Cuba and looked 
about^at the umbrageous growth, at the fertile soil, 
at the towering palms, at the flitting birds, at the 
fragrant flowers — he remarked to George Pancoast, who 
was Avith liim: 

"My God! how could this ])ai'adise have been aban- 
doned to mere savages^ "' 

A month later, as he sailed away upon the " Silvia," 
a special ship which he had (diartered to take him Korth, 
he stood calndy at the rail and ga/ccl witli satisfaction at 
hislast l)lne glim])se of ('nl«a. When he had fonnd that 
Paradise, lie had heen well and strong, his niu<clcs and 
his mind had overflowed with energy, his enthnsiasni had 
been great. That day, as he leaned against the raib the 
high temperature of Cuban fever Imrned his skin, his 
pulse beat 140 to tlie nilnntc, and his eyes, crstwiiilc so 
bright, were yellow and hloodsliot. 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

lie shook liis fist at Cuba on this occasion, and 

said: 

" M J God ! how can even savages live there ? " 

On the 22d of June, the Kough Eiders made their 

landing at Daiquiri. 



64 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN CUBA, 

BEFORE THE FIGHTING. 

It was at Daiquiri that I first saw the Rough Riders. 
I had happened to go away from Tampa on the very 
day they reached there, and had returned only in time 
to embark long after the " Yiu-atan " and its cargo of 
First Volunteer Cavah'y men was out of sight. 

I was among the first to land, l)e('ause th(n-e was a 
Journal tugboat there to help me get ashore. While I 
was watching the soldiers of the reguhir troops disem- 
bark at the dock, the first boatload of Rovigh Riders came 
along. This dock was a mere skeleton. The Spaniards 
had ripped the planking off it before they retired, and, 
although there were thousands of feet of loose boards 
stacked up on shore, our men were in too great a hurry 
to nail them on the bare timbers which had \)vvn left. 
The engineers, who might have done this work, had 
been sent down the coast to build pontoon bridges for 
the Cubans, and so the United States army picked a 
precarious way ashore over slippery wooden girders. 

This gave the Rough Riders their first opportunity 
to distinguish themselves in Cuba. Our soldiers, laden 
down with blanket rolls, ammunition belts, arms, and 
other heavy equipment, climbed up to the dock from 
the tossing surf boats with the utmost ditlicuhy. 1 he 
sea dashed quite over the dock at times, and the wet 
5 65 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS, 

timbers afforded slight hold for either hands or feet. 
The men were thoroughly occupied in keeping their own 
balance, and frequently could not avoid letting some of 
their impedimenta slip from their hands into the boiling- 
waters below the dock. There lay bugles, guns, re- 
volvers, canteens, and other pieces of equipment galore. 
In the boat-load of Ivough liiders, which I have men- 
tioned, were C E. Knoblauch, whom L have already 
spoken of as a member of the JSTew York Stock Exchange, 
and several other expert swimmers. They quickly 
volunteered to rescue the lost articles, and stripped for 
the work. All day long they plied at this thankless 
task. 

Along toward night, while the Tenth Cavalry was 
struggling ashore, two of its colored troopers slipped off 
the dock and went down into the boiling sea among the 
crunching boats and jagged rocks. Knoblauch, Buckie 
O'Xcil, and their companions worked as never men 
worked before to save these two poor chaps from 
drowning, but the task was too great for human 
strength, and they had to make their way to shore 
as best they could — crestfallen and unsuccessful. The 
men who were drowned were the first victims of the same 
lack of foresight which afterwards cost so many lives 
at Bloody Angle, and the men who tried to save them 
were the first men who had an opportunity to develop 
heroism during the land operations of the Spanish- 
xVmerican "War. 

So the Rough Riders were "■' in it " at the start. 

Over at the right of Daiquiri a sugar-loaf mountain 
rose sheer a thousand feet. It was called Mount Losil- 

66 



IN CUBA, BEFORE THE KIUIITJNG. 

tires. On the very siiiinuit of this stvaiii;<'l_v s1i;i|h(1 hill 
was a blockhouse. All the moniiiig, during the Ixuii- 
banlnient, we had watched this tiny fortiticatioii with 
the greatest interest. It offered a shining mark for the 
gunners of the attacking shi})s, and ])r()l)al»Iy a huii(h-<(l 
shells were aimed at it. Many struck ncac it, ami as 

w'c watched the clouds of smoke and dust resulting tV 

their explosions slowly clear away, we ex])ectc(| to lind 
that the blockhouse had been annihilated. I5ut wlieii 
the bond)ardnu'nt ended, it still stood there, out lined 
sharply and saucily against the Cuban noonday sky. At 
its side there rose a flagstaff. 

I tried to borrow a flag of a nund)er of transport cap- 
tains, but with that charming indifference to any ]iatri- 
otic idea which they exhibited from beginning to end of 
the war, they unanimously refused to let nu' have one. 
I had in my possession a small flag belonging to the New 
York Journal; I decided to raise that flag as the first 
to be set flying over Cuba by anyone connected with the 
United States army. 

There never was a harder clind) than the one by which 
I reached the summit of ]\rount Losiltires. There had 
been a path up the side of the mountain, zigzagging and 
rough at best no doubt, but now almost entirely oblit- 
erated in places by the terrific explosions of our shells. 
In one place a hole not less than ten feet deep and 
three times as far across had literally scooped out the 
side of the mountain — path and all. I never did harder 
work than I did in getting around this hole, clinging 
with hands and feet to tiny projections and little shi'ubs. 
"William Bengough, a Journal artist, had started with 

67 



THE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 

me, l)iit the heat and the eliiiib proved too much for him, 
and he stopped to rest before we reached the hole. Fi- 
nally I scrambled up to the sunuuit. 

The sun was blistering hot and the climb had ex- 
hausted me. I sat down to get my wind. While I 
was sitting there, Surgeon La jNIotte, C^olor-Sergeant 
Wright, and Trumpeter Piatt, of the Rough Riders, 
came up by another and easier trail. 

They had with them the flag which had l)een pre- 
sented to C^iptain i\IcC'lintock's troop by the ladies of 
Phcpnix, Arizona. It was a beautiful silk flag and it 
is now a flag with a history. This history will be found 
elsewhere in this volume. 

We consulted as to the best means of raising it. There 
were no lanyards on the weather-beaten old pole which 
the Spaniards had left behind them. We tried to de- 
vise a scheme of putting a flag up on that, but it was 
too small and slippery to climb, and Ave gave the notion 
up. Just at this moment the only ])atriotic civilian 
sailor that I saw during the whole war, came clind)ing 
slowly over the edge of the hill. I have forgotten his 
name; I wish I had it. The Rough Riders had inves- 
tigated the blockliouse and found a little ladder inside, 
long enough to reach up to the tiny cupola with its 
loopholes. Wright and Piatt had found this ladder, 
and presently Piatt appeared on his knees on the hot, 
slippery tin roof. He remained on his knees not more 
than five consecutive seconds. The roof was too steep 
and Piatt came to grief with great rapidity. 

Then we paused for consultation. We had the flag, 
we were at the top of the hill, the blockhouse and the 

68 



IN CUBA, JJKFgiiK '11 IK KICIITING. 

flagpole were there lo oiir liaiids, ImiI we (■(.iild ^ec im 
way of earryiui;' out our brilliant design. Arouml the 
edge of the hill the S[)aniards had dug treneiies and built 
outside of them a low stone wall. ( 'olor-Sorgoant 
AVright took the Hag on its own thigstatf, and waved it 
from this wall. IJengough came up iind made a sketeli 
of liim as he stood there. 1 ha\'e it in my |)ossession. 

Then the patriotic sailor whom 1 ha\-e mentioned, and 
who had been (piietly and with some amuscnu'nt wat(di- 
ing onr etforts, V(dunte(>red liis services. Wright and 
Piatt lost themselves in speechless admiration as he crept 
like a cat out on the slip^xn-y roof. W'l-ight had dith- 
culty in finding Avords to exjiress his amazement, a mo- 
ment later, when the sailor rose to his feet, and hished 
the flag of the llongh Kidcrs, staff and all, t(. the little 
tind)er which stnck from the ])eak of the blockhouse. 

The little bay in which the transjiorts were anchored 
lay like a sheet of silver in front of ns. Between it and 
the foot of our hill the coast of Cuba stret(died like a 
map. The shi])s looked like toy ships from oui' point 
of vantage, and onr soldiers looked like toy soldiers. 
The tiag had been waving in the bi-(>e/.(^ ])erha])s a min- 
nte before these toy soldiers and the men on those toy 
ships got sight of it. And when they did. bc<ll;iui bi'oke 
loose. Every steam w histle on the warshi[)s screamed its 
londest, every soldier in the in\ading thousands yelled 
his hoarsest, and the (^d)ans, proud (>( the new Lee rifles 
whi(di had been distribute(l among them l>y the )i;i\"v. 
fired them ofl' in greeting \-oll(y's to the bit of red, white, 
and blue whicdi ilntlere(l brightly at the top of Mount 
Losil tires. 

69 



THE STORY OF THE KOIKJII RIDERS. 

Thus tlie Rough Riders won their second glory. They 
had developed the first army heroes in the war, and now 
they had flown the first flag raised by the United States 
army on Cuban soil. 

I remember with considerable interest an episode 
which occurred before we left the top of the hill. The 
three Rougii Riders who were present proved themselves 
to be fine soldiers before the war was over, but on the 
afternoon of that 22d of June we came near losing two 
of them. 

It was evident that the Spaniards had left their 
trenches up there Avith considerable haste, for behind 
them remained many abandoned trappings. The com- 
manding officer, for instance, had left the orders v/hich 
had been sent to him from headquarters and copies of 
his own re])lies to tliem. One of bis letters was amusing, 
found as it was in tbe midst of an abandoned post, which 
had fir(»d not one answering shot to our boml)ardment. 
It was addressed to General Toral, and announced tluit 
he, t]ie officer on ]\r()unt Losiltires, would take great 
pleasure in getting along without reinforcements, and 
that, should the American army appear, backed by the 
entire navy of the T'nited States, he could wlii]i tliem 
and drive them back to Florida, single handed and with- 
out difficulty. 

But as I have said, when the aruiy did come, he fired 
not one single shot in opposition to its landing. 

Being a S])aniard, he adopted other means to accom- 
plish our undoing. There were many bottles of wine 
among the rubbish which the Spaniards had left behind 
them in the l)lockhouse, aud there were other bottles of 

70 



IN CLJJA, BEFOKK TJIK FKIllTlNCi. 

wine lying outside the bloekliouse and on the stone wall 
and in the trenches. They lay there very ostentatiously. 
No one could possibly fail to see them. It was a hot 
day. The exertion of getting up tlic liill and raising 
the flag had been tremendous. That wine hjokcd most 
inviting. Wright and Piatt had opened a bottle and 
were about to drink of it, when Surgeon La Motte took it 
from them and smcllcd it. lie threw the bottle on a 
rock, where it was (hishcnl to fragments. Then he took 
the copper binding of an exploded six-inch shell, and 
with it broke every other l)()ttle of that wine which tlie 
Spanish commanding officer had kindly left for the 
comfort and entertainment of the American army. 

AVright and Piatt had had a narrow esca])e. 

The wine was ])(»isoucd. 

We made our way down the hill and left the flag 
behind us, to float there proudly until sunset. 

The Rough liiders were encamped in a beautiful \al- 
ley between the two low ranges of ])retty hills which 
l)order the ])ai(]uiri Iviver. They had with them only 
" dog tents," and the grass in the valley was hi<ihei' than 
the tents. This grass was full of laud crabs and tarantu- 
las. Nice little lizards, too, scuttled about here and 
there, and there were some extremely suspicious-looking 
snakes. 

Colonel AVood aud Colonel lioosevelt did not main- 
tain such military discipline in the construction of rheii- 
camp as did some of the other commanding officers, and 
the dog tents went nyi in a somewhat haphazard fashion. 
As soon as they were u]> and the men discovered their 
discomfort, they set nbout constructing- for themselves 

:i 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

more pleasant shelters. Neighboring shrnbbery ^yas 
drawn npon for nprights and leafy boughs, and some 
good-natured Cnljans instructed our gallant fighters in 
the mysteries of palm thatches. Before night fell, fully 
a quarter of the men were comfortably housed under 
these impromptu roofs. Kegimental headquarters were 
positively embowered through the efforts of solicitous 
troojDers. Probably no officers ever looked more care- 
fully after the comfort of their men, and certainly no 
men ever looked more carefully after the comfort of 
their officers. 

As the quick-setting sun went down red and fiery 
behind the hills, this Cuban solitude which had suddenly 
been transformed into the abiding place of six hundred 
men, with its myriad camp fires twinkling gayly, its 
cheery bugle calls and active bustle, presented as beau- 
tiful a picture as the brush of a painter could desire. 

Travelling with the regiment was Burr Mcintosh, also 
of the Journal, and a well-known actor. IMcIntosh was 
afi^ected with that prying curiosity which leads a journal- 
ist to news, and sometimes into trouble. The first evi- 
dence of it came when he decided to test the speed of two 
tarantulas. At Tampa the boys had organized exciting- 
races in which land turtles were the participants; ]\[c- 
Intosh decided to try tarantulas. He did. They didn't 
speed to any appreciable extent, but they l)it him with 
amazing rapidity. We wondered if journalism and the 
stage were about to lose a shining light. Surgeon La 
Motte did his best. Mcintosh, Major Brodie, Sergeant 
Hamilton Fish, and one or two others planned to tour 
the place in search of that celebrated medicine which is 

73 



IN CUBA, BEFORK THE FTnilTING. 

given so freely in Kew Jersey as a cure lor snake liite. 
There was no whiskey in the camp. They searclied else- 
where with commendable persistence. There was iiu 
whiskey in any other camp, riiey walked eagerly up 
the straggling little street, which has its beginning near 
the now celebrated skeleton dock. At last they found 
a storehonse full of Jamaica rum and great demijohns 
of sweet Spanish wine. They tried the rum and i'oun<l 
it raw, even beyond the endurance of a Kough Ivider. 
They carried a great demijohn of the wine back to camp 
with them. 

Mcintosh did not die 
of the tarantula bites, 
but when he woke the 
next morning to a reali- 
zation of the kind of 
head which sweet S})an- 
ish wine is capable of 

Thai Sicttl i>paiu!<li. Wint. 

putting on a joui'ualist 

and actor, he was sorry that he had not. lie did not 
drink all of the wine, and there were others. 1 will not 
mention names, because these men are now looked u]) to 
as heroes by a grateful American ])ublie, and it would be 
cruel to take from them their laurels, but there were 
those among the Rough Riders who, however bravely 
they endured their wounds in days that followed, groaned 
nnserably and were willing to go away from Cuba on the 
morning of the 23d of June. 

Most of the troops had disembarked before morning, 
and the landsca])e wlien the sun i-ose was dotted ior 
a nnle u]> tlu' valley witli the white tents of the Tnited 




THE STORY OF THE EOUGH RIDERS. 

States army. iJown on the beach among half a dozen 
surf boats which had been crushed on the rocks, and 
amidst the manv-cohjred, shining sea-shells of the Carib- 
bean, lay the two troopers who had been drowned the 
day before, and whom the Hough Riders had tried to 
save. A detail from the regiment was present at their 
unimiiosing funeral early in the ^morning. General 
Shatter was still on his flagship, the " Seguran^a."' 
^lajor-General Joseph AVheeler was in command on 
shore. 

Most of the newspaper men were not allowed to land 
until late on the 2;id. Those of us who had landed be- 
fore had a hard time. The Cubans, who were naturally 
grateful to the ^ew York Journal, had turned over 
to me as head(piarters a big l)ungalow on a hill, and this 
kept the night dew olf us. There were in our ])arty 
Stephen Crane, John Hans of the London DaiJi/ J\faU, 
Frank Nuttall of the London Daily Telci/idpli, and 
others. Vmt saved as we werc^ from sleeping out of doors, 
we were entirely without food. AVhat little we got we 
begged from soldiers, although all of us bore credentials 
from the Secretary of War, directing all commanding 
oflfcers t(» furnish forage and rations for us at the cost 
price. I may be ])ar(loned fV)r remarking here that I 
ate only one meal while I was in Cuba during the 
Spanish- American war. 

The morning and early afternoon of the Sod of June 
were devoted by the TJough Riders to ]ierfecting the 
comfort and beauty of their camp at I^aiquiri. They 
a]i]iarently expected to remain there a long time. But at 
one o'clock General Wheeler sent orders to Colonel 

76 



IN CUJLV, HKKOKK 'I'lIK FKillTlNG. 

Wood to he ready to iintvc at a iiioiiiciit's notice. In 
the meant iiiic scvci'al r(\i;iiii('iiis n| rci;ular troops had 
inarched oil' lowai'ds Sihonev. At hall-|»ast, one ordei's 
came lor the Koni^h lvi(h'i's to inoxc at once. 

'I'heir heantitnl camp was trans|(irme(| iniK ;i scene 
of th'^ohition within an honr. 'I'he litth' sheheis and 
]iahn thatches were rnthh'ssly destruveih 1 )oi;- tents 
came down and went intit I hi' l>hiid<et mils of these 
dismoiinted cavalrymen with a I'apiditv which wnnld 
have done credit to any regiment of rei>,idars. The only 
li'onltle concerned the mnle-t I'aius. The scarcity of 
animals which handicapped the condnct of the ( 'ubaii 
cam|)ai_i!,n from the \'ery start was severely felt l>y the 
Eouiili Riders. ]\rueli of the lTi£i;G:ae:e of the otlicers was 
ahandoned where it lay in camp. It seemeil almost im- 
possible to pack the mess truck aloue on the few animals 
at hand, and tlie rapid-fire and dynamite guns presented 
great problems. The ea))tain of tlie ''Yucatan" had 
gone out to sea with a good deal cd' the Kongh Rideis' 
plunder. 'J'liere were not saddles enough for the otli- 
cers to ride in. (V)l()uel AVood bad an extra horse — a 
beautiful little thoronghbi'eil Iveutu(d<y mai'e. It was 
almost with tears in his eyes that he ordered a i^ack- 
saddle put on her and told the men to load her with the 
regimental headquarters mess kit, and the pretty little 
beast turned pathetic eves of protest on hei- mast(>r while 
this was being d6ne. AVood felt so badly about it that 
he went away. Tie never saAV the little thoroughbred 
again, I am told. She was among the first animals shot 
at Gnasimas. 

Colonel lioosevelt was without a saddle. Th(> man 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

who led his troops so coolly at Guasimas and San Juan 
reached a state of excitement in the face of this early 
emergency which reminded me of the old days in jSTew 
York when he was a Police Commissioner. His wrath 
was boiling, and his grief was heart-breaking. General 
Shafter had promised me before we left Tamj)a that I 
should be given plenteous transportation for Journal 
horses. I had considted him before purchasing them, as 
I didn't want to buy animals that I could not take with 
me. iVt the last moment, however, he had refused to 
allow any Journal horse a place on any transport, and 
the Journal staff was entirely without animals. This, 
however, left us with a large surplus of saddles. I had 
one myself, old and worn and perfectly comfortable, 
which I was especially fond of. In Colonel Roosevelt's 
distress I came to his rescue and loaned him that saddle. 
He rode it into the battle the next day and into oblivion, 
for it has never been heard of since. 

I shall never fcjrget the terril)le march to Siboney. 
Colonel AVood kindly permitted me to march with him 
at the head of the column, in company with Captain 
McCormack and the regimental adjutant. Captain 
Capron was the senior captain of the regiment, and his 
command (L Troop) was at the head of the column. 
Just ahead of (Colonel Wood a little Cuban boy, who 
could talk English, rode on a tiny native stallion, which 
succeeded in keeping Colonel Wood and his big charger 
at a very respectable distance. Color-Sergeant Wright, 
bearing the heavy regimental standard — the same which 
we had raised the day before on Mount Losiltires — was 
just behind me, and was unquestionably the happiest man 

78 



IN CUBA, J5EFUKE lllK 1'1(J11T1X( i. 

in Cuba. 'V\w lieat was absolutely terrific, and before 
wo had marched two miles every uniform was so soaked 
with perspiration that the men looked as if they had been 
ducked. 

'rvrcc liiNcrs was tlic second r('i;\ilar army otlicer at- 
tached to the K(tui;h Ki(hTs. lie was an aide on 
Young's stafl' and an ofliccr in the Third Cavalry, as 
('ai)taiii McConiiack was the representative of (leneral 
Wheeler. It is not fair to fail to mention his valoroii- 
work. lie went from Siboney to Las (Inasinias on a 
particnhii'iy stnrdy ninle, whicli he let me ride at inter- 
vals. After we had stopped at the end of the trail, and 
C\ilonel Wood had received word from ( 'apron that signs 
of Spaniards had been seen, he sent llivers off into the 
jungle at the right. Kivers came l)ack, after he had 
started, and formally gave me his mule. 1 tied the 
animal to a barbed-wire fence and have neither seen her 
nor Rivers since. 

General AVood told me the other day in Washington, 
that Rivers' conduct during the battle was most ex- 
traordinarily commendable. Tie must have gone back 
and got the mule, for (Jeneral Wood said that he rode 
mounted nj) and down the firing line, and did mighty 
good work in encouraging the men and keeping them 
cool. It is interesting to note that McCornnick and 
Rivers were the only men in the regiment who wore 
the United States army blue uniforms, and it is probable 
that they were, because of these uniforms, selected as 
especial targets by the Spanish sharpshooters. I don't 
know this to be true, T simjdy guess at it. \\ the time 
I saw General Wood in AVashington, this book was prac- 

79 



THE STORY OF THE EOUGH EIDERS. 

tically completed. He asked me to add this reference 
to Rivers. I add it with pleasure. 

Some regiments of regidar infantry were ahead of us, 
and the superiority of the l\ough Riders, nut only over 
volunteers, but over most regulars, was never better illus- 
trated than it was that day. During the march from 
Daiquiri to Siboney, probably one-half of the men in the 
regiment preceding us dropped out from heat prostra- 
tion. Our path through the Cuban jungles was literally 
lined during most of the distance by poor fellows in blue, 
who luid fallen by the wayside and lay there helpless and 
alone, gasping for breath. We lost not one man from 
exhaustion who did not succeed in rejoining us before 
we went to bed that night. 

There was an exhibition of grit on this march that de- 
serves mention. One trooper had had his legs crushed 
between the bumpers of two cars on the way from Tampa 
to Port Tanii)a. lie had only partially recovered when 
this march began, but lie insisted on going with the regi- 
ment. On the way he fell out from exhaustion, and the 
men with him thought that he would die. He was, of 
necessity, left by the wayside with some exhausted ones 
from other regiments. Before the next day's battle was 
half over, he crawled slowly to the front and fired his 
full share of shots before the fighting ended. 

One of the most astonishing things I saw in CAiba 
occurred on this trip. A regular soldier, belonging, I 
think, to the Tenth Infantry, suddenly discovered that 
his period of enlistment exjoired tliat day at five o'clock 
in the afternoon. We had perhaps completed half our 
march when he made this discovery. Without hesita- 

80 



IX CUliA, BEFORE i'llE FlC Illl \(1. 

tion, and at tlio hciiiniiini;- of tlic canipaiuii, he (Icniaiulcd 
his discharge from his cuiiunandiiig oHiccr, tiinicd over 
such of his equipment as belonged to tlic ( !(i\criiiiiciit, 
and k'ft the I'liitcd States afiiiy then and tlicrc 1 1 is 
dej)artnre was ac{'omj)anied by a chorus of jccis iVnin his 
own comrades, and as he answered them, he tell in the 
path of C^iptain ('apron. Cajiron colhirccl him as if he 
had been a yeUow dog, and passed him down to the h)ng 
line of Rough Kiders \\'hieli stretched behin(L I don't 
know what hapjiened to him after he passed onl of my 
sight, but I know that before he had disap])eai'ed, ther(^ 
Avas very little clothing on him, and lie was very pro|)erly 
bleeding. 

There is no country on the earth more l»eautiful than 
that through whicdi Ave passed. For a large part of our 
way Ave Avere almost emboAvered by the rising Cuban 
jungle on each side of our path; for seA'eral nules we 
marched through a cocoanut groA'e Avlun-e the ])ahns 
toAvered on an aA-erage more than a hundred feet alxtve 
our heads; Ave crossed scA-eral handsome sti'cams and 
Avent through the dry bed of one rivei'. The S])aniards 
had announced that we could never niarcdi from l)ai- 
(piiri to Siboney, without building elaborate bridges, 
but Ave found that all of tlu' streams Avere easily ford- 
able. 

j^othingis thirstier than a long march, except a battle. 
As Ave crossed one of the streams, the Avater looked so 
cool, clear, and delightful that Colonel Wood stopped 
and told ns to be careful. 

"You can fill your canteens here," he said, '* if yon 
don't foul the Avater yonrseNes." 
6 81 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

So we stopped on stepping stones, and we hovered on 
the edges, and we hung ourselves out on overhanging 
boughs, and we filled our canteens. And just as we got 
them filled, we heard a great splashing around a curve 
up stream, and a large section of the Tenth Cavalry 
(colored) came into view. They were swimming in the 
river. 

AVe emptied our canteens. 

After that the march was long and weary. By no 
means as large a proportion of men dropped out of our 
regiment as had dropped out of the regular regiment 
that preceded us, l)ut still tAveuty or thirty fell l)y the 
wayside. Along towards the end of the march — after 
we had come across the railroad tracks, and were mo- 
mentarily expecting to see Siboney — the men began to 
grund)le a little bit. Darkness had fallen, and march- 
ing \\-as ditficult. The curious lumpy roots of the scrub 
})a]mettos grew constantly across our path, and walking- 
was not joyful. AVhen a man called Ijack '' hole," we 
were all unhappy until we had seen some other fellow 
fall in, and thus knew that we had passed it. Humorous 
sentries were posted high above us on the railroad em- 
bankment to our left, and they cried out ril)ald cries 
about imminent Spaniards and sudden death that was 
likely to strike us in the next thicket. Those last miles 
were worse than fighting. Finally, it was Avell after ten 
o'clock, we began to find the campfires of the regiments 
which had already reached Siboney. 

At last we went into camp in the very heart of the 
now famous little village. In front of us were the rail- 
way tracks, and beyond them the sea. Some transports 

83 



IN CUBA, BEFORE THE FIGHTING. 

luul come np from Daiciuiri and wove vomiting their mon 
into the surf, from which they scram Med up to us, 
drenched and disheartened. 

Shortly after our arrival Maj<)r-(!cneral AVheeler sent 
for Colonel AVood and General Younii'. 



83 



CHAPTER V. 

THE FIRST SHOT. 

The 2-itli of Juno had well l)ei;nii before this con- 
ference between Generals Wheeler and Young- and 
Colonels Wood and Koosevelt was ended. 

Before the day had finished, nine of the men in the 
regiment were dead on a Cuban hillside, scarce six miles 
away, and thirty-two were lying in hastily improvised 
hospitals, sore wounded. 

I was not actually present at this conference, but 
Richard Harding Davis was, and he says in his book, 
and says privately, that General Wheeler had recon- 
noitred the trail that afternoon with some Cubans, and 
found that the enemy were intrenched at Guasimas, 
wliich, Davis says, is at the apex of two trails only 
three miles from Silx)ncy, but which is really more 
than five miles away from that strange little Cuban 
town. 

Before the rain came that night, despite our weariness, 
some of us started to explore. Troops were still being 
landed through the surf. Two warships lay in the slight 
coast-line indentation which is dignified by the name of 
bay, and played their searchlights on the landing place. 
Probably no more picturesque sight was ever presented 
to the eye of a newspaper correspondent than was before 
me and half a dozen of the Rough Riders when we went 

84 



■I'llK l-'IKST SIIO'l\ 

down Id the cdtic iA' tlic ocean \'uv a swim. 'I'lic can toons 
of the rciiiniciit wore cinittv, and 1 was thii'sticr tliaii 
I have ever hccn Ixd'orc in my lite, and the niou of the 
rogimcnt ninst ha\c hccn worse otV than 1 was. They 
had heen carrvini;' theii- heavy arms and e(|uii)nient dur- 
ing the long march from l)ai({uiri, whih' 1 had borne 
only a l)hinket, in which [ had wrapped my photograi)hie 
tihns and my camera. The l)hinket, by the way, he- 
longed to Stephen Crane. ]\Iine had fallen a \ictim to 
the skeleton pier. AVe took (nir little bath. AVe 
stripped for it as boys do wIk. go into the Erie (^anal to 
swim, and tlins saved ourselves from attraeting attention, 
l)ecause the man who had clothes on, unless he was just 
getting out of one of the landing surf boats, would have 
appeared unusual. Probably two hundred American 
soldiers were there in the surf, hel])ing tlie newcomers 
to disend)ark, and they were quite as (Jod made them. 
I shall not soon forget the wet look of the M-at(n- in the 
sea. We all wanted to di-ink it. While we were 
standing there talking about it and discussing the 
thoughts which must come to shipwrecked sailors on 
rafts who see "water, water evei'ywhei'e and not a drop 
to drink," one of the Tenth Tnfantry came along with 
six or eight canteens on his shoulders. Tie asked us it 
we wanted a drink. AVe did. 

"AVell, here you are," he said, and handed a canteen 
to Dr. rhurch. 

The doctor took it. ITe took one swallow. He 
handed it sorrowfully back. 

" ISTever mind," said he. '' T will go thirsty." 

The canteens were fillecl with that same sweet Spanish 

85 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

wine wliieli the ilongh Riders had learned to dread at 
Daiqniri. 

We had returned to camp before the men had cooked 
supper. Colonel AVood asked me join the regimental 
mess, and I was filled with exceedingly great joy. But 
the men were handicapped by lack of water. The Span- 
iards had cut the pipes which w^ere supposed to bring 
water from the hills, and Colonel AVood had given the 
strictest orders that no member of his regiment should 
drink the Avater which was being given out freely in the 
Cuban shanties of the town. His wdsdom in taking this 
course is plainly shown by the fact that not one mem- 
ber of the Rough Riders developed a case of fever dating 
from that day, although the regular troops wdio were en- 
camped thereabout began to come down with it within 
forty-eight hours. From the beginning of the campaign 
to its very finish, Wood's medical knowledge and regard 
for sanitation saved the men of his command from many 
evils to which tlio soldiers of other regiments, even 
among the regular troops, w^ere often exposed. 

Finally, and it was fully midnight, the details of men 
who had l)een sent for water came back from somewhere 
with an amjde su])ply, and the cooking whicli had been 
delayed by the lack of it began to go merrily forward. 
We were hungry — officers and men alike — and the 
gleaming campfires, against whicli the figures of the 
sturdy cooks were strongly silhouetted iu the inky black- 
ness of the Cuban night, seemed especially inviting. 
There was probalily not one man in the regiment who 
was not licking his chops in anticipation, as he looked on. 

But the luck of the Rough Riders deserted them then. 

86 



THK I'lHST SHOT. 

We were in Cuba at the beginning of the i-ainy season, 
and had every reason to expect the worst kind of weather. 
For some reason, (lod had been good to General Shaft el- 
and had let hiiu hind Ids troops inuhT sinilini;' skies. 
Nothing that natnre eonhl do to lielp hitn be a good 
coninianding general liad been omitted hy an ail-wise 
Providence, np to that time, and we had been able to get 
along fairly well. But suddenly, whik' wo were waiting 
for onr supper to be cooked, tke first rain which liad 
descended since we landed in Cuba began to falh It 
was not wliat we know as rain in the North. It was a 
deluge. It was such a downpour as we have never heard 
of in the Ignited States. It put out the campfires and we 
suifered accordingly. Those of us who were too tired 
to wait for it to stop before we went to sleep, missed onr 
suppers. That was a serious matter for some oi' ns wlio 
had not had breakfast or dinner, and who did not have 
breakfast the next day. But it was Cuba. 

Just back of Sikoney rises another of those abrupt 
hills which are so frecpu^nt along that ])art (d the Cnban 
coast. Over this hill runs one trail and along the valhy 
at its side and to the right of it runs another. (Jeneral 
Wheeler ordered (Jeneral Young and tliree luuKh'ed 
and sixty-two men of the First and Tenth Cavab'v to 
pass up the valley trail, and ordered (Vdoncd Wood and 
his five hundred and seventy-fonr men to go up tlie hill 
trail. They were to meet where the trails met and 
merged into a wagon road to Santiago at Guasimas. 

The Cuban scouts had reported the presence of Span- 
ish sharpshooters in the jnngle along the fraik, and had 
annonneed that a body of S]^aniards were strongly in- 

89 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

trenched just beyond where the roads met. So it is well 
to saj here that the battle which followed was not 
technically an ambush, although it is true that the Amer- 
ican troops met the Spaniards before they had expected 
to. Still, as they were marching through an enemy's 
country, and were taking every possible precaution, it 
is scarcely fair to say that they were actually surprised. 

The night in Siboney was probably the most uncom- 
fortable one which most of the members of the regiment 
had up to that time experienced. It was fully midnight 
before they were ready to sleep, and the terrific down- 
pour had soaked the Cuban upper soil until it was of the 
consistency of breakfast oatmeal, bound together and 
rendered doubly disagreeable by the wire grass. Our 
men had only their dog tents, and their cheap ponchos or 
rubber blankets were slight protection to them against 
the penetrating mud. Tn addition to this, no one thing 
which the underbred ;nid iinmilitary Cuban officers in 
charge of troops there at Siboney could do to render 
sleep in our camp impossible was omitted. 

Iveveille was sounded at 3.15. 

The camp of the Rough Ixiders presented a weird sight 
in the early morning darkness. Campfires had been left 
l)urning all night, and the figures of the cooks at work 
around them looked like busy demons. I had tried to 
sleep dnriug the night on the ]iorch of a Cuban shanty, 
with two or three officers. My fitful slumber was dis- 
turbed by the voice of Buck Dawson, chief herder in 
the Rough Riders' pack-train. Buck's reuiarks were 
not less weird than his a])pearance, aud tliat was al)- 
solutely unearthly. Two of his mules had come over 

90 



'I'llK FIRST SI I ()'!'. 



and knocked at the d()(»r <»!' tluil Cuban pliaiity with 
their hind feet. lie was ari;uiii,i; the matter with 
them. 

Colonel Wood and Colonel Roosevelt did not lie down 
to sleep that night at all. When morning came they 
were still wandering busily around in their long yellow 
" slickers " or rain coats. AVood looked w^orn and hag- 
gard, and his voice was eracked and hoarse. Roosevelt 
was as lively as a chipnumk, and seemed to be in hall" a 
do/en places at once. There was tremcnidons trouble in 
getting the mule-trains packed, and the mess kits ready 
for transportation. Dawn had fairly broken — and 
broken is the right word to describe the coming of the 
Cuban dawn, for the change from darkness to light is 
almost as quick as the crack of an egg — and AVood's ex- 
asperation over the slowness of the men was a cheerful 
sight to witness. Finally he announeed to the packers 
and cooks in stentorian tones that if they w^ere not ready 
in ten nunutes, he would abandon them. They were 
ready. 

And so as the first heat of the Cuban day began to beat 
down u])on the side of that jn-ecipitous hill, the Rough 
Ividers commenced to crawl slowly up it like great brown 
flies. The trail Avas miserable. T marched in advance 
of the regiment, and many times had to imll myself up 
1)V clinging to rocks and shrubs. The men beliiml me 
with their guns and blankest rolls must have had a much 
harder time than I did. We were forced to halt for 
rest half a dozen times during the ascent of this six or 
seven hundred feet. V>y the time we had reaehe(l the 
summit, we were all at least as tired as we had i)een 

01 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

the night before, when avc lay down to take onr nn- 
satisfactorj sleep. 

From that summit as beantifnl a "S'iew was presented 
to ns as had been shown to the little group of Rough 
Riders the day before, when they raised the flag on 
Mount Losiltires. There were transports and warships 
in the little bay at the bottom of the hill, and every 
level spot of ground in sight was covered with the camps 
of our troops. Delicate bugle calls floated softly up to 
ns like blasts from fairy trumpets, and the scpialor of 
the Cuban town at our feet was gilded into glory by 
the morning sun. When that same day's sun was 
setting, another group of Rough Riders looked down 
at the same scene, and some of them saw it througli a 
haze which a])]»roaching death had spread hcfore their 
eyes. 

From this point our march to the front was through 
one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever seen. 
AVe went very ra])idly — so ra])idily, indeed, that there 
came unheeded protests from the exhausted men. L 
Troop was, as it had been the day before, at the head of 
the column. AVe marched in single file, and ( ^iptain ( 'ap- 
ron was just behind me. Richard Harding Davis, who 
was suffering from sciatica, had borrowed a Government 
mule, and made a picturesque sight as he went before 
us, preceding Captain IMcCormack as a matter of neces- 
sity. llcCormack was also mounted on a mule, and if 
Davis had not ridden ahead of him, the column would 
have stopped, for McCormack's mule would only go at 
all Avhen it could follow the animal Davis rode. Colonel 
Wood sent two Cuban scouts to reconnoitre before us. 

93 



THE FIRST SHOT. 

Thoy must liavo kopt well in advance, for we did not 
soe tliom au'ain that day. Tho colonel, of course, rode 
alieiid of all of lis, while at Hi'st ( 'oloiicl UooscNcIt re- 
mained in his place in the middle of the line. 

AVe had advanced less than a mile from the brow of 
the hill, when AVood ordered Capron and his troop to ^-o 
f(tr\var(l as an adx^aiicc i;nard. The trail had lici'c iiai'- 
rowed down to a mere hridlc path, hoi'dcrcd on cadi side 
by dense thickets. Those (tf ns who knew what the 
(hihans' report had been on the night bebo'c, hiokeij 
sharp wIkmi we lieai'd eoniini;- from these tliicket> the 
plaintive call of the wood cuckoo. This call had been 
nsed as a signal by the Spaniards when our marines 
landed at Guantanamo, and we thought it indicated the 
presence of sharpshooters. Colonel Wood and Mc- 
Cormack both spoke to me about it, and both peered 
anxiously into the thickets when the call came, but there 
came no following riile shot. After this episode had 
occurred live or six times, we ceased to heed the cuckoo 
calls, thinking that they were really bird voices, but a 
Spanish prisoner on the hospital ship " Olivette " told 
me that the progress of the liougli ]\iders was re])<>rted 
in detail to the Spanish commanding general by pickets 
who passed this call along, and that the shar])shooters 
who were posted along that trail only refrained from 
shooting in order to allay our suspicions and induce us to 
march unthinkingly into the cul-de-sac which they had 
prepared for us farther on. 

I have no doubt that the Tlough Txiders in the raid<s 
had been told that they would meet the Sjianiai-ds before 
the day was over, but the statc^nent had made little 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS, 

improRPion on them. While we were in Tampa we had 
waited so long for orders to move that the war had corns 
to seem a dreamy kind of myth to ns; when the navy 
bombarded Daiquiri, not an answering shot had l)een 
fired; on the long march from Daiqniri to Siboney the 
men had seen no Spaniards and had seen no signs of 
Spaniards. Tliey had iierer seen a Spaniard. I donbt 
if most of them actually realized that morning that there 
were any Spaniards on the island. As I have said, they 
had been told that they would meet the Spaniards before 
the day was o\'ei', but it was as if yon wvvv told, when yon 
got on a railroad train, that yon wotdd have an accident 
before yon reached yonr destination, ^'on have never 
seen a railway accident, and while yon know there are 
such things, still yon take very little stock in the an- 
nouncement that has been made to yon. 

Tlie Kough Iiiders took no stock at all in the story 
that they would meet the S])aniards. 

No words can describe the desolation of the coimtry 
throngh which we were now marching. A land which 
has always been a wilderness is not onedialf so dreary as 
a land which has been under cultivation, and ])ecn aban- 
doned. 

In a year a tropical wood will make inroads which a 
ISTorthern forest would not make in a generation. The 
plantations along our ronte, victims of the revolution 
which had raged in Cuba for three years, were desolate 
and overgrown with scrub and creepers. In places, erst- 
while cultivated fields had been filled with a twenty-foot 
growth, which towered higher than our heads and arched 
completely over us. It was as if we were marching in 

94 



TH'P] P^IRST SHOT. 

a tunnel with green walls. No words can describe tlie 
oppressiveness of the heat which niack^ us gasp and sweat 
in thes(> i)hi('es. Krc(Hiciit li;iltiiigs lor rest wei'e iiii- 
avoidahh'. On both sides of us, hai'lied-wire fences 
hedged ns into the hridle )>ath. 

By and l>y we ennie lu a |)Iaee where, at the fight of 
the trail, a (U'serted mansion stooiL We eonhl jnsi catch 
glimpses of it through the bushes. A pahn tree had 
grown in its very middle and, lifting its roof, had cast 
it aside in ruins. Just here Colonel RooseveU, wlio had 
come forward and was riding in the grojip at the head 
of the main column, and behind L Troop, ])icked n]> two 
shovels and fastened them to his saddle. AVliat the 
colonel intended to do Avith the two shovels is unrecorded 
history. 

It was perhaps five hundred yards beyond this point 
that a Cuban scout is alleged to have informed (\iptain 
Capron that the Sjxiniards were in force ahead of us. 
For myself, I do not believe that any Cuban scout did 
any such thing, or any other thing, except to double back 
to Siboney and return to his companion long before we 
reached a danger point. 

Colonel AYood had warned Captain Capron that, at a 
certain point, he would come across the dead body of a 
Spanish guerrilla, who had been kilh'd tlie (hiy befoi-e 
by Cubans, imless the Spaniards had removed him, which 
was improbable, and if they did not find this corpse, Cap- 
ron would, a little farther on, see a campfire. Wood- 
bnry Kane came back and simply told ( 'olonel AVood 
that the enemy had been discovered, and AVood does not 
know now whether they found them out through the 

95 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS, 

presence of the dead guerrilla, or through the presence 
of the campfire. 

We halted. 

Colonel Wood gave the order of " Silence in the 
ranks." We conld hear the men send it to the rear along 
the line, and then someone saw lying a little way back, 
and over at the side, the dead body of a Cuban. I have 
been told that this (hdian was one of onr scouts, but I do 
not believe it, for I examined his l)ody myself, and know 
that he had not been killed that morning. There was 
no visible wound on his body, and, if 1 judge his nature 
by that of the other ( hd)ans whom the army learned to 
know, I am forced to believe that he must have died a 
natural and peaceful death. He certainly was not the 
Spanish guerrilla. 

]^otwit]istan(ling the order of " Silence in the ranks," 
the men still failed to be seriously impressed by the 
situation. As a matter of fact, it did not occur even to 
me, who was somewhat on the inside of affairs, that we 
were about to go into a fight. I made a trip back along 
the line as a matter of form, so that I might get some- 
thing to write about, and I found the men lolling on 
the grass with their guns lying carelessly beside them. 
Some of them had started to take off their blanket rolls, 
as they had done during previous halts for rest, but they 
were stopped by their officers. They were not talking 
of war, and they were not thinking of war. The heat 
was probably more dreadful now than it had been at any 
other time, and they discussed that. A private of B 
Troop said : 

" By God! how would you like a ' glass of cold beer' ?" 

96 



THE FIltST SHOT. 

Tho mow resented it as a particularly aggravating sug- 
gestion, aiul tossed bits of stick and stone at him. One 
man blew a i)utty ball at him. All the way down on the 
t I'aiisjxirt, tliis man luid cjiiTicd liis tiny tin biow-gnn lor 
the exasperation of his friends, and the wad of putty was 
in his pocket and the little tin tube was sticking out of 
the breast of his blue shirt when, a couple of hours later, 
we found him lying dead on the field. 

L Troop was two hundred yards in advance of us. 
C'aj)tain Caprou had deployed six men and himself two 
hundred yards in advance of it. 

When I returned to the colonel's group, he was telling 



a funuv story. Xoarly evoryhndy oxropt Colouol "Wood 
and Colonel Roosevelt was lying gasping in tlic grass. 
Koosevelt came over by me and we talked of a luncheon 
in the Astor House, ISTew T'ork, with Mr. Hearst, the i)ro- 
prietor of the Journal. I was very near to the barbed- 
wire fence. Roosevelt glanced towards it casually. The 
posts were standing, but the wire was down. 1 Fe picked 
u]i one end of the strand. I noticed that he started as he 
looked at it. 

"My God!" he exclaimed, "this wire has been cut 
to-day," and he passed it over to me. 

I looked at it. 

"What makes you think so? " I asked. 

" The end is bright," he replied, " and there has been 

99 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

enough dew, even since sunrise, to put a light rust on it, 
had it not been lately cut." 

Just as he sjioke, Surgeon La Motte blundered up the 
line on a mule, making much noise. Roosevelt jumped 
after him, and in urging him to keep quiet made more 
noise than he did. 

Then came the first shot. 



100 



CHAPTER VL 

THE FIRST BATTLE. 

The six iiicii who went in advance of L Troop wore the 
men at whom the tirst shot, and the ahiiost innuediatdv 
snecceding first vollev, fired by hmd forces in the 
Spanish- American AVar, were directed. 

Tom Isbell, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, went first 
at one side of the middle of the road. Captain (\ipron 
kept even with him on the other. Private Culver was a 
few feet Ix'liind on th(> left think in the bnslies, and llol> 
Pernell was on the right flank in the huslies. Wyh'V 
Skelton, Tom Meagher, and Sergeant Byrnes, wlio liad 
been a member of the iSTew York police force, wci'c 
spread out about tliirty feet a])art. Some one had fircil 
a shot in reply to tliat tirst one which came shrieking 
through the bushes, and, as proof of our marksmanship, 
this little group found a dead Spaniard lying in tlie 
middle of the road. I have tried to find out who tired 
this shot, but I have been unable to do so. 

After that Tom Isbell saw a S])aniard, and cheerfully 
killed him. Then everything o])encd up. The Span- 
iards were in force in the bushes, and Isbell went down 
with seven shots in him from their first volley. Xot five 
seconds elapsed before Captain Capron received his fatal 
wound. 

By this time the men had naturally ceased to advance 
101 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

as boldly as they liaJ started to, and dropped behind 
what cover they could find. Culver, who was also an 
Indian, was on his face behind a rock. Sergeant Hamil- 
ton Fish rushed up to him in advance of the other men 
of L Troop, wlio were running forward into the fracas 
as rapidly as they could, and said : 

" Culver, have you got a good place? " 

" Yes," replied Culver. 

Fish lay down beside him at the edge of the road and 
began firing as fast as he could. After four or five shots, 
he gasped. 

" I'm wounded," said Fish. 

Culver replied by saying, " I'm killed." 

They had been hit by the same bullet, and the cow- 
boy warrior and the dude soldier mingled their blood 
there in the Cuban trail. Fish died; Culver lived. 

The man to come up first, after Hamilton Fish, was 
Samuel Davis, known to the regiment as Cherokee Bill. 
He was standing upright when he saw Fish shot, and had 
only time to look at him a second with wondering eyes, 
when he went down with a crash himself. 

This, very briefly, tells the story of the gallant ad- 
vance guard of L Troop. They liad gone into battle in 
a strange country. They had in their hands guns which 
they had never fired before. If they had ever done 
any fighting, it had been on horseback; but they were 
now dismounted. They were shooting at an enemy 
which used smokeless powder, and of which only one 
man was at any time visible during that first skirmish. 
Some of them were college men who had never seen 
anything rougher than a football game, or a possible 

103 



THE FIRST BATTLE. 

prize figlit. They had been fivcd upon l)y mon who sliot 
to kill and without a second's warning', hut not one of 
them turned his face other than towards the; front; not 
one of them showed the slightest sign of cowai'dice. Two 
out of the seven were almost instantly killed, and the 
other five were badly wounded. But the men who were 
wounded M'ere glad of their w^ounds, and the men who 
died exulted because it was their ])roud privilege to be 
the first in the United States army, during this war, to 
perish for their country. 

In the meantime, back at the point where the little 
group of officers and Davis and myself had heard the 
first shot of the war fired, there was great rushing. 

This first shot had been fired by the Spanish pickets. 
AVood rushed forward far enough to become satisfied that 
it was Spanish, and not American, fir(\ lie then re- 
turned to the head of the line and gave th(> order to 
" load chamber and magazine." Then he again ordered 
absolute silence in the ranks. I have since asked him 
if, while he was standing there, telling us that luimv 
story which I have mentioned, he had been expecting 
that first sudden shot which so startled the rest of us. 
He told me that he had been expecting it iiiomentai'ily 
for ten minutes, because Caj)ron had told him some time 
in advance of the evidences of Spanish presence, and had 
said that while he marched he constantly expected the 
attack to begin. He felt as if something might drop 
upon his head any minute. 

Colonel Wood was as cool a man as ever I saw. Tie 
gave his orders with the utmost calmness and showeil 
then (indeed it was true of him throughout the halth-) 

108 



THE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 

not one sign of nndne excitement. Colonel Roosevelt, 
on the contrary, jnniped np and down, literally, I mean, 
with emotions evidently divided between joy and a 
tendency to rnn. The barbed-wire fence on the right 
of the bridle path was intact at first, but some of onr 
men cnt the strands with their wire nippers. Roose- 
velt picked up one of these strands, and looked at it 
curiously, as he had looked at the strand of the fence on 
my side of the trail. Wood ordered him to take Troop.^ 
G. K, and A into the tangle of bushes and creepers on 
the right, and ordered Troops D, F, and E (Midler's 
troop in reserve) to deploy into tlie naturally open ticld 
which stretched beyond the tell-tale barl)ed-wire fence on 
the left. Perhaps a dozen of Roosevelt's men had passed 
into the thicket l)efore he did. Then he stepped across 
the wire himself, and, fi-oni that instant, became the 
most magnificent soldier I liave ever seen. Tt was as if 
that l)arbed-\vire strand had formed a dividing line in his 
life, and that A\'hen he stepped across it he left behind 
him in the bridle ])atli all those unadmiralde and con- 
spicuous traits wdiich have so often caused him to be 
justly criticised in civic life, and found on the other side 
of it, in that (hiban thicket, the C(>olness, the calm judg- 
ment, the towering heroism, which made him, perhaps, 
the most admired and best beloved of all Americans in 
Cuba. 

For the next half hour I lost sight of Colonel Roose- 
velt, and know what he and his men did only by hearsay. 
I know that they must have had a terril)le time as they 
beat into that jungle, and I know that while they could 
not see the Spaniards, the Spaniards could ]ihiinly see 

104 



TJIE KlIiST HA'I'TLE. 

tlicm, for they had iilaiined cadi iiidivldiial's position 
so that the Americans, wlicn they came, shuuld be in un- 
interrnptcd view. It was the worst kind of g'ncrrilla 
warfare. The fact tliat <nir men still failed to realize 
that the Spaniards were in C'liha, and were shooting- at 
us t(» kill, is indicated by the other fact that, when 
withering tire struck Roosevelt and his men, they be- 
lieved that L Troop had made a blinidei- and was iiring 
l)ack at them. This belief was so sti-ong that onr men 




The Truil where tlu F'kjIiI hi</uii. 

ceased tii'ing into the thickets for fear of killing (^ipron's 
troopers, and shonted out to them to sto]) shooting. A 
moment later, however, ( 'olonel Koose\-elt liimself saw 
Spaniards in front of him and (n-dered his nuMi to again 
return the fire. By this time the ground o\-er which 
his men mai'ched was strewn with the eni])ty sliclls of 
Spanish cartridges. Those troops did not again cease 
iiring for fear that they were shooting into their owu 
comrades. They did not again doubt the ]»i'esenee (d' the 
Spaniards, and the "Rough Riders i-ealized at hist that it 
was war. 

105 



THE STOEY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

A very few minutes had passed before Colonel Roose- 
velt saw that it was impossible to carry his men further 
into the dense jungle, and he turned them to the left and 
worked back across the trail into more open country. 
While our men were still in some doubt as to the exact 
j)osition of the Spaniards, the Spanish had us in absolute 

range, and shot low and with 

excellent aim. The firing was 

rapid be^'ond anything which 

T^ had occurred up to the time this 

■fc|^^_^^ turn was made, and our men had 

I^^^KV^^Bf to work their way lying ilat on 

^^^^J^^^F tlieir faces. Even then the 

ir ^ S]>anish bullets struck some. 

Tlic little episode cost the 

Kougli Riders nine men killed 

an<l wounded. 

One unfortunate fact in con- 
nection with tlu^ failure to break 
through the thicket was that we 
were, of course, especially anx- 
ious to establish communication 
witli (icncral ^'oung's brigade, 
which was marching up the valley, and which our men 
could plainly hear on the other side of that impassable 
thicket. They were evidently as hot at it as we were. 
Probably fifteen minutes had elapsed before communica- 
tion was finally lirought about, and it then came through 
the effort of K Troop. ]Srotliing more astonishingly 
brave occurred during tlie entire war tlian the f-cat of 
the guidon-bearer who did tliis. Ca])tain Jenkins had 

106 



THE FIHriT liAT'l'LE. 

sent liiin to the to]) of :i l>aro little kiioll, and in- 
strncted liiiii to wave his guidon until (Jcneral Young's 
men saw it. The Spaniards were in foree just across the 
valley and within good range of him, and they i)oured a 
merciless hre at him. lie paid no heed to it wliatevci-, 
but walked erect and waA-ed his little ilag until an 
answering wave from Young's men told him that his 
signal had been seen. Then he got (piickly di>\vn and 
sensibly scuttled away like a crab, it is interesting to 
state that this man had once been a candidate for Con- 
gress. 

Another pleasing episode of this particular ])()int of 
the battle is related by Kichard Harding Davis, in his 
book on " The Cuban and Porto llico Campaigns " 
(Charles Scribner's Sons). He said: 

" AYhile (J Troop passed on across the ti-ail to the 
left, I stopped at the place where the column had hrst 
halted — it had been converted into a dressing station, 
and the woimded <d' (i Troop were left there in the care 
of the hospital stewards. A tall, gaunt young man with 
a cross on his arm M'as just coming back up the trail. 
His head was bent, and by some surgeon's trick he was 
advancing rapidly with great strides, and at the same 
time carrying a wounded man, much heavier than liim- 
self, across his shoulders. As T ste])i)e(l out of the trail 
he raised his head, and smiled and nodded, smiling in 
the same cheery, confident way and moving in that same 
position. T know it could not have been under the same 
conditions, and yet he was certainly associated with 
another time of excitement and rush and heat, and then 
I remend)ered him. He had been covered with Mood 

107 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

and dirt and perspiration, as lie was now, only then lie 
wore a canvas jacket and the man he carried on his 
shoulders ^vas trying to hold him back from a white- 
washed line. And I recognized the young doctor with 
the blootl bathing his breeches as "■ Bob " Church, of 
Princeton. That was only one of four badly wounded 
men he carried on his shoulders that day over a half-mile 
of trail that stretched from the firing line back to the 
dressing station, under an unceasing fire. And as the 
senior surgeon was absent, he had chief responsibility 
that day for all the wounded, and that so few of them 
died is greatly due to this young man A\'ho went down 
into the firing line and pulh'd them from it, and bore 
them out of danger." 

In the meantiiiic T liad gone down to the left with 
Colonel Wood and F and D Troops. The first wounded 
officer I j^aw was Captain James IT. McClintock, of B 
Troop. He A\'as leaning pro])pe(l up against the tree 
on the backbone of the liill which was as clearly defined 
and bare as the buttress of a cathedral. Two bullets 
had met in his lower left leg and I have never seen a man 
suffer sucli ])ain as he did. Months afterw^ards I saw 
him, the day after he was discharged from the hospital 
and from the army with a record of '' half-total disabil- 
ity." He seemed to be very cheerful that day at Las 
Guasimas, and was carefully explaining to Lieutenant 
Nichols that the place was altogether too hot for any 
man to stay in who was not oldiged to. I shook hands 
with him and got his name and address, as I did of the 
otlier wounded, and asked him if there was anvthing I 
could do for him. 

108 



'11 IK KIKST ISATTI;!':. 

"Not !l (liiliiii tliiui;," saitl i\lc( 'liiilocl^, " cxccpl i;ct 
out." 

Since then he li;is (old me ahniil <>iic ol lii> tr(«i]»('r.s, 
M'lio, alter ^le( 'liiitock liad lieeii lorced Id lie dnwii hy 
exhaustion, came and lay close beside him. lie lalke(l 
cheerfnlly to him and Ified lo keep his spirits np. 

" You'd Letter i^ct out of this," said McClintock. " It's 
too hot." 

" DoiTt worry, ca|)tain," the man replied, "I'm be- 
tween yon and tlu^ firine,- line." 

McClintock, touched as he was hy this exhihition of 
tlie man's (h'\-otion, still wanted him to i^ct away. lie 
urii'ed him to Jea\'e him. The man refused. kimdi}' 
jMcClintock said: 

"I am your captain, and 1 oi'der you to ,i;'o; you are 
(hung' no i^ood to any hut me, here; this is no place for 
a well man. I order yon." 

'Jdien the man had to tell. 

" I ain't no well man," he slowly admitle(L " F'm 
shot." 

" AVhere^ " asked .McClintock. 

'' Oh! it's only a scratch." 

They lay there in silence for a long time. 

The firing began to come from the h'ft. Tlie soldier 
worked his painful Avay ai-ound until he was again l)e- 
tween IMcClintock and the line (d' tire. Mc( 'iintoek was 
too weak from loss of blood, even to speak. 

Then a hos]>ital man came and lifted .McC'lintock to 
carry liim hack. 

" Take liim, too," McClintock managed to articulate. 

" !N"o use," said the hospital man; " lie's dead." 

J 09 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

Among all the men who faced the nnknown perils of 
singing ]\Iausers, there were no signs of fear, i hey 
went into that field of battle almost as they had gone 
into tliat transport at Tampa — as if it were a picnic, a 
snmmer's holiday among the towering palms. And 
there was nothing in the aspect of the scene to disabuse 
them of this idea. They could look down the green 
slope toward the incline on the other side, and see noth^ 
ing hostile. IS^othing stirred. Not an enemy was in 
sight. There was no smoke, nor any other visible sign 
of battle. And yet from nowliere came the shrieking 
little ]\Iausers, and from everywhere we heard the pop- 
ping of the guns that sent them. AVhen you com])inc 
smokeless powder with a carefully ])rearranged and)nsli 
which hides from view every man who fires it, the fight 
becomes uncanny. The setting was fitter for a fete 
cham])etre than for a battle. 

This had its strange effect u])on the men, but did not 
cow them. There were no panic-stricken ones then or 
at any time during that day, so far as I know, although 
there was much reason for being panic-stricken. I 
thought only once that I had found a coward. I stopped 
a man wlio was liui])ing (juickly back, and asked him 
why. lie threw at me a new oath, in wishing that I 
might be " double-damned," and raised his carbine over 
me with the plain intention of beating out my brains. 
He then explained that he had torn the sole off one of 
his shoes and could not go farther forward because of the 
penetrating thorns which were under foot. Together 
w^e found a dead man, and took from one of his feet the 
shoe. I helped fasten it on the living myself, as I had 

110 



THE FlliST BAI'l'l.E. 

liclpcd to take it from the dead. 'V]\o dond man was 
]\larciis Itussoll, of Troy, N. Y. Who the li\iiiu man 
was, I d(» not know. I oulv know tliat, as soon as he had 
his shoe, he ran hark toward whcrt' the lirini;- was ai;ain, 
much more rapidly than 1. coukl. 

I soon rejoined Colonel Wood. No man has ever 
made a finer si)eetacle in l)atth' than he did that day. 
He went well in advance of his own men, and had led his 
horse into the field. He stood leanina,' af;ainst its sorrel 
side with wdiat seemed like absolute indifference, and the 
side he leaned aj2,'ainst was the outside. Il(^ had taken a 
natural breastwork into the held with him, l)Ut he 
scorned to use it. 

I shall never forget how he looked as he stood there 
with his face burned to a brown, which was almost like 
that of the Khaki uniform he wore. His sandy mus- 
tache, too, had been grizzled by the sun until it fitted 
into the general harmony -of tone, and he stood there 
brave and strong, like a statue in light bronze. 'Jdie 
Cuban grass reached almost to his waist. There \vas not 
a breath of air, and yet the grass a])out hiiu moved, once, 
slowly, as if a breeze were blowing it. At first T had 
no right idea of what had caused this, but ])resently th(> 
thought came to my mind that it might he l»nnefs. And 
then I realized that Colonel Wood, forming, with his 
horse, the most conspicuous item in the view he fore the 
Spaniards, was naturally the target for all the bullets 
they could shoot. It was the effect of volleys fired from 
Spanish trenches and from tlic l)ns]i across tlic \allev 
that made the grass wave about his feet. I realized it 
slowly. He knew it from the start. That he escaped 

111 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

unscathed, was extraordinary. But that he stood there 
without the quiver of a muscle, without the tremble of 
a second's worry, was not less than wonderful, lie had 
left a wife and a family of little ones in Washington, 
and, of course, he wanted to return to them. The cer- 
tainty that he would be advanced, with or without honor- 
winning battles, was absolute. Yet he stood there in the 
battle which he had sought himself, and never stirred a 
finger. And he stood on the outside of his sorrel horse. 
It cannot be that that man failed to remember that all 
good things were behind him, Avhere peace and quiet 
were, and he knew that there were ahead of him only 
worry and strain and possible death. Men who had 
already lieen hit were near him, and he could see their 
red pools of blood from where he calmly stood. He 
played the highest stake that man can offer against the 
lionor which he won that day, and if fate did not win 
her w^ager, it was not the other gambler's fault. 

I watched him — fascinated. 

And then I turned away to watch the men whom he 
commanded. An officer had walked into the field with 
me and gone back to encourage a Avounded man. From 
across the valley the enemy marked him, and the '' zeu," 
" zeu," '' zeu," of the bullets going over his head, and the 
'' zip," " zip," " zi])," of the bullets going into the grass 
at his feet, were as frequent as the raindrops which had 
beaten on the garret roof above him when he was a 
baby. He had exposed himself recklessly, but, like 
Colonel "Wood, he escaped without a scratch. 

I asked Colonel Wood afterwards about his sensations 
when he stood on the battlefield in front of his horse. 

113 




s. 



TliK i-'lKST BATTJ.E. 

lie said lli:it lie \v:is uiiroiM uiintciv sihuitcd, hccimsc lie 
was aliiiost tlicdiilv man in the ii'ginicnt who had nolh- 
iiiii,' to (h>. All he could accomplish was to make the 
men ItclicN'c him to he pcrlcctly cool. As a matter of 
fact, lie said, he a[)preciat(M| his danuci- and his mind 
was tilled with regi-cts over tlu' fact t hat he had not taken 
out $ KM), 000 life insurance, for lie had no idea that he 
would snrvix'e the hattle. lie had ii,iveii his troop otli- 
cers careful instructions before they went into the tii^ht, 
and as they ^vent in had assured himself that they undei'- 
stood their orders and were cool enough to carry them 

(Ult. 

This one ejjisode deserves some comment. I was 
standing by Colonel Wood, as Captains Llewellyn and 
Huston passed into the battleiield. AVood stopped each 
of them, and indulged in airy persiflage, which L thought 
was irrelevant and unthoughtful at the time. Llewellyn 
was carrying a pick-axe on his shoulder, for no reason 
whatever. Huston was carrying a shovel. AVood 
stopped them both and joked them about tlieii* collection 
of agricultural implements. Lhen he said: 

^' What are you going into the figlit to do^ To dig 
holes in the ground? " 

Neither man could answer. They had ]^ieked these 
tilings u]), as Roosevelt had picked up the two shovels, 
which he had tied to the |)oni]nel of his saddle. Id'cy 
said they didn't know what they had them for, and they 
undoubtedly spoke the truth. Wood then W(n-ked around 
in a joking way, until lu^ got 1)otli th(>se nu>n to repeat 
to him the orders which they had rtM-eived before 
they had started. lie explained to me in Washington. 

115 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH EIDERS. 

what I did not understand at Guasimas — that this whole 
conversation was carried out for the purpose of making 
them repeat their orders unconsciously, so that he would 
know for certain that they understood what they were 
to do. 

Before I left Tam})a, I had been ignominiously 
thrown from a fractious horse, and had sprained my 
elbow. My left arm was not strong enough to hold my 
notebook, and so I rested it against a palm tree. The 
fact that Spanish guns were firing at us was impressed 
upon my mind l)y the triplicated " chug " of l)ullets 
striking against this tree. It was too small to offer much 
protection, and it was the biggest thing in sight. Oc- 
casionally I saw in the long grass, as I surveyed the field, 
an indentation whicli showed where a man had fallen 
in fighting for his country, or was lying down in order 
that he might fight well. Aside from those indenta- 
tions, and aside from the solemn figures of AVood and 
another officer or two, outlined above the dun-brown of 
the Cuban grass, there was nothing to indicate to the 
visual sense that fighting was going on. Orally there 
was much evidence. Richard Harding Davis was over 
to my right with L Troop, and pumping wildly at 
the Spaniards with a carbine. I had the only smokeless 
powder revolver cartridges which were in the army in 
Cuba. They had been given to me, at Tanii)a, l)y Sir 
Bryan Leighton, of the British army. They were known 
as " man stoppers," and I knew that they would not 
carry more than 400 yards. The Spaniards were at 
least 600 yards away, and yet I fired cheerfully in their 
direction. I presume those bullets are lying imbedded 

116 



'I'llK I'lKSl' HAni,K. 

in fli(> iiTonnd, soiiicwhcrc hi'twccii the linos, wliilo T mil 
^.vl•iting this. 

1 heard u man ervinii,' (nit. 1 turned mid s;iw him; I 
had seen liiiii hctorc, and then he had hccii tiriiii;' as fast 
as his new ^nn would work. Kow he was on the wi'ui- 
of sobs. I ran up to him and asked him if he was hurt. 

"Ilnrt? jS[o," he exclaimed, " bnt my leg's asleep 
and I can't get np, and mv gun's jammed. Gi' me a 
gun! Can't ye gi' mo a guu^" 

It was at abont this time that we actually saw the 
Spaniards for the iirst time. ^\h hough we had forcetl 
them to fall back nearly half a mile, they had ke])t so 
thoroughly nnder cover that our men had rarely had 
anything other than a movement in the long grass, or 
some suspicious waving of the shrubs and bushes to tire 
at. One body of abont 300 men, plainly panic-stricken, 
broke from their cover at last and started to run away 
from us like rabbits. AVith a wild wlioo]), the men of 
I) Troo]) opened tire on them at ("a]itain ilnstoirs 
orders, and we could plainly see that the aim was good, 
for half a dozen Spaniards dropped as the first volley 
was sent into them. 

Colonel Wood jumped over from where he had !)een 
standing and shouted, with all the force he could put 
into his voice: 

" Don't shoot at retreating men." 

But it was the first good chance our men had had at 
the Spaniards, and the colonel's voice was drowned by 
the noise of firing. They kept on shooting. He called 
Trumpeter Cassi to him and had him blow 'cease fir- 
ing " on his buale. Finally our men s1o])ped. 

117 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERt^. 

AVood lately nuule this point clear to me in Washing- 
ton. It pnzzled nie on the battlefield. AVhen he or- 
dered us to stop firing- at retreating men, I thought that 
he had made a serious mistake. I stood very near to 
him and saw that the Spaniards were completely de- 
moralized l)y the beginning of our fire, and saw that after 
its cessation they quickly rallied. I thought that he 
had been wrong in ordering our firing stopped at all, and 
have twice made the statement in print that he made 
a mistake in stopping this firing. He has since told me 
what I did not dream of at the time — that he was ex- 
pecting a flanking attack from a body of Spaniards who 
were trying to reach our rear, and that because of this 
contemplated struggle with attacking men, he did not 
wish our men to waste their somewhat scanty ammuni- 
tion on men who were already running away. It is 
interesting to note that it was a shot from this body 
which was trying to flank us which afterwards laid me 
low. 

Strange things hap])en on the battlefield. Por in- 
stance : 

Two wounded men were lying under a tree, waiting 
for the first-aid men to come and dress their hurts. I 
went over to them to get their names, and, just as I ap- 
proached, one of them swung his foot so that it struck the 
other in the mouth. They had lioth been shot and the 
Mausers were shrieking over them. Yet instantly they 
forgot the battle with the Spaniards, and had one between 
themselves'. Bloody and hot, they clinched, and I ])re- 
sume they fought it out. I went on to another point. 

I saw many men shot. They never failed to fall in 
118 



TUE I'IK.Sr EATI'LK. 

liftlo lionps Avitli iiislaMtancoiis flacoidity of mnscles. 
Tlicrc were no iii'adiial droppings on one knci', no men 
who slowly tell while strnai;liiii;' to kcc]) standini;'. Thci'i' 
W('r<' no cries. The injui'ed (Mies did not ihi'ow lian(|s np 
and tall dramatically ba(d<wai'd with strident cries and 
stiti'ened lei»,s, as woinuled lieroos fall u])on tlio staac 
They fell like clods. Two thinus surpi-ised me alxuit 
these episodes. One was the strange noise which sohliero 
in their trappings make as they go down. It is always 
the same. Tt is a combination of the metallic jingle of 
canteens and gnns, and the singular, thick thud of a fall- 
ing linnian body. 1 cannot qnite describe it, but it will 
always be in my ears, whenever I think of Las Guasimas. 

Even stranger than the sound of tlie soldier's fall is 
the " chng " of the bnllet Avhicdi strikes him. Oiu' 
would not naturally expect a bullet to make much noise 
when it hits a man. As a matter of fact, this noise is 
}»lainly audible at 100 feet, and 1 have lieai'd it at twice 
that distance. Tt is not a ])leasant sound, for after one 
has heard it once, its significance becomes gruesome. It 
is not nidike the noise made by a stick when it strikes 
a carpet which is being beaten. 

Still another strange thing is the fact that only the 
useless bullets seem to sing. Tliose which fly over your 
head and which pass you at the side nuike a (pieer little 
noise entirely unlike the whimper of the .Minie balls 
of the Civil War, as it has been described to me. The 
jMauser's noise, as nearly as I can indicate it in i)i-inl. is 
like " z-z-z-z-z-en." It begins low, goes up high, and then 
drops, and stops suddenly on the " en." Ibdlet- which 
strike in foliage cond)iue a curious little '* |iini;' "" with 

lilt 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGH KIDEKS. 

the "zip " of the parting leaves; hut the hullets which 
strike men make no noise at all until they hit them. 
They go silently, grimly to their mark, and when they 
hit it, the man is lacerated and torn, or, ver}^ likely, dead. 

There is something which is particularly solemn and 
awe-inspiring about the death of men upon the battle- 
field. Before Las Guasimas, as a newspaper man, I had 
seen death in many of its most dreadful forms. I had 
seen men die gently in their beds, surrounded and petted 
and coddled by anxious friends, and worked over by 
physicians, who found pretty problems of strange mi- 
crobes to solve while they were dying. I had twice 
seen death in railroad accidents, once at St. Thomas, 
Canada, and once in Wales. I had seen the death of a 
maniac, whose distorted mind, in dying, craved only to 
kill another. I had seen the death of a murderer sui- 
cide, who cast himself into hell from the elevated rail- 
way structure in New York. I had seen the death of 
two criminals on the scaffold, and another in the electric 
chair, and I had learned to look at death, as a newspaper 
man does — as an interesting thing to watch — and write 
about. 

But I had never seen any death like that of those men 
who dropped in the long grass, on the hill of Las Guasi- 
mas. I almost forgot, for a moment, that I was there 
to see things which I must afterwards describe. I had 
never seen that regiment until the day before, but I felt 
that every man Avho was hit was my personal friend, and 
there was nothing ])r()fessional in the interest which I 
took in each one of them. 

Nothing had ever, and nothing ever will again, 

120 



THE FIRST JJATTLE. 

impress me as did the sil(Mit jiatience, the quiet, calm 
endurance, with which those men — heroes all — accepted 
their suffering, and nothiug has ever seemed grander to 
me, more Iteaiitiful, or more suMime, tlian the deaths 
of some of them, liough men they M^ere, who had come 
out of the West to fight; but if a great church organ had 
been pealing on that hillside, if softened lights had been 
faUing on those faces, through stained-glass windows, 
devoutly patterned, if the robes and insignia of the most 
solemn and holy of all the rites of all the churches had 
surrounded them, I could not have been more impressed 
tlian I was when I looked down into the rusty swaying 
grass of that Cuban hillside, and saw the dirty, sweaty 
faces, the rough and rugged clinched fists, the ragged 
uniforms of our American soldiers — dying. 



121 



7 



CHAPTER VII. 

DEATH AND SUFFERING. 

There may be those who will think that, in devoting 
three chapters to the battle of Las Guasimas, I am giving 
it too much space. I have heard it called a skirmish, 
but, if it was a skirmish, then I wish never to see a 
battle. It was of paramount importance in the war, and 
it was of special interest to the people who read this 
book. For it was almost wholly a Rough Riders' bat- 
tle. The only other men engaged were the few troops of 
the First and Tenth Cavalry, and their loss was very 
small. 

At about the time wdien I was shot. Colonel Wood 
ordered all of his men forward, stretched out in a long- 
line which was ridiculously thin for the work it had to 
do. The body of retreating men whom he had forbid- 
den his soldiers to fire on liad turned, as I have said, and 
l)Oured a l)itterly galling fire at the Rough Riders. 
When they saw our men still hurrying toward them, 
despite their recuri'ing orders, they turned and ran again. 
Young's brigade was doing effective fighting on the 
right, and the Rough Riders had al)out half a mile to 
carry on the center and on the left, before the Spaniards 
must give up their strong positions. We had worked 
down into the shallow valley, and had reached the begin- 
niui;' of the slioht ascent on its other side. The ground 

123 



DKATIl AM) Sri'KKHlXC. 

was almost ciitirclv ojicii iinw, ami (Hir iiifii woro al»- 
sohitcly ('X])()sc(l to the liix' of the Siiaiiiards, while they 
wore still well hidden hy the trees and in an old Imild- 
inii,' which had at one time Iteeii nsed as a distillerv. 
This was very })ro])erly eonsidered to i)e the S|)aniai'ds' 
most ini]iortant position, and both ( 'olonel Wood and 
('olonel lioosevelt tnrned their partienlai" attention to- 
ward it. 'i'lie linllets poni'ed in even fastei' than I hey 
had before, and at a rate which. Major iirodie tells me, 
has not been equalled in the history of warfare. The 
strength of onr regiment had been sadly depleted by 
the loss of the men already killed and \vonnde<l, and an 
inicanny number of jNTanser bnllets found their Amer- 
ican billets, as our men broke and charged on the old 
distillery. 

It had been predicted in AVashington. by the regular 
officers around the AVar l)e])artment, that the great and 
serious difficulty of a regiment like the Rcmgh IJiders. 
AVonld be that they would not wait for the command to 
fire, but wo\dd shoot as ea(di imlividnal thonght best to 
shoot. Tvogulai- army others, indeed, in Washington, at 
Tam])a, and the day before at Daiquiri and Siboney, 
had ex]>resse(l the gravest donbts as to the usefulness of 
the Tlough Tiiders. They had said that they would lack 
discipline. As a matter of fact, when they made this 
terrible charge they showed better discipline than the 
regular troops sliowe(l, 1 am told, at the chai'ge on San 
Juan TTill a few days later, d'liere was \-ery little scat- 
tered firing. 'I'he men in\ariably waited for the com- 
mand, and obeyed it by firing volhys. On one occasion, 
when the noise of S])anish I'ifles was so great that L 

123 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH KIDERS. 

Troop eoiild not hear its officers sliout, Lieutenant Day 
had to pass down the line, striking his men with his hat, 
in order to make them know what he wanted. 

It was in the charge toward the old distillery that 
Major Brodie was wounded. Up to that time he had 
shown himself to be absolutely fearless, and had failed 
to seek cover, even when it was at hand. The bullet 
hit him in his outstretched forearm, and its terrific force 
was indicated by the fact that it spun him about like a 
top before he fell in a heap. It is curious that no mat- 
ter where a man was hit by a Mauser bullet — even if 
the wound was in some part quite remote from vital, 
like the wrists or fingers, or feet — he always went down 
(piick and limp, as a very wet rag might fall. Fre- 
(pieutly men who were, a couple of minutes later, (piite 
strong enough to stand up and walk, or even go back to 
their work on the firing line, went down in this way 
when they were shot. T have heard surgeons discuss it, 
and they say that it is due to the tremendous nervous 
shock which such a high-speed projectile comumnicates 
from the ])oint of impact to the uttermost limits of the 
body. All nervous force is, for the moment, jiaralyzed, 
and the muscles Ijccome absolutely liui]). 

CVilonel Wood described to me Brodie's action at the 
time he was shot : 

" Brodie had not the least idea that he could l)e hit 
by a mere Spaniard," said General AVood. " I shall 
never forget his (expression of amazement and anger as 
he hopped down tlie hill on one foot with the other held 
in the air, before he fell. Tie came toward me, shout- 
ing: 

124 



DKATll AMJ tfLFFKKlNG. 

" ' Crcnt S(-()t1, coloiicl, they've hit vie! ' 

" It \\;is phiiii 1(1 >(■(■ that he considered the wound an 
iiiiw arrantalilc lihert v." 

('oldiicl IvooscNclt's escape li'oin iiijiii'v was not les.s 
remarkahh' than that <it' ( 'ohnicl Wnod, whidi 1 iin\'e 
ah'eady (h'serihech lake Wdud and llrudic, he seornefl 
(■(i\-er, ahhduuh he insisted that his men >h(inld lu'otect 
t heniselves as well as Ihev eonld, and, at one lime, when 
he was leaninii' auainst the sitle (d' a ]taliii ti-i'c, with his 
head nonchalantly restiiii;' aiiain-t its hark, a hnllct 
strnck close hy his cheek, and tilled his eyes with du.-t 
and >|tlinters. 

( 'hani|iiiey> .Mai'>liall was shot throni;h his sh'cve and 
throniih his shii't; (ireeiiway was shot throuii'h his shirt 
across the hi'east; ( 'olor-Seru'cant Wriaht was hlistered 
three times on the neck hy ch);e i)assin<i- huUets, and, 
after the engagement, fonnd fonr l)nlh't holes in the 
flag he carried. A strange Monnd was tlnit of Thomas 
AV. Wiggins, whose cartridge helt was hit. The Mansei- 
mnst have c]i]i]ied jnst along the top of his cartridges, 
so as to tonch the pin tire, foi- half a do/.en of them ex- 
])lode(l, and his hnver legs were well-nigh shot to ]>ieces 
hy hi- own Imlh^ts. After he was wounded, he went off 
into a series of I'aints, hut, hetween them, he continually 
called to Ca])taiii .Mc('lintMck offers of help. 

Klmer TL Ilawhy went into hattle smoking his ])ipe 
like a (dumney. lie stopped smoking wdien a hnllct 
took the l)owl off. 

In an interview, after Colonel Koosevelt returned to 
N^ew York, he told these stories : 

" At Las Gnasinias, as hrave a man as there Avas, -was 
125 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

Tom Isbell — the Indian. He was shot four times, but 
continued fighting. Corporal George II. Seaver was 
sliot in the hip when we were in a pretty hot corner. 
After a minute, he sat up; we })r()ppcd him behind a 
tree, and gave him his ritle and canteen. He continued 
tiring until we charged forward and left liim. I su})- 
posed him to be mortally wounded, and had him sent 
to the hospital, but to my surprise he turned up in camp 
a week or two later, having walked the five or six miles 
from the hospital. 

'' Another man, named Rowland, a cow-piiuclicr from 
Santa Fe, was shot in the side. Jle kept on the hring 
line until I noticed the blood on him, and sent him to the 
hospital. He returned to the front in about fifteen 
nnnutes and stayed with us until tlie end of the figlit. 
He was then sent to the rear hospital and told that he 
must be slii])ped North. He escaped that night, and 
walked out to the front to join us, and was by my side 
dtiring all the Santiago fighting." 

Richard Harding Davis tells of Lieutenant Thomas, 
after he was wounded. Davis and others started to carry 
him into the shade. He was in terrific jiain, and his 
cowboy companions had stopped the flow of blood only 
by means of rude tourniquets made of twigs and hand- 
kerchiefs, but he protested loudly that he wished to be 
carried to the front. Davis records the remark which he 
made just before merciful unconsciousness gave him 
ease: 

" For God's sake take me to the front," he l)egge(l. 
" Do you hear me? I order you; damn you, I order — we 
must give them hell; do you hear? we must give them 

136 



DEATH AND SUFFERING. 

hell. Thov havo killed ('apron; tlioy liavo killed my 
captain." 

1'he most astonish in <;• wound received in lliis war, or 
in any other war, was tlial of l)a\id \\. Warford in the 
battle of Las (iuasiiiKis. The hulh't hit him in the out- 
side of the right thiuh, and, striking' the hone, carromed 
lip. For some unaccountable reason it then went across 
his body, tlirongh his intestines, and then down through 
the left thigh, where it made a wound of exit pi-ecisely 
opposite to its wound of entrance on l^he other thigh. 
Thus AVarford was supposed to have been shot through 
both thighs when the surgeons found a wound of en- 
trance on his right thigh and a wound of exit on his left 
thigh, until they discovered that there were no wounds 
at all on the inside of his thighs. The extraordinary 
trick of the bullet was oidy figured out after AVarford 
had been taken to the hospital ship. 

Another amazing wound was that received by Norman 
L. Orme. No one knows who shot Ornie, for his wound 
was made by a bullet from a Remington rifle, and it 
is not supposed that any of the American or Spanish 
troops wer(^ armed with Remingtons. The bullet made 
eight wounds in him. This was owing to the cram|)e(l 
position in which he held his gun when he was shot. 
The shot first passed through the left forearm, making 
two wounds, then through the left iipiier-arin, two more 
wounds, then through the body, two more wounds, and 
then through the right upper-arm, making the last two 
of the eight. 

An interesting little point told to me by Captain Mc- 
Clintock is that Clifton C. 'Middleton had gone to him 

127 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

before the battle began and annonnced that he, Middle- 
ton, would certainly be shot before it was over. " I am 
sure to 1)0 wounded," said JMiddleton. " All my people 
were killed in their farmhonse by Indians, and I shall 
die the same way." He was shot, but was not killed, I 
think. 

It would 1)0 unfair to omit from this chapter a para- 
graph about the superb work of the surgeons. Surgeon 
Church, especially, distinguished himself. Before I was 
shot I saw him running along with his surgeon's packet 
on the very firing line, and attending promptly to all 
the wounded he could find, without paying the least at- 
tention to his own safety as he did so. In one case, 
Avhere the fire was so hot that every man in the neigh- 
borhood was lyiug flat on his face to avoid it, Church 
knelt at the side of a wounded man and made himself 
a shining mark for Spanish bullets without hesitation. 

And here I have an opportunity of ]:)aying a 
slight tribute to one of the bravest men I ever 
knew. His name is George W. Burgess. Burgess 
was Avitli T) Troop and enlisted in Oklahoma. No one 
detailed him to do first-aid duty during the battle 
of Las Guasimas, or at any other time. He has the 
quiet blue eyes and the thin straight lips of the gen- 
tleman desperado whom Bret Harte wrote about. I 
don't believe that anything on earth could frighten 
him, nor do I believe that, in any emergency, his voice 
Avould rise above a calm and quiet drawl. Before 
I fell into the long grass, I saw Burgess standing 
up when others were lying down, and running along 
the firing line Avith his brown red-crossed first-aid 

128 



x.^ 




Captain McClintock wounded at Las Guasimas 



DEATH AND SUFFERING. 



pouch. Soinctiiiics ho would slop mid \c\Vo n shot 
at the Spaniards, " just for hell," as he said, hut 
most of the tiiiic ho was husy with mou wlio had boon 
wouiuk'd and wor(> lyino- in dangerons phiccs. There 
was olio uiau in this hattk; who took advantage! of his 
tirst-aid pouch to stay in the rear whore conii)ai-ative 
safety was, and wasted ninch good time in too (dahorately 
dressing the wounds of men who had been braver than 
himself. Burgess made his red cross an excuse for plac- 
ing himself in extraordinary dangers. He was the first 
man to come to me, and the other day he 
gave to nu' the little llask from wkick he 
kad administered tlie ammonia wkick re- 
stored me to consciousness. I know tkat 
wkon lie stood over me looking kindly 
down and telling me tkat ke did not tkink 
it was wortli kis wkile to dress my w^ound, 
hecause ke and tke surgeons considered 
tkat it could not ke otkerwrse tkan mortal, 
tko bullets were flying about kini as tkickly 
as tkoy ever flew about anyone. I can remond)er dis- 
tinctly kow tke volleys sounded as tkoy swept over my 
face, and I know tkat I, wko was lying down, shrank 
and shivered as they shrieked their devilisk little songs, 
wkile Burgess stood tkere calm and quiet, and told me 
softly and sympatketically tkat ke was extremely sorry 
for me. He added, Avitli soniotkiug of contempt, tkat it 
was a damned skame tkat I w\as only a correspondent. 
Tken ke started on a run for anotker wounded man wko 
was nearer to tke front tkan T was, and wko was prob- 
ably lying under a liotter fire tkan I was. Not tAVO 

131 




/■7.(.v/,-. 



THE STOHY OF THE ROUGH RIDEES. 

minutes had elapsed before lie came back to me, still 
running', and asked me if I did not want to be carried to 
the shade. 

I had had a sniistroke when I Avas a boy, and I had 
been hoping that I might be spared another one, al- 
though I greatly feared it. It seemed to me that as 
long as I had a Mauser bullet in me, it would be nice to 
die respectably of my wounds uuder the shade of a tree 
tliat 1 could see as 1 lay, instead of staying out there in 
the blistering long grass and dying of sunstroke. So I 
told Burgess that I should be very glad to be taken 
to the shade. 

lie took me there. 

Afterwards when I found that he was suffering from 
an intensely painful case of water on the kneecap, I won- 
dered at his strength. 

lie dropjied me under the shade of tliat tree as if I had 
been a hot ])otato, and muttering wild and AVestern oaths, 
he sped desperately to the front, wdiicli had in the mean- 
time advanced many yards. 

That was the last I saw of Burgess until the battle 
was over, lie was a brave man. 

And while the heroic work oi our soldiers ceased when 
the l)attle ended, the heroic work of our surgeons and 
their assistants went on all that afternoon and all that 
night. The field hospital was established at about the 
])lace Avliere Hamilton Fish had liecn shot. The regi- 
ment moved on to camp, but its wounded were taken 
l)ack to form a little grouj) under the sheltering shade 
of a luango tree there in the wilderuess. Captain Mc- 
C'liutock lay near where 1 lay, and Major Brodie some- 



DKATll AND SC l'l'i:UlN(J. 

tiiiK's lay, soil let iiiics sat, and souictiiiios walkod painfully 
alxMit us, nursiiii;' his shattered arm. 1 do not think that 
aiiyoiH' was there except the liongh Uich'i's, hut some of 
tlie wdiiiided from the l*"irst and 'IV'iith C"a\ah'y may 
liave been hrouiiht ii]). 

I was taken away fmni this liospital \-ei-y hile in thi' 
afternoon. Most of the othei's hiy there all ni_<;ht, ami 
when dawn came, a lit t le row of eiulit dead men who ha<l 




heen carried from anionii- them lay stark and uhastlv on 
the slope (d" a knoll to one side. It is, pei-haps. well lierc^ 
to refer once and foi- all to an e\t i-emely jlisaui'eeahle 
snl)jeet. 

Tlie land cralis and llieir atlendini:- lioci'ms, the ( 'n- 
lian N'ultures. wrouuht tei'rihlo mutilations on our dead 
that day, and after succcedin^■ battles, and thei-e is no 
donht that se\-eral ( d" our wounded were killed hy them 
while they lay waitinu' for treatment. 

'I'here wei'e proltaMy twenty of lis in that field ho-^pi- 
i:J3 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

tal. It had not even a tent to cover it, but the men were 
well sheltered beneath the spreading branches of the 
mango tree. A few had blankets to lie upon, but most 
of us were protected from the wet grass only by the 
canvas halves of shelter tents. 

Up to this time, the men had stood their suffering 
with cool patience and without comment, but now there 
were a few whose nerves were so strained and racked 
that they could no longer control themselves, and they 
groaned uncannily. Some terrible operations were per- 
formed in that little hospital in the woods. " Bob " 
Church was there, and the other surgeons, and they were 
working with an energy that could have been born only 
of desperation. Church, I remember, had cut the 
sleeves out of his shirt, and his arms were as red as if 
they had been dipped in claret. Indeed all the sur- 
geons were literally soaked in blood. I remember that 
Church kneeled close to mo at one time and my hand 
touched his trousers. It came away with a bright red 
stain. The medical staff was straining every nerve to 
prepare the wounded for the journey to Sil)oney. 

I descril)ed in !^rribiicr\'< Magazlnr, for September, 
1898, an episode which occurred at this time. A couple 
of months later I received a letter from a man who was 
there when I was, which said that he remembered no 
such incident. It seemed almost too pretty to be true, 
and for a time after I had read his letter I doubted my 
own memory and thought this might have been one of 
the vain imaginings which continually beset me in those 
hard hours. Since then, however, I have seen (^i])tain 
IMcC^lintock in ISTew York. He was very near to me 

134 



DEATH AND SUFFKUlN(i. 

that (lav, and he remembered the incident as well as I 
did. 1 shall, therefore, describe it brietiy here. 

We had been doing what we could to keep our spirits 
up. Most of us were badly hurt, and cliccrfuluess was 
ditHcult to bring- about. Death stared some of us in our 
faces, and other men were contemplating amputation of 
tlieir arms or legs with what courage they could summon. 
AVe were doing very little talking. I was simply wait- 
ing for the end. 

AVith a suddenness that startled all of us, some one 
began to sing: 

" My country, His of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, 
Of thee we siug.'' 

McClintock and 1 joined in: 

" Land whei'e our fa f tiers died. 
Land of the Pilgrims' pride — " 

The strangely trembling song went on. It had its 
quivering interruptions of pitiful groans, and some of 
those who sang, sang jerkily, because they wcm-c in mortal 
])ain. l)ut we were a doleful little group of hurt Amer- 
icans, oif there under a tree, in the midst of the (^ib^n 
solitude, and nothing seemed so dear to us, just then, 
as the homes which we might lU'ver see again and the 
country which some of us had left behind forever. Pi-ob- 
ably no song was ever sung more earnestly; certainly no 
words were ever uttered which cost more effort to some 
of us than those did. 

By and by I noliccd that there was one voice which 

13') 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGH EIDERS. 

faltered and lagged behind. Indeed I did not hear it 
until all the rest of us had finished with the line : 

'■ Let freedom ring.''^ 

Then slowlj, strugglingl j, and faint, it went on : 

' ' Land — of — the — Pilgrims' — pride — 
Let freedom " 

And tliat last word was a man's last word. And one 
more son had died as died the fathers. 



136 



CHAPTER VIIL 

AFTER LAS GUASIMAS. 

Aft(M- tlic l);ittle came tlic reaction, ITiinian iiorvos 
wliieli had hceii screwed \]\) to tlu? point which those df 
the Ivoni;li Uiders had readied and heUl during tho.se 
tei'rihh' honrs wlien tliey were in that h)ni;' grass and 
among those bnshes, nmst, of necessity, rehix and h'ave 
their owners weak. The reuinient marched :d»nnt two 
and a half niih's forward and to the led of I lie spot whei-e 
the hatlh' liad hegnn, and went into cainp. It wasn't 
ninch of a cam]). The nioi'niiig's woi'k had iii'e(| llieni 
too coni]>h'tel_v — olHeers nnd men nlike — to let the idea 
of estal)lisliini;- an ehilioi-ate camp seem rca>oiialile. 
Wood and Koosevelt wei-e ghid eiiongii to rehix disci- 
pline to some extent, and they did not force the men 
to ])nt np their slielt(>r tents. Those wIk. wnnted to, hiy 
in tlie sha(h' and took hmg, aratet'nl whill':. of I lie hot 
ail', wliicli seemed cool in their inaction after tlie terriMe 
exertions oi' the niorniiia'. As :i mnttci' of fact, most ol' 
the men ]ia<l no shelter tents to pnt np. Their hhinket 
rolls ha<l Iteen discarded with a charining disi'eunrd of 
what wonld come, dnring the march from Sil)oney to l.as 
Onasimas, iind dniMng the tight that followed. Some of 
them wei'e tonnd again, hiit :i good many i>i' them were 
appropriated l>y the Cnhans, who a])pearcil in nnnihers 
as soon as the danger of heing shot h;id ended. To see 

137 



THE STORY OP THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

a Cuban with a Rough Rider's blanket, which he sol- 
emnly swore had been in his family for generations, be- 
came so usnal that it attracted no attention, and to see 
them in the tunics of our soldiers (which they announced 
had been theirs before the war began) became as common 
as to see them in their own ragged and disreputable 
clothes. Many stories were told of the robbing of the 
dead and wounded by our allies that day, but concerning 
their truth I know nothing. I only know that after that 
day our men were prone to regard a Chdtan with that 
same delicate consideration and pleasure with which they 
looked on land crabs. In view of this almost universal 
sentiment of dislike and suspicion, it is greatly to the 
credit of our troops that there were not more collisions 
between them and the soldiers of Cuba Libre. There 
was certainly more or less good reason for this feeling. 
It probal)ly had its beginning in the boorish lack of 
courtesy which had been shown by the officers of the 
Ciil):in army to I lie officers and nu'U of the American 
army the night we reached Siboney. 

Of coiu-se the first thing which was done after the 
battle was to look after the wounded, and see that the 
dejid were found and protected from the ravages of land 
crabs and vidtures. This was accomplished ^^^th all ]X)Ssi- 
ble expedition. The little field hospital had been estab- 
lished back on the trail at a1)0ut the place where we had 
first met the Spaniards. Dr. Bob Church was in charge. 
Dr. La Motte, the senior surgeon, was not there then, 
and the chief burden of the whole awful situation 
fell on the ex-football ])layer. Xothing could have ex- 
ceeded his l)ravery on the field, :ind nothing could have 

138 



AFTER LAS GUASIMAS. 

exceeded lil^ patience, skill, and delicacy in caring for 
the men hack tlierc under the mango tive. JIc did not 
forget in liis hurry to be kiiuL We had all been t<»ld 
that Itoth li(i(>sc\clt aiiil ('dloiicl \V()(>(| were dead. I 
rciueniber with vivid distinctness the breath of relief we 
drew when ( 'hnrcli assured us that this was not the case. 

W'hih' I was lying on the field after 1 had received 
my Wdiiiid soiiieduc had asked me tor my name and ad- 
dress, thiid'cing that my (U'ath was a matter of only a few 
moments. I was so dazed by the effect of the shot that 
I could not thiidv of it for a moment, and told them tliat 
I did not know, but that Colonel Wood did. The man 
who had asked me — I did not know him nor have I since 
been able to find out who he was — learned my name 
from someoue else, and a few moments latei', just as the 
final attack was being made on the old (Hstillery, he told 
Colonel Wood that 1 wanted to see him. That, of 
course, was silly, for I was too sick to want to see anyone. 
But AVood's big heart did not see tlie absui'dity of it, 
and he sent me a })leasant message, saying that he was 
sorry that 1 had been shot. This was bi-ought by an 
officer, whose identity 1 have also I)eeii unable to estab- 
lish. I didn't care about anything just then, and re- 
member trying to turn oNcr, aud wearily wishing that 
people "svouldn't bother me. Later, though, and just 
after we had lieai'd that the ( 'olonel was uot dead, Wood 
came to me, and stoo])ing over, said: 

" Hello, Marshall ! How are you now? " 

I Avas suffering the tortures of ])erdition aud told 
him so. 

I shall not forget the kind look of s(.licitnd(> on liis 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

face as I slowly drifted into unconsciousness after I had 
spoken. When I regained my senses a few moments 
later, his pleasant face was still bending over me. 

" I was awfully sorry that I conldn't go to you when 
yon asked me to," he said. " 1 tried to, but it was the 
turning point of the battle." 

The idea tliat [ had sent for him and that he wanted 
to come to see me while the infernal fight, which I had 
seen the most of, was in progress, seemed so amusing 
that I laughed at it, and he laughed too. 

" Won't you hare a drink? " he asked. 

There had been no stimulant otlier than aromatic 
spirits of ammonia on the field, and when the colonel 
held a little four or five ounce vial of Scotch whiskey 
to my lips, it seemed to me that it was the finest thing in 
all the world. 

A moment later he was hohling that same little bottle 
up for McCMintock, and I heard Mc(/lintock say between 
the pain gasps: 

"By Trod! that's good!" 
And s(» it was. 

The men were brought to join the little group there on 
tent-cloths and blankets. There was not a single stretcher 
in the regiment. As a matter of fact, there were 
not even enough tent-cdoths and blankets to handle the 
wounded on, for T distinctly rememl)er seeing Privates 
Burgess and Love of T) Troop — the same men who had 
carried me to the shade — trying to bear a wounded man 
on a narroAv board. Once or twice he rolled off and fell 
in the grass, greatly to his own exasperation and the 
sorrow of the bearers. T managed to get a stretcher, 

140 



AFTKK LAS (lUASlMAS. 

tlirouiili the kind olliccs nl" Slc|(|icii r^-jiiic. lie mid 
Kicliai'd llardiiin- |);i\is liad come up lo me iniiiicdialcly 
al'lcr I was wduiKlcil. I am Inid iluit thcv wci-c t|i(. 
(»nl_v otlici' iic\\s|)a|K'i- iiH'U in llic lig-ht. Crane iml Khly 
todk iii\' stdi'v of I he tinlii down in flic v<i:\>\ for iiic, but 
d('sci'il>c(| iiiv iiiistort line (() ( icoi'Hc ( 'otliii, Acton I )avies, 
and ( 'liai'Ics McX iciiol, who were on one of llic New 
York -J on nKiTs dcspaldi lionts. 'I'licv lironulit np a 
stiT'tclicr wliicli may liaxc licloni;('<l to tlic ( ioxci'nmciit, 
l)nt wliicli I tliiid< was \\\{' ./ on i'ikiTs |ii'o|»('rlv, and took 
me down to the Iiospital ship " ( )li\('tto." 

Most ot the wonn(h'<l men who were taken to the field 
hospital, perlorce remained there for the iniiiil. ( 'ap- 
tain .Mc( 'lintoek was too weak from h>ss (d' IJood to 
mak<' his removal possiMe. He tells me llial tin; 
wounded lav there duriuii,' the Joiii;- darkness and sanii; 
song's, as they had sung " My (\)nntrv, 'tis of Tliee," 
before I was eai'ried awav. Sleep was pretiv nearly out 
of the qnestion, for the moans of those in awful pain and 
the ravings of the men who had heen i-endei-ecl delii'ious 
by snffering oi- hy drugs, were ineessant. 

'Vhv utter inadeipiateiU'SS of the foi'ee sent to the fl'out 
that day to light its way foi'ward and at the same tiiiu^ 
proti'ct its own rear, was shown ly an epi-ode near lh{> 
tield hospital. Lientenant-Colonel Jli-o(lic told me of it 
the other day in Washington. i!i'o(lie was walking up 
and down nursing his wounded arm. The regiment had 
gone on to cam]) a mile and a half away, and the wounded 
Were left there in the woods with a small guai'd. One of 
them lay at Brodie's feet. Tlis (wes were on tlie ground 
leveL 

143 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGH KIDERS. 

"Great Scott, Major! " be said to Brodie. "There 
come a lot of Spaniards." 

Brodie looked in the direction ho indicated, bnt could 
see no one. 

'* (!et (l(j\\ii here/' said the wounded man, " and you 
can see them throuiih the bushes and grass." 

Jh'odie got down, and saw them. There certainly was 
a body of two hundred men or more who had approached 
Avitliin a few hundred yards of our ])itiful little hospital, 
and were well in the rear of our regiment. Importunately 
for us they were ( 'ubans. But they might quite as well 
li;i\<' been Spaniards, as far as any means of prevention 
that \\ere in our power were concerned. If the Spanish 
forces had executed a flanhing moA-emeut on us that day, 
they could have doubled us up, despite the magnificent 
fighting qualities of our men. There were four thousand 
of them against our iiiuc liundred. 

A corporal and seven men were left to guard the 
hospital. 'There was good reason for this, for the Span- 
ish sharpshooters, which afterwards infested that part of 
the country so thoroughly, had already begun their 
Avork and were tiring at our Avounded and at oin* sur- 
geons and our hos])ital meu. There Avere scA^en alarms 
during the night, and one of them Avas caused by a shot 
from a sliar])shooter, Avho hit someone. I cannot find 
ont who his A'ictim was. '^Fhe other six Avere caused by 
land crabs, Avhich Avere there by the luindreds of thou- 
sands, and Avhich, Avhen they scuttled through the sun- 
dried grass and leaA'cs, made a noise quite loud enough 
to be reasonably accredited to careful men, creeping up. 
The corporal in charge Avas l)raA^e. He did not knoAv 

144 



Al'I'Ell J.Ari CiLASLMAS. 

wlictlici- or not tlic wliclc Simiiisli iiniiy was stealing' 
oil us there in llie dark, vet lie look his seven men and 
went out as hra\clv auain^t the unknown lerroi-s (d the 
Cuban wihhi-ness as if those men had nundierecl seven 
thousancL 

And hei'e it is well to sav a word ahout those S|>aMi>h 
sliari)shooters. That thev disn i:ai'de(| all the rules of 
civilized warfare and ordinai'v, straight humanity, in tii-- 
iui;' on our suri;eons and wounded and into (Uir hn-^iiital-, 
that day and on sueeeedinu' days, thei-e i> no douht what- 
ever. 1 cannot helicNc that they could lia\'e heen rei^u- 
lar Spanish soldiers. Our haired for the Spaniards as 
a common enemy should not make us foruct that they 
wei-e brave men in fiuht, and l.ra\-e men are not likely 
to do sncdi things. An explanation whi(di nio-l (d the 
otficers of the American army down there afterwards 
iieard from tlu^ S])aniards tliemsolvcs, and w hicdi s<ime of 
them told to me, does not seem unreasonahle. I he jails 
in Santiago were full of military prisoners. The city 
had long heen the abiding place of large bodies of Span- 
ish troojis, and these troops were discontented becanso 
they had not been ])aid an<l were not well. Oifences 
against army law, both serious and ]>etty. were conmion 
among them. .Many sokliers were locked u]). 

AVhen our army came, and when the S])anish com- 
manding officers saw that there was likely to be a lack 
of food in Santiago before they wlii]i]ied ns and drove 
ns away — which they nndonbtedly thought they could 
more or less easily accom|disli — these jn-Isoiiers became 
a ])roblem. Tt was finally decided to give them rifles 
and ammnnitioii and t(dl them to get out, kill as many 
10 14.-. 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

Americans as they could, and never come back to San- 
tiago under pain of death. The prisoners appreciated 
the situation. They had a wholesome and natural long- 
ing for freedom on any terms. They took the rifles 
and the ammunition and got out. A few of them es- 
caped to parts of the country where they did not come 
in contact with our troops until after the surrender, but 
most of them were released at places where they had 
either to run the chance of being shot by their own 
countrymen or take the risk of hcing shot by Americans. 
They found that our lines were much less closely 
guarded tlian were the Spanish lines, and they worked 
their way into them. A few of them gave themselves 
up to our ofKccrs and told what they knew of the Span- 
ish situation. But by far the greater number of them, 
either from that love of country which animates the 
meanest souls, or from the belief that we were a set of 
bloodthirsty and merciless ruffians who would kill them 
with torture if they fell into our hands (a belief which 
was carefully fostered by the Spanish press in Cuba and 
which was really generally held by the average unin- 
telligent, uneducated Spanish soldier), refused to sur- 
render themselves or to give us information, and took 
their positions in the trees along the trails within our 
lines, and cleverly concealing themselves with leaves 
and bushes, proceeded to prey on whoever came within 
their range. 

Shots were fired at us as I was being carried down 
the trail to Siboney, I am told, although I did not realize 
it at the time. James Creelman's litter-poles were 
twice penetrated by bullets as he was being taken to the 

14G 



AFTER J. AS (iU A.SIM AS. 

rear iVdiii V.\ ('aiicy, ami al least six wuiiiidcd men weru 
killed at one time <>i' aiiollier. !So bold were these 
scamps that thev actually y,'ot close eiioiii;h to the hos- 
pital near (ieiieral Shaftcr's hea(l(|iiai-ters later in the 
campaiiiii, to send sexcral hiillets throuiih the eiuiva.s 
of its tent. So far as I can learn, no ori;ani/.e(l effoi-t 
was e\er made to di'i\-e llieni awav tVoni the trails aloii^ 
which (Mir woiindecl men wei'c coiitinnally heini;- carrie(l 
and oiii- well men constantly passing to and fro. 

rp to the \-ery time of tln^ surrender, and dni'inu,- the 
truce, these men ke])t u|» their hellish «:uei'i-illa warfare 
on our troops, and many a man carries a wound to-day 
or fills a grave in CHd)a, who never would have been 
shot if they had been driven out. Of course onr men 
did what they conld in a casual way, to kill them. In- 
dividual soldiers, finding- themselves fired npon, fired 
l^ack, and became mightily suspicions of all those 
branches in the trees which they saw moving in any way 
whi(di was not warranted by the l)reeze which blew as 
they approached, bnt they made little ini]n-ession on the 
Spanish sharpshooters. 

If I am to believe the re))orts which T have heard, 
there conld not have been less than two hundred of 
these men. Once in a Avhile one of onr men wonld 
pot one of them, and he would fall from his tree all 
spread ont like a killed crane, with his concealing 
branches still tied to him. Ihit the evil was really only 
wiped ont with the snrrender of the Spanish army. It is 
impossible not to fend a sort of (pialitied admiration for 
the rongh brav(>rv of these (dia]>s who were within an 
enemy's lines and entirely cut off from the ])ossibility 

147 



THE STORY OP^ THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

of getting food or other supplies from their own army, 
but it is equally impossible to feel anything other than 
unspeakable horror for the spirit Avhieh induced them 
to fire on our wounded and into our hospitals, in open 
disregard of the dictates of humanity and the neutrality 
of the Ked Cross flag and badge. 

They make you think of the Si)aniard who killed 
Lieutenant Ord. Ord and liis men had captured a rifle- 
pit. A S])aniar(l was lying in this trench, badly wounded 
but still flring. One of Ord's men did not see that he 
was wounded and was about to kill him. Oi'd knocked 
his gun u]) and told him not to Are at a wounded man. 
The wounded man took deliberate aim at the American 
officer who was trying to save his life and l)lew his brains 
out. It is needless to say that the men of Ord's com- 
mand killed the Spaniard with the butts of their rifles. 
They did not give him the honor of dying as a soldier 
wants to die — from bullets. 

As Friday night had been the most terrible night in 
the field hospital, so Saturday night was the worst night 
at Siboney. The men whose experiences I have d(>- 
scribcd at the field hospital liad Jiot all been carried 
down to Siboney before midnight of Saturday. Prob- 
ably half a dozen of us had been taken out to the hospital 
ship " Olivette," wdiich was slowly cruising up and down, 
over the sickening swell of the C^iribbean Sea. Major 
Appell had tried to let her ride at anchor, but had found 
that the motion was much less distressing to us when her 
screw was turning. 

It was along toward evening when the last of the men 
■ who had been shot the day before, but were still able to 

148 



AFI'KIl LAS <;rASI.MAS. 
\v;ilk, cjiiiic liiiipiiiu iiitii Silxiiicy. Soiin' ot lliciii >Iimiu'- 

i>ic'(l [)aillt'llllv (InWII the |il'cci]iili Uls |i;llll wllicll led iVolii 
tlic cfcst of llic cliir Id llic little ^rdllli (if >li;illtics illidci-- 
iicntli, lull iii(i-t of tliciii li;i(l found tluil llic \;illcy ro;id 
wtiiS easiest, and liad conic in hy llic way which (iciicral 
^"ouiiii's forces took in ^lioini;' to the front. 

There were so many of tlu^ wounded, and of those who 
were just heuinning to come (lown with fcvi'i', that it was 
inipossiliic to give even shelter to all of them. There 
wove so few surgeons and hospital men that the ])ro])lein 
of medical attendance was alisoluteiy iinsolvalile, and 
noon of Sunday had come l)efore the last of the sufl'crei's 
had received attention. 

At midnight, the bright moonlight shone n])on a grne- 
some scene. The sick and wounded were lying overy- 
whei-e. The silence would lia\-c Ikhmi complete had it 
not been for the whispered talking of the surgeons, ami 
an occasional groan from some man in agony. Little 
piazzas fronted most of the huts. One .)f these, which 
had been turned over to the Xew \'ork Joiiriml by the 
Cubans for a headfpiarters, was the gathering i)lace b>r 
most of the suffering liough bfiders. lb-ewer, who had 
gone to Cuba to estahlish a post-ofbce, and win* after- 
wards died of yellow fever, had jtileil his mail bags on 
one end of this hut's piazza. They made cajtital beds, 
and were covered by sleejung men. The slccpei-s had 
twisted themselves into all sorts of grotes(]ue positions to 
fit their uneven resting places and their aidiiug limbs. 
By the door, like a jiale-faced sentinel, was .\rthur 
Crosby, in a rocking-(diair. His head and arms were 
swathed in lilood-stained handage- and his agony was 

11'.) 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS, 

violent. In the brim of his ]iat there was a little hole 
which showed where the bullet had passed before it tore 
off his cheek, perforated the palm of his left hand, and 
then buried itself in his chest. Just how one bullet 
could have made this wound is a pretty problem, and 
Crosby does not know. He probably had the back of his 
hand against his chin, as he was lying in the grass, when 
lie was shot. He had been one of the lucky few to 
whom had been given cot beds when they reached the 
hospital, but the agony of a recumbent position had been 
so great that he had gladly swapped his bed for a rock- 
ing-chair, aud there he sat through all the dreadful night, 
his face convulsed with agony, but never groaning and 
never making one complaint. He was one of the Rough 
Iliders. 

iN"()t far from Cro3l)y lay Sergeant Basil Ricketts. 
He had a bullet in his thigh. ]S[o man ever endured 
pain A\'ith greater fortitude than Ricketts showed. 
Personally I can never forget him, for before he was 
wounded he made one of the men who carried me from 
the sun into the shade. It is interesting to speak here 
of an episode in the life of his father. General Ricketts : 

During the War of the Rebellion, he was hit by one 
of the old Minie balls, in nearly the same place which 
the Mauser bullet afterwards found in his son at Las 
Guasimas. Mrs. Ricketts was staying at a hotel just 
within the Union lines. She heard that her husband 
was wounded, and that night went out to find him. He 
was lying on the field, not far from the Confederate out- 
posts. The surgeons were bending over hiui and ex- 
phiining to him that it would be necessary to amputate 

150 



AFTKli J. AS GUASIMAS. 

his l(>g'. ]\rr.s. liic'ketts })rot('stt'(l, but the suvgooiis told 
her he would die from l(»ss of blood or gimgrciu', if tlu; 
k'g were iKit hikcii oil. 

'' If lie were in a Xortberii lid.-pital," tlicy said, "we 
luigbt save bis leg, but down here, wlicrc good nnrsing 
is ini])ossibl(', avc cannot tbink ni' I'iskiug it."" 

''1 Avill stay and nurse bini/' Mrs. juckctts dcclai'cd. 

Witb water fioui tbe eanteeiis ef dead men, slie laxoij 
bis wound all that nigbt ; wben morning came, the I'nion 
troops bad found it necessary to fall back, and sbe was 
left witb bei" wounded busbaud in ('onfederate territory. 
Tbey were captured, and with seventeen otber I'ldon 
otUcers put into a single room in Libby ]H'ison, wbere 
Mrs. Rieketts was tbe oidy woman. Tbe ( 'oufederates 
often offered to exchange her, but she bad told tbe sur 
geons that she wonbl stay and nnrse her husband, and 
stay she di(b For six months, she worked there, saving 
not oulv her husband's life, but tbe li\'es of many other 
Union officers. 

Basil Ilicketts took his wound as the sou ot' >ucb 
parents might be expected to take a wound. One of the 
sergeants of the Rough Riders bad served nnder (Jeiieral 
Rieketts, and was the tirst man to come n}) to lla<il 
after he had been shot. 

"I'm bit," said Rieketts. 

The old sergeant leaiuMl over him and saw tliat he was 
taking it calmly. 

"God alnngbty," said the s(M-geant, "wouldn't the 
general be tickled if he could see yon now! " 

After Rieketts retnrned to New York, lie snffered 
terribly from fever, and for a long time lay in St. Luke's 

151 



THE STORY OF THE ROLKiH RIDERS. 

Hospital in a room ii<jt far from mine. I have never 
seen liim since the war, but nurses and doctors alike 
continually told me of the plucky way in which he en- 
dured his pain. 

Not far away from Ricketts lay Lieutenant Dever- 
eaux, of C^olorado Springs. Next to McClintock's, his 
wound was the most painful that I knew of during the 
campaign. The bones of his forearm were literally 
ground to powder. Later he was taken out to the 
" Olivette," and he spent much of his time in an arm- 
chair in front of my stateroom. Tlie surgeons made a 
mistake in thinking that the bullet had gone down in- 
stead of up, and put him through the most dreadful 
agonies of probing. He said never a word, but took his 
pain as a man should take it, quietly and without ])ro- 
test. The same great surgeon who carved me up, and 
thereby saved my life, worked over Devereaux in New 
York, and saved his arm. T)r. Kobert Abbe occasionally 
pulls from his ]>ocket, even now, a battered bit of steel. 
This is the bullet which he took from Lieutenant Dever- 
eaux. 

O^'cr in the corner, on the inside of the shanty, lay 
Burr Mcintosh, 'llie troubles which he had with sweet 
Spanish wdne had not been enough for him. He was 
the first man to go down with yellow fever, and its first 
stages were that night convulsing him with pain and 
leading his mind off into the unknown paths of mutter- 
ing delirium. ^McLitosh has now recovered, and it is 
fair to tell some details of what his wandering l)rain 
dwelt upon during that uncanny night. He had in mind 
the production of a ]day called the " War Correspond- 

152 



Al'TKIi LAS GUASIMAH. 

cut," and a part <>i' liis (•(•stuiiic was tn consist of a lii,i;li 
pair (tl I'ussct Icallicr ca\alrv Ixiuls. Willi an cy(! l<» the 
\aliic (if theatrical ctl'cct, he had piircdiascd these l)Oots 
hcdoi'c he hd't Xew \'()rk, and taken them tu ('iiha with 
him. It was liis phin to wear footi^'car oii the stage 
which had actually hceii stained hv ('idiaii mud, and, if 
possihle, tl) see to it that, dui'iui;' the campaign, S(^ni(! 
real Mood tell u])ou those hoots. I''i"om the moment 
ot' his lauding in ('uha, envious glances had hecu cast, 
upon them l>y troopers whose shoes were going the 
laiined way ot" army shoes in ('uha. 'I'hoy were stoh'ii 
the first day. That night lie got tlieni hack. The next 
day, hoforo the start to Sihoncy, auothci- man [)urloin(Hl 
them and lio roeovorcd thcni after uiu(di (h'tcctivc work, 
just hefore the yellow fever caught him in its scraggy 
arms. As he hiy there, the })recions hoots were h)vingly 
gathered beneath his head. Tie talked of them inces- 
santly. ITome, friends, and)ition — all were suhordinato 
in his delii'inni, to the yellow hoots. In the middle of 
the night a shadowy troo])ei' ap])eared, ghostlike, from 
nowhere. Tie carefully pi(d\ed his shoeless way among 
the wounded men and steereil a course for Mcintosh. 
AVhenhe went out, the yellow hoots were closely clasped 
beneath his tunic, and ^FcTntosh, his head noAv on the 
floor, raved on about them. 

The story of that night in the hospital might he much 
prolonged, but 1 could oidy wi-ite a reju'tition ot" su(di 
anecdotes. The men lay thi'i-e and suffered, the sur- 
geons worked, "nndst hlood and groans. The only 
light in the main building came from a bottle which 
some tlioughtfid ('nhan had hall" tilled with nati\-e tire- 

IT),-) 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS 

bugs. Soiuetiines a clia}> would cntci' with a blazino- 
l)rand from a iieiii'liboriiig caiuptiro and cast a dickering, 
ghastly glow about him; and so the night dragged on 
until the sudden C*ul)an dawn. 

After Wood was made Governor of Santiago province, 
he went out to look over the old battle-ground. The 
strongest testimony to the fierceness of the fire he found 
in the condition of the trees (and this was six months 
after the battle had been fought). At the i)()int where 
the Spaniards first opened on us. the forest looked as if a 
conflagration had swe])t it. Tlic trees had been abso- 
lutely killed by the terrible hail of bullets which ha<l 
been poured into them, while oiii- men were :id\aucing 
through them. 

The riougli liiders wei-e not comfortable in theii- uew 
camp. They ha<l tln'owii away most of theii- tents and 
blankets, and the weather had turned bad. They began 
to realize what the rainy season in (^uba means. 'Idiose 
who had tents, ])nt them up, but they ofi'ei'ed little i)ro- 
tection against the tro])ical downpours, which beat the 
canvas to earth and sent streams of water down the little 
slopes actually sti-oug enough to sweep mattresses and 
blankets out from under tents, uidess they were anchored 
down by the recuml)ent forms of sturdy troopers. 

The camp was within two thousand yards of the 
Spanish trenches, but not a shot Avas fired. 

It would have been worse than foolish to have sent the 
regiment forward into another fight just then, when 
everything was considered, yet the men were anxious 
to go. By this time the Tiough Riders had " got their 
mad up." During tlie first liattle they had killed Span- 

150 



AFTER LAS (JUASIMAS. 

iards as a matter of business, but the devilish work of the 
sharpshooters on llicir woun(h'(l, niul the thousand and 
one discomforts iz,i-(»\viui;' out of the cniiipiiiii.u — worse 
discomforts tluiii the hardiest cowhov niiioiii;- them had 
ever suffered on our phdns — had exasperated them to the 
])oiut of freu/v, for they longed now to kill vSpauiards 
because thev hated them. Kl C-Awry was off at the right, 
in the distance, and El Toso, where some of them were 
to meet their deaths in a few (hiys,'was well to the left. 

Tlie men were very curious about El ( ';iney. it was 
understood to he a Si)ainsli stronghold, and it was snj)- 
poscd that it would be the next ])oint that the regiment 
would attack. As a nuitter of fact it was Lawton's and 
Chaffee's men that fought there, hut after their tight 
some rtough Riders visited it. ('a])tain Huston and 
Benjanun Harney M'ere in the party. 

Harney, by the way, is the scidptor who missed a 
chance to enlist in the regiment in the States, and who 
was so anxious to join it that he followed it to Cuba tor 
the purpose. He tigured tliat by the time he got there 
enough men would have been killed and wounded to 
make room for him. He landed in Cuba on Saturday 
night, and his nnpilotcd trip from Siboney to where the 
Ivough Kiders were encamped was full of jx'i'ils fi'om 
sharpshooters. When he got there he found that he had 
been right about there being room for him. He was al- 
most exhausted by his long and dangerous tramp, but he 
was fully rewarded when he heard the ringing cheer 
which the men sent up for him when tluy found how 
far he had come ami what he had come for, and when 
he was gladly accepted and enlistc^d as a nuunber of the 

157 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

best volimteer regiment that ever fought in onr army 
or any other army. 

Afterwards, in writing home, he said, first, that he had 
plenty of material for sculpting, and second, that the 
stone fort at El Caney, which lie had just visited, was an 
ahsolnte slaughter pen. Its walls were literally kalso- 
mined with the l)hx)d of dead Spanish soldiers. It will 
be remembered that tliis fort was the one which sur- 
rendered to JNlr. James Oreelman of the New York 
Journal. C^reelman was shot wliile it was being done, 
but he gained distinction as being the only newspaper 
corresj)ondent to whom a hostile force had ever sur- 
rendered a fortification. 

The camp was on the right of the main road leading to 
Santiago, and had no ])h'asant features that I have been 
able to leani. I'he tents were pitched in a hollow in- 
stead of on high ground, which was plentiful there- 
abouts, and the men suifered accordingly, not only when 
the rains descended as I have described, but from malaria 
and other fevers. Every day four or five Rough Riders 
went out over the trail to the hospital at the rear. Wood 
and Roosevelt luid been mighty good to the men at 
San Antonio and Tampa, as well as on the transport, and 
after they landed in Cuba, but it was in this camp that 
the men began to really appreciate the stuff of which their 
commanding officers were made. AVhatever the men 
had to go without, they went without themselves. They 
woidd take no better shelter than their men had, and 
they would eat no better food than Avas offered to the men 
to eat. There were thousands of tons of rations out in 
the bay on the transports, but they were diseml)arked 

158 



AFTER LAS GUASIMAS. 



and bronglit up the trail so slowly tliat the ■Ronpjh Tliders 
were only allowed one-third rations. It was nndcrstood 
that the othcers shonld have soniethina,' a little better 
than this, and tlicy liad carried with them t<» the front 
a few delicacies like canned tomatoes. \U\\ Wood and 
Roosevelt wnndd t(mch none of them. Within a conph' 
of davs it was the rnle anioni;' the Uoni;h Ui(hTs that the 
othcers wonld accept nothing which the men conhl not 
Oct. AVhat poor dainties did come in the rci;imcnt's way 
went to the sick and not to the ofheers' mess. This, per- 
haps, explains, in some slii;ht measnrc, the (h'votion 
which the men showed for their officers later in the 
cam})aign. 

There were one or tw^o exceptions to this rnle of 
complete consideration, hnt I only mention them because 
if I did not it might be thought that I did not know of 
them. In so large a body of men as were the Rough 
Riders, there are certain to be some fellows wdio lack 
the finer points. There were some in the Rough Riders, 
just as there were one or tw^o men wdio w^ere not brave. 
I shall not speak of them again, because the general 
spirit of the regiment Avas so fine and wliole-sonled and 
valorous, that it deserves to go down in history as an 
organization practically without flaws. 

At first, some of the officers and men bnilt shacks 
wdiich they thatched with ])alm ami banana leaves. This 
was very nice till night came on, when tarantulas and 
other callers took to dropping from the greenery of the 
roofs. These little episodes were rendered doubly dis- 
agreeable by the fact that the men conhl not light lights 
— not even matches — in order to make s(>arch for the 

150 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGII KIDERS. 

invading vermin. To make a light was likely to be 
fatal. The Sj^aniards, in their trenches, were watching 
for the foolish ones who did it, and their temerity was 
always followed by a shot, if not a volley. The Spanish 
sharpshooters who had their eyes on the Tiongli Kiders 
dnring these trying days and nights were i-eally sliarp- 
shootei's. Tlicy could easily wing ;i man across the short 
space which se])arate(l them, and they often did. Dnring 
the constantly recnri'ing night rainstorms, which were al- 
ways accompanied hy the most \ivi(l and disconcei'ting 
tro])ical lightning — a kind of Hash which is totally un- 
known and totally indescrihnhle to the people Xoi'th — 
they frecpiently lut men. 

The long inglits in the trenches were not pleasant, 
'^riiey were half-full of water after the rains. Many and 
many a man has told me that lu^ stood np to his knees in 
the ("ulian I'ain water while he was waiting for the Span- 
iards to shoot at him. One man — T think it was the 
scnlptor, Benjamin Harney — tried to keep out of this 
water oli(» night by knecding on a little mound in tlie 
trench. When morning came shining I'osily o\-er the 
hills, he looked at the mound. lb' found that he had 
been kneeling on a Spanish soldier's grave, and that the 
cori)se had stnck a hand out of the edge of it as if in 
protest at the desecration. 

These few days had no cheerfnl features. In this 
camp the men had momentarily expected battle orders, 
their quarters luid been uncomfortable; tarantulas, 
vermin, and other disagreeabilities, had made sleep at 
niglit almost impossible. During the days the men had 
slept in such shade as they could find wdien it was not 

160 



AFTEK LAS G UASIMAS. 

raininc, and had done their best to keep dry and save 
their small properties from floating off in the floods when 
it was raining. Their rations of one-third allowance of 
haeon, hardtack, and coffee withont sugar, had not been 
sufficient to keep their physical strength up, and their 
s})irits drooped accordingly. This nnfortunate condition 
was aggravated among the smokers of the regiment — and 
what member of the Rough Iliders was not a smoker? — 
by the lack of tobacco. It Avas at this time that a little 
two-onnce package of smoking tobacco which some man 
had come into possession of in a way which history has 
forgotten, was auctioned for forty-seven dollars and fifty 
cents. 

A dramatic episode occnrred. A Spaniard was cap- 
tured in a tree. He was not one of the sharpshooters, 
for he had no rifle. But he was armed with a revolver 
and wore the nniform of the Spanish regnlar, so that he 
was legitimate prey of war. He was captured by a 
Cuban, who turned him over to the Rough Riders. In 
his pockets they found many incriminating papers. He 
was, almost without doubt, an officer of some rank, for 
there were documents of an official nature in his clothes 
which would hardly have been entrusted to a priA-ate 
soldier. He said he Avas a Cuban who had been cap- 
tured by the Spaniards and forced to put on a Spanish 
uniform, and maintained that his only wish was to rejoin 
the Cuban army. ISTo one believed this, but because 
of his statements he was finally given back to the Cubans 
by Captain Luna, Avho had him in charge. He might 
much better liaA'e said nothing about the Cubans, and 
left himself in American hands, for the Cubans took him 
11 161 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

up to a hill to the left of where the Eough Riders were 
encamped, and cut him to pieces without mercy and in 
spite of the protests made by two or three American 
private soldiers who were present. When American 
officers, who had been summoned, arrived, they found 
the Spaniard dead. 

On the evening of June -'JOtli the regiment went to 
El Poso, which the y})aiiiar(ls had been forced, by our 
artillery hre, to evacuate. 

They did not reach this last point until late at night. 
It was, indeed, long after eleven o'clock before they 
were really in the place which had been assigned to 
them as camp — an assignment which the following day's 
events proved to be either criminally careless or incon- 
ceivably stu}ud. 

I may, perhaps, be excused for saving the story of the 
burial of the dead in the battle of Las Guasimas for the 
end of this chapter. It was the burial of the first dead 
in the army, during the Spanish-American war. It was 
significant, and it was grim, and it was pitiful. I do 
not suppose that there ever was a regiment in which the 
men, as individuals, had a higher regard for each other. 
The mere fact that another man had been accepted as a 
member of this carefully selected organization gave you 
a certain respect for him. You knew what you had been 
through yourself. 

The men loved one another, as strong men love those 
who have passed through some trials with them alreadv, 
and are considered completely competent to pass through 
other trials with them. 

Yet when the burial of the dead came, not more 

163 



AFTEK LAS GUASIMAS. 

than half of the iiicii in the rciiiiiiciit wciil oul to 
see the eercinoiiy. Tired, tired, tired I No men were 
ever more tlioroniihly worn out than they wei-e when 
they made their primitive ('am|) on that ('id)an hill- 
side over to the riiiiit of where Hamilton fish was 
killed. 

Colonel Wood had ordered a detail in which all the 
troops were represented, to dig the i^rave the night be- 
fore. These men were jn-oiid of their task, and they 
were anxious to perform it, but they were too terribly 
tired to do it well. Eight dead men were lying in a 
gruesome row near the field hosi)ital under that mango 
tree — a tree wliieli should be surrounded by a bronze 
railing and held as an exhibition for future generations 
of Americans who are interested in what our men did 
in Cuba in those summer days of Eighteen Ninety- 
Eight. 

These were not all the dead, but they were the ones 
who were laid aw^ay on Satnrday morning in that first 
crude grave. 

Tired, dead tired, were the men who dug it. They 
were too tired to dig separate graves for their hero com- 
rades. But what they conld, they did. They began the 
work on that unlucky Friday night. How near they 
were to the point of complete exhaustion is shown by the 
fact that it was not finished until the middle of the fol- 
lowing morning. 

At eleven o'clock, officers' call was sounded. All men 
in command of troops were told that the funeral ser- 
vices over the men who had fallen tlu^ day before would 
occur in half an hour. T^o one was compelled to go. 

103 



THE STOKV OF THE ROUGH EIDERS. 

jSTeitlier officers nor men turned out because they were 
told to. Many of the men were busy on other tasks 
connected with the new camp, and all had plenty to do 
in cleaning guns and getting themselves and their equip- 
ment ready for the next battle. 

The ceremony was l)rief. 

"■ I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord," 
C^hajdain Lrown repeated, and so on, through the Epis- 
copal service. He knelt and prayed l)y the trench. The 
men knelt too, and as they doifed their campaign hats, 
the Cuban sun beat down as fiercely ou them, and on the 
men in the trench before tliem, whose battles were fin- 
ished forever, as it had the day before on all of them 
when the fight began. Some one threw a heavy clod 
into the trench. The men rose, and their deep bass 
A'oices joined in " Xearer, my (Jod, to Thee." It was 
as impressive as the singing of the patriot's hyum had 
been in the field hospital. 

It is useless for me to tell how those men lay there; 
they were without coffins, anil their only shrouds were 
the uniforms in which they had nobly died. The Cuban 
soil was shovelled over them. The chief bugler stood 
upon the mound and blew the mournful notes of " taps," 
and the ceremony was finished. Their living comrades 
marked their grave with stones and bits of wood. The 
names of the men that slept there were written on the 
wood. 

jSTow, eight months after the war ended, even these 
markings have been obliterated. Some one has erected 
a tombstone, which reads : 



1G4 




m 



f.:- 



W/cere the Bough Mders tcaited in the Quivering Heat be/oie the charge 
of San Juan. 



AFTEIl LAS (lUASl.MAS. 



To the 




MlOMOliV OF 




EKJIIT 




Unknown Soldiers. 





The stone was not officially erected, and the names of 
the soldiers are not nnknown. J>_y and h_v, wlicii the 
anthorities get aronnd to it, proper tombstones and a 
monnment will be erected. General Wood has already 
planned for it. 

The body of Hamilton Fish has been taken from ( ^d)a 




since that day, and bronght North to be interred :it Har- 
rison's, New York. Captain Capron was linricd on a 
hillside near the seasliore. His grave is marked by a 
neat tombstone erected by Colonel (now Major-(!ener:d) 
Wood. 

The men marched ofT, leaving their dead idonc in their 
glory behind them. The strange new rontine (d" regi- 
mental life was taken nj). and new thonghfs and wonder- 
ings of what the futnre held tor them busied the minds 

IC.T 



THE STOUY OF THE ROUGH KiDEKS. 

of those who were left, but after that battle, and after 
that burial, no man in the regiment was quite the same. 
The Rough Riders had passed through their baptism of 
fire, and passed gloriously, but they had paid a terrible 
price to Fate. 



168 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE BEGINNING 
OF SAN JUAN. 

I iiiiist start by saying that I did not sec any part of 
the three days' battle of San J nan, and that Avhat is 
written here is written from what I have been told by 
men who did, and from wdiat I have read. I have taken 
considerable tronl)le to see that every statement is ac- 
enrate, however, and am convinced that there are few, 
if any, mistakes in this acconnt. 

As every one knows, the battle started on the first day 
of Jnly. General Wheeler and General Yonng- were 
Ixith ill, so General Snmner took connnand of the cav- 
alry division, in which the Eongh Riders were in- 
chuled, in the Second Brigade. This promoted Lien- 
tenant-Colonel Roosevelt to the colonelcy and to com- 
mand of the regiment, for Coloncd Wood became a 
l>rigadier-general,and took connnand of General Yt)ung's 
brigade. 

The regiment had moved to El Poso the |)revions day, 
and were encamped on that pictnresqne little farm which 
the Spaniards had evacnated. Xothing can descril.c the 
filthy state in which the r('tr(^ating soldiers liad h'ft the 
])lace. '' Tf Cnba is nnhealthy, this is what iiiakcs it 
so," said General Snmner to a foreign attache. '" N"ew 
York City wonld hreed y(^llo\v fever germs fa-ter than a 
horse can nni, if it were left in such a state as this. 

16<.) 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

When tliey eliminate nnnecessary dirt from Cnba they 
will eliminate yellow fever." 

Bnt tlie fevers whieli began to make many a man 
in tlie Hough Riders ache and shiver, were not caused 
by the tilth. The days Avere incredibly hot and the 
nights were chilly. From the A'alleys on both sides of 
the hill where the regiment was encamped white mists 
full of the miasma of malaria rose every night to fill the 
air until the next morning's sun dissipated them, and 
these mists sent many men to hospital. They added 
greatly to the beauty of the situation, however, although 
it is not probable that the Rough Riders were as deeply 
interested in that as they were in the quinine which was 
scarce and which this detail of the beauty made neces- 
sary. 

The order to move forward toward Santiago along 
the San Juan trail was given the night before to Colonel 
Roosevelt, who had reveille sounded at three in the 
morning, for his troo])s were su]i])osc(l to be on their way 
at four. There was a good deal of siipjiressed excite- 
ment among the men. The feeling of security that had 
preceded the battle of Las Guasimas was replaced by a 
feeling of wonder and, in some cases, apprehension. The 
general orders which had l)een given to their com- 
manders spread among the men with great ra])idity, al- 
though it is, of course, the military intention that such 
things shall be known only to the men who must of 
necessity be confided in. There was no longer any doubt 
in the minds of the Rough Riders that there were Span- 
iards in Cuba and that the S]ianiards had guns, and that 
the guns would be loaded and fired, and that they would 

170 



THK BEtilNNINC OF SAN JUAN. 

be fired fof tlic purpose ol' killiiii;- the soldiers in the 
^Viiieri(':iii iiniiy. 

1 do not wish to i;i\(' llic idc;i thai llic Uomi:1i Kidcrs 
were afraid llie iu,i;li1 hcforc San duan, for I do not 
believe that tliis i-cLiinicnt could lia\c I'ouml any set of 
circiiuistanees Avhicdi would lia\(' made it, as a body, 
feel afraid. Hut 1 do mean that the Kouiili Uiders had 
learned to take war seriously. They had only to (d(»se 
their eyes to see the battleficdd of Las (iuasinias where 
they had so busily passed that inorniuiz,' of the tweuty- 
fourth of June. And in the visions whieli they thus 
called to their minds they saw it dotted with prostrate 
eomrades who were not lyino' down in oi-der to facilitate 
their own aim at their enemies, but were lyiiiii' down 
because they had been hit by Sj^anish bullets. They 
could see wounded men all bloody and they could see 
dead men. They knew that just before^ the battle those 
num who were wounded and those men who wei'e dead 
had felt just as they had fidt — had not believed that 
they would be wounded or dead. And the Jvouiih Iviih'rs 
who brought these pictures to their eyes when they 
closed them knew that the next day there was going to be 
another battle and had every reason to believe that after 
it was over there would be a new list of hurt and 
killed. And they knew and considered carefully the 
fact that it was not at all imjiossible that their own names 
should be written on it. So they woudere<l and gos- 
siped among themselves as to who wouM Ik- hit. And 
instead of saying scornfully, " Aw, them Spaniards 
won't tight,'' and, " Dagoes can't shoot, anyhow," they 
]H)lished up their ritles whicdi they had now learned how 

171 



THE STOKV OF THE KUUGll lilDEKS. 

to nsc, and tliey did ^^'llat tlioy could to prepare to fight 
ably and manfully against a foe for whom they had 
achieved a very considerable respect. 

It would not be right to say that the men were not 
sorry to see Colonel AVood taken away from the com- 
mand of the regiment, but that they were all extremely 
well pleased over Colonel Roosevelt's promotion is cer- 
tain. And they could feel that way without hurting 
anyone's feelings, for they could congratulate Colonel 
AVood on the fact that he was now a brigadier-general, 
both b}^ word of mouth and in their minds. 

AVhile they had been learning to respect the Span- 
iards, they had continued to lose their respect for Cu- 
bans. The (Juban officers were very largely responsible 
for this themselves, for they kept up the same policy of 
boorish inditl'erence to tlie comfort of the American 
troops wliich had distinguished them and surprised us 
the night we landed at Sil)oney. And the Cuban sol- 
diers had shown a great tendency to ap})roi)riate the 
property of our soldiers in l)lue. The sight of American 
blankets in the possession of Cubans who could not ex- 
plain where they had got them had ceased to excite sur- 
prise, and ugly stories were afloat among the men, of 
Cuban vandals who had rifled the pockets and bodies 
of the dead and wounded at Las Guasimas. For some 
reason or other the Ivough IJiders, particularly, had con- 
ceived \'iolent doubts of the courage of our Cuban allies, 
and when it was announced that General ChafPee in his 
attack u])on VA Cuney woidd b(> sup])orted and assisted 
l)y a large body of Cul)an troo^is, loud derisive cries were 
heard in the camp of the Kougli Iiiders. T do not know 

172 



Till<: HKiaN.Nl.NCi UJ- SAN JLA.N. 

how Clmffoe's men iVlt nlxnit it, iim- ]\n\v C,o^^ovn] 
CliafTcc Iiiiuscll' fell iihuut it, but 1 ;tiii iiicliiic(l \,> \n- 
licN'c lliiit lie liiid IxH'ii infected willi llic -aiiic dunl.ts. 
I'"(U' lie went nlicad iiiid |>rc|i;ircd tor l);illlc cxiiclK' ;i-~ if 
there were lo he im hi';i\'e ;ilid dmiLilllv h'i;i(ill> ef < 'idnill 
warriors lo help him win, ;ni(L hiter, he went ahead and 
Wdii jnst as it there had heeii none. Mxaet 1_\' as it' there 
had heen none, for thei'e were none. 'idial i<, llie ( 'nhan 
troops were in the position which had Ik en as-ii;iie(l 
to them, hnt thev I'oi'uot to tire their i:nii> and thev 
forg'ot to ad\anee on the enemy. Which indicates 
that had memories, as well as dirt and fe\'er, ai'e amoiiii' 
the constitntional misfoi-tnnes of this down-t rotldeii 
race. 

Who ])]anne(l the position wlncli was i;i\-en to the 
lioiigli liiders on the nioi'nin<i' of the 1st of didy, T 
don't know. It indicated a strani;e disregard of the 
safety of the regiment which liad. already shown itself 
to be one of the best fighting ma<diiiies that a modern 
army had ever held. Tlie regiment was halted in the 
yard of the El Poso farndionse, and then Grimes's bat- 
tei'v was Avlieeled into ])osition jnst a litth' in fi'oiit of it. 
Grimes's battery had no smokeless powdei-. Kvery shot 
it fired was followed hy a cloud of smoke large cnongli 
to fni'nish a good target even to such inaccurate gunners 
as the Spaniards. 

To the unthinking men in tlie ranks of the Tfougli 
Riders, the presence of the guns was a great comfort. 
I have heard it said by English officers of eminence, that 
if it W(^re not foi- the comfoi-t whicli the sight an<l sound 
of big guns give to the soldiei- armed willi a rilh', and foi- 

173 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

the terror which the sight and sound of those same big 
guns inspire in the minds of the enemy, it would not be 
worth whik> to take artillery on the field except where 
there were heavy fortifications to be reduced or a siege 
to be conducted. For statistics show that artillery is by 
no means proportionately fatal to the enemy with small 
arms. In (tther words, the cannon are there for moral 
effect while the rifles are there for man-killiiig purposes. 
The same English ofKcers greatly appreciate the moral 
effect, however, and have full belief in the necessity of 
artillery. 

The moral eft'ect of (Jrimes's battery was strong in the 
Kougli Riders, and filled the hearts of them with glee. 
Grimes's battery fired about nineteen shots before the 
Spaniards answered. When the answer came it was 
directed with excellent aim at the cloud of smoke which 
hung over and around the American guns, and was, 
itself, fired with smokeless powder which gave the Amer- 
ican guns no target. 

Our first shot was fired while the men were eating 
breakfast. They could plainly see a Spanish blockhouse, 
and when they observed that either the first or some 
succeeding shot had struck this Idockhouse, they gath- 
ered in little groups and they shouted wild western and 
college yells with the same enthusiasm which afterwards 
carried them up San Juan Hill. The rejoicing of the 
Rough Riders over this shot was at the height of its 
intensity when the first Spanish shell was fired in answer. 
They heard the shot fired and then they heard for the 
first time in their lives tlie awful shriek of a shell's 
flight. They could not see it, Imt the growing sound of 

174 



Till-: HKCilNNlNG OF SAN JUAN. 

its advance seeined to come toward thein so slowly that 
they looked against the sky eagerly and anxiously as if 
they should see the hhiek ])all in relief against it. Like 
the i)ass;ig(' of a iiKiiiiiiiol li sk_v-r<H'kct, hissing nnij IkiwI- 
ing like a ticnd oi' I lie air, this first Spanisli slicll caiiic 
to freeze the grins on the faces of the Kongh liiders and 
to stop midway their screams of excited delight over 
what onr shells had done. 

Then the slieli exploded with a report whicdi is not 
like any other report. And when it- exi)loded, it was 
in the midst of the Kongh Riders and, as its smoke 
cleared away, it exposed to view two dead men, and seven 
wonnded men with a kind of wounds which was new to 
the regiment. These were not the clean-cut Mauser 
holes which had mai'ked the unfortunates at Las Guasi- 
mas. They were great jagged rents torn into the quiver- 
ing flesh by rough-edged fragments of broken steel. And 
there was no more laughter. And there were no more 
shouts. AVar was grim again. More of their comrades 
were lying dead. The second battle had begun. The 
Spaniards were really shooting to kill. 

It was the first time and the last time, dui'iiig the cam- 
paign, that there was anything like a stamitede among 
the Kough lliders. It was the first time and the last 
time, during our war with Spain, that they ever yi(dded 
an inch to Spanish shots of any kind. l!ut this shell 
was so unexpected and so dreadful, that the men did n<it 
wait for the word of connnand. They ran scurrying 
away from the ])osition which tluw had heeii ordered to 
occupy over the edge of the hill to the i-ighl, where they 
showed their newly ac<piirc(l respect for Spanish gnn- 

ITo 



THE STOKY OF THE EOUGH KIDERS. 

nerj by keeping cover until about half -past eight o'clock. 
The first shot from the American battery had been fired 
at six-forty, and the Spanish shell had shrieked its way 
into their midst at exactly seven o'clock. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Brodie asks me to mention Private 
Ilollister, of A Troop. He was one of the men struck 
by the shell at FA Poso. He was badly torn, but he 
partially recovered from his wound, through his pure 
grit. But he recovered from liis wound only to die of 
tj'phoid fever. 

While they were at El Poso, a funny episode was the 
strange manoeuvre of the First Cavalry. It moved past 
tlieni with great enthusiasm. Jt had only a discon- 
certingly short distance to go before it struck the Span- 
ish outposts, and the Kough Eiders knew this. They 
suiDposed, of course, that an attack on the foe was in- 
tended by the movement. Promptly on time, and exactly 
at the place where the Spaniards were supposed to be, the 
First Cavalry ran into them. The Rough Fliders were 
waiting for a battle royal, and more or less expecting 
that they would soon be involved themselves. But with 
a promptness which was only equal by the rapidity of 
their advance, the First Cavalry retired again to some 
unknown point, and the night grew still and peaceful, 
and the First Cavalry had marched up the hill, and then 
marched down again, as did the King of France in the 
nursery rhyme. 

It was nine o'clock l)efore they received their orders 
to go forward. They had watched many regiments pass 
along the trail before their turn came, and they shared 
the experiences of the others when they finally de- 

176 



^ 







S 5 




THE RK(!IXNIN(i oK SAX .IT AN. 

boliclicd into it. 'I'licv luiiiid il ;i> llic nllicrs Imd, 
liiiuldv, (i\'i'ivi'ow»l('d, and lnnllv iii;iii;ii:cd. I'lic whole 
ariiiv was iii<i\iii,u' tnrwai'd in a line iii>i miicli wider lliaii 
the one which ihe K()ni;ii lii(h'is alone had toimd m> iii- 
con\-enient when the_\- niai-(died n|> lo ( i na^inias. 1 
nu'iition this, hecanse the aiaiiv had heen inactive tor 
8ev('ii (hivs, and had had ain|>h' time to |(i-e|iai-e lor that 
advance hy ciittinu' new trail- thron^h the jnnuie, so 
that thev conid lia\c entered the field in halt a dozen 









or a dozen plaros, instead of in only one plnee, on wlncli 
it wonid ha\'e heeii madness on the pai't of the enemy il 
they liad not had theii- i;iins trained for days, (lenei-al 
C^liaifee recogiii/.ed this, and spoke of it. Hut (leneral 
Clmffee ^vas not in command, so the Honi;h Uiih'rs started 
down that trail, as other i-(\uinients started down tliat 
trail, and when ten (t'(do(d< came they enfere(| the zone 
of S|)anish tire as other rciiiiiK-nts had and did enter the 
Spanish zone ot' lire tliat (hiy. And they could not reply 
any more than others conld reply. And they were 

17'J 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

wouiuk'd and killed helplessly and steadily as the men of 
otlier regiments were. 

And, with the other ti'oo})s who were marched need- 
lessly and stupidly into that death trap, they suffered 
ihrdugli the madness which sent np a military balloon 
at a place where the entire American army in Cuba must 
needs march under it or near it, and catch the terrific fire 
which the Spanish gunners of course directed at so ad- 
mirable a target. 

Tliev were crossing a creek when they first felt the 
fire. The water was about two feet deep, and many men 
were hit while they were wading in it. There was con- 
siderable danger that the W( Minded men Avho fell in it 
woidd be drowned instead of dying })leasantly of their 
wounds as it is intended that soldiers shall die, and the 
men wdio had first-aid ])ackages and wlio were looking 
after the wounded as well as they could, had their hands 
very busily employed. 

Colonel Roosevelt rode mounted to the right, and 
when he saw the terrible slaughter that the balloon was 
bringing to the men who followed the route marked 
down for them, he took his men out of it and around 
to the right so that they avoided the worst of it, perhaps. 
The regiment finally halted while it was standing in the 
creek. The men of D Trooj) were waist deep and more 
in the water. The Spanish shells were whistling Aveirdly 
overhead and the blundering gas-bag was still there, as 
if it had l)een a signal shown to let the Spaniards know 
the position of our men. 

For half an hour the Rough Riders stood waiting 
there. Many of them had to keep their positions in the 

180 



TIIK I'.KCINNINC OK SAX .11 AN. 

crock, iiud it is not I'liii to slaiid tor luilt" ;iii lioiii- in 
water, with the tropical i;lare of tlic Cuban sim hcatiiii;' 
down upon voui' head, and its no loss stitlin<;' I'eth-ction 
heatinii' ii|) into your iace and ai;ain>t \'oiir liod\- from 
tlie water. If yon add to these discoiu foiMs the con- 
tinnal arri\-al of sliells lired l»y liostile nieii, which rippeil 
and tore the life ont (d' V(Mir comrades, while you looked 
inipoteiitly at their sutfei'ini;' and wondei'e(| how lonu' 
it miii'lit he before you were liit yourself, yon will find 
that happiness is far distant and agony ver}^ near. Y(\ 
the irrepressible good spirits of the Hough Riders did not 
desert them even here. Tlun' would lunc been sci'v 
much more in evidence if the men had been able to shoot 
ba(dv — if the pleasing consciousness that they were giv- 
ing S])ain as good as she sent had been tlieii's; but still 
they laughed and joked and gi'iinly guyed ea(di othei-. 

Their next move was lo the woods- the fi-oiit from 
wlii(di they latei' (diarged with theii' gallant colonel at 
tlieii' head aiul di'ove the Spaniards fi-oni San duan llill. 

This march covered a distance whi(di I lia\'e heard 
estimated at half a mile and A\dii(di I have heard esti 
mated at three miles. Probably the tirst figure is nearer 
right than the second. It is ])ai'licularly sui'prising and 
not especially jdeasing to the Avriter of a book like this 
to find that no two men see things alike in war tinu'. j\[y 
own remembrance of things I saw at (iuasimas is as 
different from the remend»rance of other men who saw 
the same things at the same time as the ditferenc(> be- 
tween these two estimates of distance, and the renieni- 
bi'ance of a third man sets both iiiy>elf and the other 
chap at fault. IJnt all writer's of battle history agree 

181 



THE STOHY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

that tlie most frequent errors of those who see battles 
are on the side of exaggeration. At any rate, whether 
this march was long or short, everyone agrees that the 
weather was terrifically hot, and that the Spanish fire was 
hotter. The eonntry was either clear or covered with 
low bushes which offered the men no protection what- 
ever, and many of them went down here as they had 
gone down at Las CJuasimas. It seemed harder to be 
shot liere, for not yet were our men able to fire a single 
answering shot at the Spaniards who were sending those 
Mausers singing into tlieir ranks. So great was the 
execution done in this short time, I am told, that the 
bandages of the first-aid men were wholly exhausted 
before the men actually reached the front. 

The Kough Kiders, through Colonel Roosevelt's own 
good sense, and not through any merit of the orders 
under which he was acting, avoided the worst place that 
the American army found that day. They were not 
among the troops who poured through the opening from 
that fatal trail down which most of our hcli)less mcu 
went into the plain where the Spaniards had studied out 
the range and only had to send their unanswered bullets 
into the mass of soldiers who were huddled there in a 
confusion which could have only been avoided by not 
sending them there at all. 

He took his regiment well over to the right to about 
tlie point in the line which it had been intended that 
he should occupy, but he did not take them by the route 
which he had been instructed to follow. When he got 
them there he placed them in the woods as well as he 
could. lie made his men He down while he stood up 

183 



TllK BKCINNING OF SAN JU^VN. 

or rode nrouiid (»ii his horse. lie took every ehaiicc 
there was, while he allowed his men to take as few as 
possihh'. lie did many tliini;s to add to their love of Inin 
before th(\v proved it Ity folhnviiiG,- Inm up the hill. Ihit 
he eould not i;ive them tlie one in-Ivileiie whieli they 
wanted more than they wanted anything else. He could 
not then give them the order to fire back at the enemy 
which was killing- them as pot-hnnters kill wild rabbits. 
But by and by he gave them all the chance they 
wanted. 



183 



CHAPTER X. 

THE CHARGE 
OF SAN JUAN. 

The middle of the day had passed l)efore the men got 
their chance. And here it is interesting to go over again 
that little list of Rongh Rider records, which I have al- 
ready mentioned once or twice, bnt which is now getting 
so long that it deserves to he spoken of again. 

The Rongh Riders were the first regiment to he organ- 
ized of all the volnnteers. 

I'hey raised the first flag raised l)v the ITnited States 
army in (Hiha. 

They fired the first shot fired in anger l>y the army 
in Chil»a, and they lost the Hrst man shot l)y the S])an- 
iards. 

And noAV comes the last and host of their record per- 
formances. They led the ai'uiy in the charge up San 
Jnanllill. 

They lay there where Roosevelt had led them, still 
taking the fire from the S])aniards and still nnahle to 
retnrn it, that 1st of Jnly, with as good grace as any 
troops conld have shown nnder snch depressing and 
disheartening circninstances. Every once in a while 
some one among them was shot. It was one of the men 
who was wonnded there who made a remark as his com- 
rades started away, which is likely to go down into the 
history of the ntterances of wounded men. 

184 



TIIK C11A1{(;E of .SAN JKAN. 

" Seovc'li, ]ut\^l Scorcli!" he >:ii<l. "My lii-c\s 
piiiicl iircd." 

'I'lie situation was, perhaps, tlio most cxasporatinc; 
that trooi)s can ho calkMl n])on to ('U(hirc. Scvci-al rci;i- 
nionts wci'c ahead of llic Ii(Ui,<;h Riders, aiiionu' tlieiii tli(» 
Ninth Keuular ("n\-alry. This regiment is made up of 
colored men. I counted its licntenant-coloiiel — Hamil- 
ton — among m_v dearest friends, aud was with his regi- 
ment nioi'e than I was with any other (hiring the (hiys 
preceding our (h'|iai'tui'e troui ianipa. 1 know lh<i'~e 
negro troopers to l)e hrave men, aud, iiuh'cd, they pro\< <1 
themselves to he among tlie hest soldiers in the Tnited 
States army, later that same day. Colonel llaunltou 
was killed in the charge up San Juan Hill, and his men 
lost A'ery heavily. They were l)hud<: lu-roes, e\cry one 
of them. P)Ut they hiy ahead of the iJougli Kiders and 
did not attemi)t to go heyond theii- oi'ders. which wei-e 
to lie ther(» and wait for some one to tell them from 
General Shafter to go aliea«l. That ('(.lonel llanuliMH 
was as l)rave a man as ( 'olonel Koctsevell, and as hraxc a 
man as any man ever was, I do not douht tor a uionient, 
but his regular army training did not stand him in good 
stead that day. ITe had been a sohlier all his life and 
he did what a soldier is supposed to do — he did what he 
was told to do. He had been told to wait, (/olonel 
Roosevelt understood the necessity of obeying orders as 
well as TTamilton did, but Colonel Roosevelt had not 
been turned Into a tighting machiiu' by years of disci- 
pline, and he thought for himscdf when his superior offi- 
cers failed t<» thinh for him. Coloiud TTamiltoti <lid not. 
So C(douel Roosevelt was the hero of San .luau Hill. 

18r> 



THE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDEES. 

altlioiTgh the opportunity for heroism had been before 
Colonel Hamilton just as long as it had been before 
Colonel Roosevelt. Hamilton, doubtless, saw the neces- 
sity for the charge as soon as Rooseyelt did, but he 
waited for some superior to see it too. Roosevelt waited 
a reasonable time for his superiors to see it, and then he 
went ahead on his own hook. 

I did not see Colonel Roosevelt that day, of course, 
for I was lying wounded out on tlie hospital ship " Oliv- 
ette " off Siboney. But I can call to my mind a picture 
of him which I know is accurate. 

His face was streaming with perspiration and streaked 
with honest dirt. His famous teeth were prominent and 
bared constantly by those nervous twitchings of his face 
which always accompany whatever lie says. They were, 
probably, very often and very grimly closed that day — 
those teetli — and it is certain that in the excitement of 
it all ho bit his words off with more abruptness and de- 
termination than he usually does. And that is saying 
much. For Roosevelt always talks as if he were trying to 
give each word a farewell l)ite before it leaves his mouth, 
and ends it suddenly with snap. His hair hung in wet 
wisps down his forehead. Most of the officers in Cuba 
had their hair cut as short as possible. Roosevelt wore 
his a little longer than usual. He had on no jacket, and 
his shirt was soaked with sweat. He did not wear cav- 
alry boots, l;)ut had on russet shoes which had wholl}^ 
taken on the color of the Cuban mud, and ordinary cav- 
alry leggings such as are served out to the troops at 
thirty-one cents a pair. His riding breeches were of 
kliaki, wliich, wlien it is clean, is a pretty soft brown. 

186 



THE CIIAIUIE OF SAX Jl'AN. 

Ijiit his were iiol clcnii. Tlicv were wcl nml llicv wcro 
covered willi i;re:i1 spots of ('iiliaii iiiiid iiiid oilier dirt. 
It is unlikely that he had taken llieni oil' the niuiit Ik- 
f<»ro at all. ]>nt they were no dirtier than his canipaitiii 
hat, whitdi was full o1" holes cut hy an oMiuini;' trooper 
for the \-eut ilat ioii (d' t he colonel's head. l^'roni 1 ln' l»a<d-: 
of it a l»hu' bandana handkerchief with white spot> huui;- 
down to shield his neck from sun. 'idiis the colonel al- 
ways wore on Ins hat after tlu^ iii'st hattle, where he had 
it tied around his iu'(d<. It was the hattle lla<;' of San 
Jnan, and 1 doubt if any nnui who was at San duan Ilill 
will ever he able to see one like it without wanting- to 
cheer. Roosevelt had sewed his shoulder strajjs to his 
shirt, hut one of them had conu> off and tlu^ othei- huuii' 
loosely tlo])pin<2,' at one end in innniuent danucr ol being- 
lost as the cohnud's wiry shoulder jerked lU'rvously. 

I know just how he stood there as he turneil to his 
men and shoutecl, "" AVe'll have to take that hill," and 
how they shoutcnl it bacd-: along the line, " We'll ha\-e to 
take that hill," and everyone t(Mtk the (-(doiu-rs words up 
and cried, " We'll have to take that hill." 

And then they took it. 

In front of Colonel Koosevelt's command, ns T have 
said, was the ISTinth Cavalry. Hamilton did not move 
them. Ttooscvclt, finding them in his way, shonted: 

" If you're not going np, get out ( d' my way, for I am.'' 

They made no signs of advancing, so he mounted and 
rushed into their rear, shouting to them to make way 
for the Ixough Ividers. The surpi-i-e<l darkies did not 
know what to make (d" this unexpected whirlwind whicdi 
was pushing and sh()\iug its way through them, but they 

187 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

parte^d and let it pass. After it had gone by, the colored 
men fell in with their officers at their head and were 
the second regiment np the hill. Hamilton was killed 
in the charge. The officers of the Xinth felt, at first, a 
little chagrined at what Koosevelt had done, and were 
inclined to criticise him for it, bnt this feeling soon gave 
way to one of honest and outspoken admiration for the 
man who had had the nerve to set military rules at defi- 
ance and whip the enemy in spite of his own superior 
officers. With the Xinth went two companies of the 
Seventy-first Xew York, a regiment of gallant men who 
have been criticised as the men in the ranks really do not 
deserve to be criticised, because some of their officers 
flunked. 

Roosevelt went mounted, waving his sword in the air. 
I fancy he looked a good deal more like the i)i('tnres of 
fighting men charging, than officers very often do. He 
must have made the kind of a sight that would have 
delighted the eyes of any of the famous painters of battle 
scenes. If Detaille or ]\Ieissonier could have seen him 
they wonld ])robably have felt that they had seen the 
one thing that they had been longing all their lives to 
see. 

The ground was uneven and he had to pay some atten- 
tion to his horse, which slipped and stumbled several 
times before he reached the barbed-wire fence which, at 
last, forced the colonel to alxandon him. Roosevelt 
would have preferred to go up that hill on foot instead 
of riding up on his horse, for several reasons. Chief of 
these is the fact that he was the only mounted man on 
the whole field, and was, therefore, a bright and shining 

188 




c; - 






'IIIK ('II. MICK OF SAX JFAN. 

iiini'k lor Spiinisli hiillcts. Xow wn iii;iii like- In lake 
an unncrc'ssai'v risk, no matter liow williiii;' lie niav Ix' to 
('X])()S(' liinisclf to such daiiiior as l(\<iitiiiiatcly hcloniis to 
liini ill I lie coui'sc ot' dill y. It is not likely I liat ( 'oloiicl 
Koos('\clt enjoyed the rcali/.atioii that he was the very 
bi^ii'ii'est target on the whole held of hatllc for Spanish 
bullets to he aimed at. \or was it at all pleasant to 
have to wati'h his horse's steps and uruc him and cn- 
couriiii'e him when he wanted to look around, as he could 
liave looked around il he had heeii walkiiii;' instead ol 
ridiiiuJo see how his men were actinia and whetliei' they 
were followinii' him as rapidly and as tdosely as he could 
have wished. l>ut Roosevelt has always been known as 
a mail of b'iilitniiiG,- thouiiht, and Ix^fore li(> mounted at all 
that day, he I'ealized in a Hash that a leader on horseback, 
brandishing his sword and going' lik(> the devil nj) that 
hill, woidd 1)0 casi(>r for the men to follow, and more 
inspiring to tlnmi, than a leader walking, who conld 
only go as fast as they could, and who would very likely 
be so winded by the physical exertion of climbing that 
he would be unable to shout his orders so that they could 
be heard. 

It has been said that l^oosevelt's horse was shot under 
him that day. This i> a mistake. Several officers' horses 
were shot while their owners were mounted on them 
Uefm-e the day was over, Imt Roosevelt's was not one of 
these. The animal was hit by a })iece of a shell, but the 
wound was very slight, lie is now en jo'S'ing well-earned 
rest and pampered luxury in the colonel's stables at 
Oyster Bay, Long Island. 

The l)ar!)ed-wire fenc(> was a bad place. It stopped 
191 



THE STORY OF THE EOUGH RIDERS. 

Colonel Koosevelt and it stopped tlie men who -were com- 
ing after liim. Before that they had straggled along 
separately and slowly. They could not dash. The hill 
was too rough, and they were too tired, and the weather 
was too hot for them to make a wild rush and get there 
quick. They went up shiwly and laboriously. It was 
mighty hard work — it Avoiild Imve been mighty hard 




M 




fe^"^'^ 



.-/ 



even if the men at the top of the }-.^ ^^ '- "V^ 

hill in the trenches had not been .""^-/^ V 



1?^ 



pouring steel death messengers V "*\^ 
doAvn at them with desperate »-'^ \ 

earnestness. The ascent they 
were making was not military. 
They luul no right, according to 

the ideas of tacticians, to go u]» ihat hill as they did, 
so long as they were not l)acked up by artillery. But 
they struggled along without any military formation 
until they reached this barbed-wire fence. The first men 
who liad wire nippers cut it as quickly as they could, 
but the pause had been long enough to allow^ other men 
to come up, until they were bundled there, and this 
offered the Spaniards a l)etter chance for shooting than 

192 



THE CIIAKC.K OF SAN JUAN. 

llicv had liatl lictorc 1 licv took adNaiitaiic of il. 'Ilicro 
were as uiauv iiicii of" our iH\aiiii('iil hit in llial liiiddlc! 
there as were hil in all the places else (»ii the hill ])nt 
tog-ether. 

As soon as lloosovelt, now disinouiited, had ])assed tlu; 
liai"lted-\vii-(' 1'eiiee he said the only harsh thiiii;' which 
he said to his men during the entire canij)aigii. lie 
turned around and shouted back at the crowd who were 
toiling along after hiiu: 

" If any uian runs I'll shoot him myself." 

It hnrt the men to hear liim say snch a thing, for 
there was no one there who had the slightest thought 
of running. They felt better a moment after when he 
added, tactf nlly : 

" And I won't have to shoot any of my own men 
either," but he was sorry he had said anything of the 
kind, and they were sorry they had heard him, although 
they all realized that when a man is laboring nnder such 
excitement as Koosevelt was at that moment, it is im- 
possible for him to ])ick and choose his words as he would 
if he were in a drawing-room, or even in a military camp. 
At any rate, of conrse, no one ran and so Roosevelt did 
not have to shoot anybody. 

Perha])s it is not (piite accurate for me to call this part 
of the battle the '' Charge np San Juan Hill," for this 
hill was not properly a ])art of San J nan Hill. It was a 
little preceding hill, and between it and San Juan Hill 
proper was a slight de])ression containing a shallow pond 
of water. At the top of this first hill were some large 
sngar kettles, so the regiment named it " Kettle Hill," 
so that in speaking of it they conld differentiate between 
13 193 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

it and San Juan Hill. Here the Eongli Riders put in 
what was, by all odds, the hardest part of their fighting, 
and lost far more men than they did after they began to 
ascend the eminence after which the battle is named. 
The bullets flew like bees around those kettles and like 
bees they were very busy. But they were not gathering 
honey. They were spilling blood. jSTot less than a 
dozen of the Rough Riders went down here, and several 
were killed outright. It is said that the fire slacked 
up slightly after our men reached the top of this first 
hill, and that the Spaniards began to evacuate their main 
trenches without waiting for us to come farther. I 
could easily devote a chapter to the little incidents which 
happened at this very part of the charge. But I will 
limit myself to one. 

Captain " Bucky " O'Neill was killed. He had led 
his troop with great gallantry so far. It will be remem- 
bered that he was the Rough Rider who so bravely 
risked his life at Daiquiri in an effort to save the drown- 
ing troopers of the Tenth Cavalry, who had fallen off 
the skeleton pier. 

0'K"eiirs death was thus described by his first ser- 
geant. 

" O'lSTeill directed us to march at intervals of twelve 
feet. 

" ' There will be fewer of you hurt.' 

" We went north and then down into the sunken 
road. It was terrible hot down there, but it was much 
worse Avhen we got in the open field. Bullets from 
the blockhouse and from the trenches swept down upon 
us constantly. AVe came to a barbed-wire fence; it 

194 



THE CIIAKGE OF SAN JIAN. 

looked ;is il it were ^^oiiii; to stop ii>, l)cc;iii>c toi- some 
reason iKtiic ol us wlio rcudicd it tir>t Imd wire iiipiicrs, 
but \\(' l>c;it it down with the luitts ot' oiir carliiiio, :md 
scrainlilcd o\cr tlic prosti'atc wii'cs. 

'' 'riicii we lay down and tired, Imt OWeill >tood up 
straiglil, and told iis not to get rati le<l, Imt to lire steady. 
and kill a Spaniard every time we sliot. Then we made 
a rush. Troop K came up hehind us, and we lay down 
again to tire, but O'Neill walked cheerfully \\\) and 
down the line talkinii,' to us. Lieutenant Jvanc cried out: 

'' ' Get down, O'Neill. There's no use exposing your- 
self in that way.' 

" O'Neill turned and laughed, and said : 

"'Aw'-w! The Spanish bullet has not l^een moulded 
that can hit me ! ' 

" And tlien one hit liim in the mouth and kille(| him." 

Roosevelt led his men down the little descent at the 
other side of Kettle Hill, still waving his sabre and shout- 
ing encouragingly at them. Just as they appiMaeheil 
the edge gf the little pond something — either a bullet 
or a piece of shell — struck him on the back of the hand 
and made a slight wound. That moment Roosevelt was 
the happiest man in Cuba. lie was mighty glad of the 
wound and, incidentally, pi'obahly, mighty glad that it 
was no worse. 

He waved his liand proudly in the air so that the men 
who AV(>re near enough to him could see the idood. and 
shouted : 

" I've got it, boys! I've got it! " 

Then he turned to a wounded man who was not far 
away, and <'ried, laughingly: 

195 



THE STOKY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

" You needn't be so damned prond." 

Through the water of the pond lie waded with great 
strides. Once he stumbled and almost fell, but recov- 
ered himself quickly and kept on. By this time the 
inspiration of the Rough Riders' charge had infected the 
whole army, and half a dozen regiments were si)ringing 
forward all along the line. The Spaniards saw this and 
were frightened. There was never, for a moment, any 
donl)t as to the ultimate outcome of the fight, for the 
Americans greatly outnundx'red theii- adversaries; but 
there probably was never a place whei-e in so short a time 
so many bullets were fired at so few men, as w^ere poured 
down at the Rough Riders during their charge. But 
they never flinched. I have been told by a Sjianish 
officer that the Spaniards were so lost in their surprise 
that they forgot to fire, but if any forgot to fire we did 
not miss their bullets. Our men were al)le to get along 
without them. 'I'he whole thing, however, seemed in- 
credible. i>y this time the men had separated again as 
they were at first, and each man was ])icking his own 
route Avithout making any pretence at keeping alignment 
or doing anything but get up that hill, firing a shot oc- 
casionally when he felt that he could afford the time to 
stop and shoot, which w^as not often. 

The work was slow — painfully slow. By this time 
the combination of heat, exertion, and excitement had 
made the men feel as if they had already done a pretty 
hard day's work. They struggled and puffed. Once 
in a while one of them would " get it." The effect of 
the bullets on that upward slope w^as curious. Some- 
times — when a man was hit in an outstretched arm, for 

190 



TIIK CI I AEG E OF SAN JUAM. 

iiistiiiicc, or ill the cxI I'ciiic outer s1i()Ii1<1<t, he wuiild 
wliii'l |i;irl of the \v;iy around hcforc lie fell. lint fall 
lie would, and siiu-e 1 have seen men fall with Alauser 
bullets in them, I shall never feel tliat anyone else I see 
go down really does the task (*oni])letely. The shock 
of snch tremendously high-speed projectiles seems to 
completely paralyze the motor nerves — the nerves which 
transmit the impulse of contraction and expansion from 
the hrain to the muscles — and thus every muscle be- 
comes instantaneously and completely limp. The men 
went down, literally, like wet rags. Some of them re- 
gained their control over their muscles almost at once, 
and got u]) again, either to go on toward those spitti:ig 
ritle-j)its at the top of the hill, or else to drop back again 
tf) the ground from the pain of their wounds. Not one 
wounded man, so many people who were there hav(> told 
me, even in his agonies, tried to walk or ei-awl h-Ack to- 
wards the rear. 

The men took theii* wounds as (dieerfully at San -I nan 
as they had taken them at (iuasimas. I have talked 
with the two first-aid men who probably did more work 
among the Rough Riders that day than any others, and 
they t(dl me the same story of '" no complaints " from 
the wounded. Xevei" in any l)attle in any land cnuld 
the men involved have shown a more admirable spirit. 
^N^ever could they have shown an eye more single to the 
accom})lishment of their duty and moi-e l)lin(l to their 
own pains and ]iardslii])s. 

Up, up, up, they went — slowly, painfully, straining 
every nerve, cracking every muscl(\ The sun beat on 
their heads and made them faint, but valoi' beat in their 

197 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

hearts and made tliem strong. It may be because I liad 
been with the Rough Riders when I met my own disaster 
that I feel so strongly on the sid)jeet, but it seems to me 
this moment as if I woidd rather have seen that regiment, 
crawling like warlike ants np that hill from which the 
little deadly spikes of tire were sending death at them, 
than to have seen any other sight in all the world. 

John Foster, of B Troop, was the only American 
soldier wlio came near enongli to the Spaniards to make 
a hand-to-hand fight necessary. ITe killed one with 
the bntt of his rifle. 

The trenches at tli(> toj) of tlic hill were literally full 
of dead enemies. They had lind all the advantages of 
position and intrenchments, bnt, notwithstanding reports 
to the contrai-y, they were greatly ()utnund)ered, and 
knew from the beginning when they saw onr nu^n start- 
ing in swarms out of the woods that the battle coidd have 
only one result. It does not detract from, but rather 
adds, to the glory of the fighting done by our men to give 
the devil his due, and say that the soldiers of Spain 
showed a dogged courage and grim determination to kill 
as many Yankees as they could as they hopelessly fired, 
fired, fired, from their trenches up there — a bravery 
which was only exceeded in its glory by the dogged ])er- 
sistence of our own men who went up against them. 

The objective point of Roosevelt's charge was a block- 
house. Its nasty little loopholes had been spitting fire 
at him and killing his men dui'ing the entire weary, 
dreadful clind). There were five troopers with him 
when he reached it. IMost of the Spaniards who had 
occupied it had been killed. All of the others, except 

198 



THE CHARGE OF SAN J CAN. 

one, liad run onci' Io the rii;]it wlicii tlicv s;i\v (»ni' iiicii 
getting- so near that li()])o was g(;ii('. IJut this one Span- 
iard stayed where he was, and with a grini, sot face, con- 
tinued to fire. Some one called on him to surrender. 
He answered with another shot. Koosevelt's r(n'<»lver 
was in his hand. lie raised it witli deliherate aim and 
killed the Spaniard. Afterwards he sai(] that he was 
sorry the man had not been an .Vmcrican. 

" It was a pity to kill so hrave a man as lie," he said. 

But the work was not over. On the ne.xt liill of tlic 
little chain, over to the right, the Spaniards who liad run 
away from the one which Roosev(dt now held, Avere with 
the men who had been there all the time in tlie trenches. 
They must be driven back. A little confci'cnco was 
lield, and Koosevelt said he would take that hill t<K). 
Tt was agreed that this further advanee couM only be 
made at the expense of many lives, and there w(n'e those 
among our oiRcers who did not think the game was worth 
the candle. Roosevelt was not a half-way soldier any 
more than he had been a half-way police coinniissiovu'r, 
or any more than he is now a half-way governor. Tie 
made up his mind to finish the job he liad so well Itegun, 
and turned to the men who were around him. 

" Who'll follow me? " he demandc.l. 

With that he jumped out. For a moment it looked 
as if the Iiough Kiders might have had enough, for only 
five men sprang in behind him. Three of these f(dl at 
once. Roosevelt stood there with but two li\ing fol- 
lowers. He went back. 

"T thought you would follow me," he said, terribly 
grieved. 

199 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

" We'll follow you to hell," someone cried out. '' AVe 
didn't hear you, colonel." 

He sprang out once more and there were three hun- 
dred men behind him this time. 

The spirit of the Spaniards was gone. The terrible 
Americans were after them again. The task was not a 
hard one. They fled in terror. 

And Roosevelt and his men were on the position 
which they occupied until the end of the fighting. 



900 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE MEN WHO DIED. 

There are few men in AVilliam O'j^eill's troop whose 
eyes do not fill when they think of him. O'Xeill was 
the biggest, handsomest, laziest officer in the regiment. 
His good-natnre knew no bounds. He tried to keep np 
a strict military discipline among his men, bnt they did 
more to keep it Tip than he did, simply becanse they knew 
he wanted them to, and becanse they knew that he wonld 
never be harsh enongh to them to demand it. They had 
the greatest desire to make his troop the model troop of 
the regiment, and des]Hte the free and easy, open-hoai'tcd 
way in which CNeill commanded it, it was cc^-tainly om^ 
of the best. He was always known as " Bncky." 

'No man had ever felt more certain tluit he would not 
be killed, or even hurt in battle, than O'Neill did. Ken- 
neth Harris, who was O'lSTeilFs bunk-mate, says that the 
captain had decided to remain in Cuba after the war was 
over. Poor captain! he did remain in Cuba, 1»ut not in 
the way he intended to. 

No man could have been more unseltish lliaii OWCill 
was. He did everything for his men and very little 
for himself. He rather hated to have them salute him 
than otherwise. He always dreaded tlie ]iossil)ility of 
taking advantage of his rank. 

Nothing could have been finei- than the way he 

203 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

jumped off the skeleton pier at Daiquiri in his efforts 
to save the drowning troopers. lie risked his life with- 
out a second's hesitation, and laughed about it after- 
wards. He was always saying that nobody could kill 
him, and said that he couldn't drown any more than he 
could die by Spanish l)ullets. He didn't drown. 

When we got to Siboney, on that never-to-be-forgotten 
night of June 23d, it rained, as I have already said in 
another chapter. All the men were tired. The cook 
of O'Neill's troop was especially worn out, and 
Bucky seeing it, went up to him and told him that he 
didn't want any supper, and should not eat it if he 
cooked it. 

" Why? " asked the amazed trooper. 

"It's a damn shame to ask you to cook," said Bucky; 
" you're too tired." 

Captain Bucky O'Xoill had the best supper iu Tuba 
that night. 

Later, after he had lain down with Harris under their 
dog tent, he went somewhere, and dragged out a canvas 
waoon cover. It was raining pitchforks, and Harris' 
bedding was soaked. Harris protested at O'Xeill's us- 
ing the few moments of possible sleep in this way. 
O'lSTeill ai-rangcd the wagon cover so that it kept Harris 
perfectly dry, and replied: 

" Don't imagine that I do it on your account, you 
irritable l)rute, and stop swearing or I'll put you 
under arrest. I want to keep the bedding dry, that's 
all." 

Then he disappeared again. When he returned he 
shoved something like a ]iillow under Harris's head. It 

204 



TllK MK.N WHO ltlKl». 

was, probably, a small ciisliiwii h'oin oiic ol the iia\al 
laiinclu's. Harris kicked again, aiul JJiu-ky said: 

'* Shut up, you incorrigiblu scoundrel. I've got one 
myself. Now go to sleep." 

]Iarris reached over in the dark, and I'cll a coiled car- 
tridge belt and a canteen under O'Aeiirs head. 

It is said that he was known as " IJucd-cy " because 
there iiexcr was«a game so hard that he would hesitate 
to " buck u]) " against it. 

J)ucky cond)ined his gand)ling propensities and his 
})atriotisni one day in a renuirk which will, probal)ly, go 
down into history. Some one was saying that the Span- 
iards greatly outnumbered us, and that it was a terrible 
gamble to send our troops into the fever-stricken country 
against them. 

*' Is it?" said Ihu'ky. 'MVho would not gand)le for 
a new star in the Hag? " 

But Bucky's belief in his own luck was serene and 
unchangeable. He had so many times escaped death 
at the hands of liorder ruffians, that it was perfectly 
natural for him to stand up while others were lying down 
at San Juan, and to shoot when they called upon him to 
take cover. 

" The Spanish 1>ullet has not Ihhmi moulded that can 
kill me." 

Then it Avas, as I have said before, that a Spainsh 
bullet, which had been moulded, struck him in the 
mouth and killed him. 

He Avas born in St. Louis in ISGO. ITe was graduated 
from the ISTational Law School at Washington. He 
wanted to go into the army, and was appointed a pay- 

205 



THE STOEY OF THE ROUGH RIDEKS. 

master, but his commission did not come along soon 
enough to suit his impatient nature, and he went to 
Arizona. He became a successful newspaper man, con- 
ducting the Arizona Miner, the Phoenix Herald, and 
Hoof and Horn, with protit. He gave up journalism 
when he was elected judge of Yavapai County. He 
served three terms as sheriff of this county, and was 
known as its best armed man, and readiest shot. At this 
period he was Bret Harte's ideal of Western desperado. 
No matter how hopeless the circumstances might be, he 
never permitted his voice to rise above a quiet drawl, 
and his calm blue eyes showed never a suggestion of 
excitement. He was the kind of man who might shoot 
another if it seemed at all advisable, but if he had ever 
been called upon to do it he would have done it coolly 
and with perfect courtesy. " I beg your pardon, but 
I've got to kill you," might very well have been his 
formula. 

Three times he was a Congressional candidate, but he 
was always on the wrong side of the political fence and 
was always badly l^eaten. Finally he was elected Mayor 
of Prescott. When they came to count up the votes, 
they found that his rival had received only one. 

O'Neill afterwards admitted tliat he had east that 
himself. 

" I could see," said he, " that the poor fellow was going 
to feel right bad if he didn't get any vote at all." 

AVlien the war lu'oke out, he got his troop together 
so quickly that President Mclvinley sent him a personal 
letter of thanks. 

He left a charming wife V)ehind liim, and during the 
300 



THE MEN WHO DIED. 

days before his death, while the nicii were lyiiii;' in llie 
trenches, cut oft" from mail coininiiiiicalioiis witli any- 
where, he wrote to her every day. 

"1 never failed to yet when 1 was away from liome," 
he said, " and while 1 feel pretty certain that she'll never 
get the letters, I'm going to write 'em just the same." 

So much has been written about Hamilton Fish that, 
perhaps, I have no right to devote much space to the 
death of this brave young New- Yorker here. Fish always 
craved excitement and always managed to get it in some 
way, and the manner in Avliich he sought it, particularly 
when he was at home in ISTew York (Mty, was sometimes 
criticised. But no one ever said, in my hearing, that 
"" Ham " Fish was ever worse than thoughtless and im- 
pulsive. He harmed no one but himself, and was the 
idol of his acquaintances. He made an ideal soldier, 
and went to his death with cool and cheerful heroism. 

He was one of the few men I have ever known of who 
expected to be killed before they entered their fatal bat- 
tles. Fish felt perfectly certain that he was going to 
die. The morning of the fight he insisted on having an 
especiall}' good breakfast, because he said that it would 
be his last breakfast. He had toted a can of tomatoes 
all the way from Dai([uiri to Siboney, and his hnnkic 
was inclined to be economical in the eating thereof. 

'" Oh, let's have some more," said Fish, " it's my last 
breakfast." 

He was transferred to L Troop the night before the 
regiment sailed from Tampa because he wanted to tight 
under Captain Cajiron. They wei'e iiol twenty teet 
apart when they were shot, Capron made him sergeant 

207 



THE STORY OF THE HOUGH KIDERS. 

of the squad from Muskogee, Indiau Territory. Those 
fellows loved hiui. 

^[asou Mitchell paid a pretty tribute to him, when 
he told of his love for animals. Anything that breathed 
and was dumb, appealed to the very best that there was 
in him. At San Antonio, he ^vas given one of the worst 
animals in that collection of wild and wicked brutes. 
This beast was unbroken, and had been shunned even by 
the most ex})ert cow-])unchers in the outtit. Day after 
day Fish worked at him Avitli unvarying and })atient 
kindness. At first the animal threw him, but by the 
time they said good-by to each other, when the horses 
were left behind at Tampa, he would follow Fish around 
like a dog, and Fish was beginning to teach him tricks. 
In the meantime the animal's disposition had not 
changed in the least toward other men. lie was quite 
as vicious with everyone but Fish, as he had been at 
the start. 

Just before we started up the hill he threw away a new 
pair of shoes, saying that he would never need them any 
more. lie had some extra underwear, too, and an extra 
shirt. These he gave to some of his companions, re- 
marking cheerfully, as he did sa, that he wouldn't need 
them after the l)attle, for dead men did not often change 
their clothes. 

I have already said that his body has been removed 
from CHd)a, and now lies at (Harrison's, New York. 

During the stay at San Antonio, Fish saw a crowd of 
men surrounding two fighting dogs. lie slouched 
surlily in and stopped the fight. One of the dogs was 
badly hurt, and he took him to his tent. There 

208 



THE MEN AVIIO DIED. 

lie bandaged his wounds, and gave liini his own sup- 
per. 

While I am writing of the men who died, it pleases 
me to briefly mention the patriotism of the father of one 
of them. lie was E. G. Norton, of Enstis, l"'l<)ri<la. 
lie had two sons, Edward and Oliver, in B Troo}). Ed. 
was a corporal; Oliver, who had been a medical student 
in Chicago before he joined, was killed. His father 
heard of it and at once sent down to Santiago his son, 
Gould G. In the letter which he sent with liini, to 
Captain McClintock, he said: 

" This is my third son. I send him to you to take the 
place of my son Oliver, who was killed. It is religion 
with the j^ortons to serve their country." 

It is needless to say that E. G. Norton was a Union 
soldier. 

Gerard Merrick Ives, of Troop K, was one of the men 
who were left at Tampa. He was taken sick there with 
typhoid, and brought North to New York, where he 
died. He was the son of the sculptor who made the 
famous statues of Sherman and Trumbull, now at Wash- 
ington. 

Out in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a little woman received 
a })arcel five or six weeks after the battle of Las 
Guasimas. In it w^ere all that she will ever see again 
that Captain Capron, her gallant husband, carried into 
that memorable fight. The parcel contained a dirty 
gray campaign hat and a pair of shoulder straps. Both 
were blood-stained. They wen^ wrapjied in such torn 
fragments of paper as could be found near the field 
hospital where he died, and ai-ound the whoh' a })icce 
14 209 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

of a soldier's tunic was tied with a strand of Spanish 
wire. 

The dead on the iiehl of San Juan were buried ahnost 
where they felL The field is dotted with little tomb- 
stones, erected by General Wood, and as Governor of 
Santiago he keeps a patrol constantly on the field to look 
after them, night and day. 



/«n 




210 



CHAPTER XII. 

AFTER THE FIGHTING 
WAS OVER. 

A\'itli the clays in the trenches -wliich followed the day 
of the eliarg'e, the fighting ceased. AVliether our men had 
" got enongh " or not, the}^ had had all there was to be 
had, and they had fought as hard, and fought as well, and 




Urinding their Coffee. 



fought as fearlessly, as the most saugiiiiic of them ex- 
pected the regiment to tight when that regimental cry 
was invented in San Antonio. 

The days in the trenches up to the time of the sur- 
render were weary ones. There was the Same old suc- 
cession of tropical rains and burning suns. Tliere was 
digging to do, and there were sanitary paius to tnke Avhich 
made the men wish lliat the monotony of armistices 
would cease, and the variety and exciteuient of battle be- 

211 



THE STOKi' OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

gin again. ]N^o one was ever, for a moment, comfortable 
except by accident. The rations were scanty and bad. 
If the men had coffee they had to beat the beans up on 
stones with the butts of their revolvers or with other 
stones so that they would cook. Tobacco Avas not to be 
had at any price, although there was plenty of it out on 
some of the transports. 

All kinds of rumors were afloat. It was said that the 
Spaniards were being starved out, and that tliey couhl 
fight no more; indeed the news that came to the men 
from occasional refugees was sufficiently definite on this 
sidiject of starvation to make it certain. The men had 
fought with the Spaniards, though, and had achieved a 
Avholesome respect for them which made them think that 
all the truces and all the talk of surrender were used to 
cloak a Spanish trick of some kind, and they had little 
belief tliat the active fighting of the campaign was over. 

Already the news of Shafter's famous telegram to 
AVashington had been told and retold in the camp. He 
did not worry and fret about his " thin lines," and tell 
the President that lie might have to retire five miles on 
the morning of July second, just after our army had 
made one of the most gallant and successful charges in 
the history of warfare, without the knowledge of the 
private soldiers. It is rarely a commanding general's 
fortune to hide his feelings or his plans from the men 
beneath him. l^o matter how carefully he guards his 
secrets the men in the tents are likely to be discussing 
them before the ink on the paper to which he has com- 
mitted them is dry. And it was so with Shaffer. The 
men in the ranks of the Rough Riders knew that he was 

312 



Al'TKK TIIK KI(;iri'IN<i WAS OVKK. 

worried mid lli;il lie llmiii^lil seriously cil" retront. Tt. 
was the men wIki IiikI iimde the lii;ht, il \\:is the men who 
had hh'd and died in it. and il was the men wh.t were 
Hot afraich The thought of i^oini:' hack al'ter what thev 
had Won, hHed them with distress and shame. Thex- had 
lieeii the sntlerers at the stai't, and if anythinu worse 
than what liad ali'eady ha])i)ene(l slioidd (•<niie again, 
they woidd a sccoik] time he snlTei'eis. It was at this 
time that the private soldiers in the Rough Kiders began 
to feel like jeering when the name of the major-general 
commanding was spoken in theii- hearing — a feeling 
whicdi still exists in the hearts of most of them. 

I have been told that I have no right to criticise Gen- 
eral Shafter, because I did not see the things for which 
I have criticised him in ])rivate and on the lectnre plat- 
form, r was lying ow tlie liospital ship when most of 
them oeenrred, hut 1 was not lying on the hos])ital ship 
when he left the artillery and the and)nlances at Tamita 
— I was there. 1 was not on the hospital ship when he 
disregarded the advice and the carefully laid plans of 
the navy, and landed at the wrong ])lace — I was thci-e. J 
was not lying on the hos]Mtal ship when he sent the whole 
American army ashore ovci' a pier whicdi could have been 
boarded in two iiours bnt wasn't — I was there and went 
over it myself. And because I was on the hosj^ital shi]) 
during the events that bdlowed. 1 know, perhaps, more 
about them than I would haxc known if 1 had been at 
the front. J\Iy acquaintance in the army and among 
the correspondents who were watching the army, Avas 
very large, and because of the fact that 1 was wounded 
and ob\iously out (d the business of the transmission of 

215 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

news, my acquaintances spoke very freely to me. It 
may be that they spoke more freely to me because the 
doctors thought that I was dying, and so they may have 
felt that they could unburden their minds to me and give 
themselves relief through me, without danger, on the 
theory that I would presently die, and dead men tell no 
tales. But, at any rate, they did come to me and they 
did tell me what was going on, and I know they were 
not lying to me. 

IMan after man poured tales of Shafter's incompetence 
and Shafter's intense and unalterable egotism into my 
ears, and I worried about the American army. And I 
had cause to worry. There were transport captains who 
came aboard the " Olivette " and said that they had tons 
of provisions on their ships and could not get orders to 
take them oif. At the same time news from shore told 
of the terrible sufferings of the troops for lack of food. 
There were surgeons and hospital men who came aboard 
and told how the hospitals on shore were handica]ippd 
by lack of medical supplies and orders which would en- 
force good sanitary conditions. On the " Olivette " we 
did not suffer — we had a surplus that they were welcome 
to. Right here it is well to pay a little tribute to Major 
Appel, who commanded the hospital ship '' Olivette," on 
which I was as comfortable as any man could be in that 
climate, with a big hole in him and a part of his spine 
smashed up and thrown into the Caribbean Sea. Appel 
was not dearly loved by the men under him and was, 
unquestionably, a martinet in some ways. But what he 
needed, he got, and I fancy that he got it because he did 
not propose to let his superior officers handicap him at 

216 



AFTKK THE FKillTINd WAS <)\KK. 

the expense of the wouikKmI incii on his ship. Jt is 
certain that through his eli'orts and the generosity of Mr. 
W. li. Hearst, the owner and editor of the Xew York 
Journal, who brought -over, in some of liis boats, fre- 
([uciit cargoes of ice and other supplies fi'din .Imiiaica for 
the sufferers on the " Olivette,"" purchased at his own 
expense and given free, witliout chiinis on the govern- 
ment, the men on our boat got along as well as they 
could be expected to get along in the distressing circum- 
stances wdiich surroTindcd them. 

But what Appel did was very different from what the 
heads of the hospitals which were more directly uudei' 
Shaft er's supervision on shore were able to do. 

And here it is pleasant to place another record to the 
list of the Rough Rider's achievements. The first case 
of yellow fever developed during the night of June 25th. 
Burr j\[cIntosh was the victim. I have already spoken 
of him in connection with the time ]~»receding the marcli 
to Siboney. When we were taken down to the shore I 
have told how we were ])ut into a curious little shanty. 
It should have been burned by somebody's orders, but 
had been permitted to remain standing despite the fact 
that Siboney had l)een known as a yellow fever nest in 
season. The navy had burned every building at Guan- 
tanamo as a precaution against fever infection, but 
Shafter had let these little shanties stand. We were 
taken into this one. It was afterwai-ds lenriied that it 
had actually been used as a yellow fever liosi)ital during 
previous epidemics, and it is not at all im]U'obable that 
it contributed the first germs Mhich afterwards infected 
the whole army in Tuba, ^rclntosh's was the first case. 

217 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

Many came after it with a rapidity wliieli was not less 
than startling. 

I remember distinctly the day when a correspondent 
came ont and whispered confidentially to me that there 
w^as a case of yellow fever ashore, and added that the 
story of it must be kept deathly qniet. I held it as a 
secret. Bnt within tweh'e honrs it was no secret, for 
there was not one case but a dozen, and the grim story of 
suffering and death from foes other than the Spaniards 
began to be telegraphed to all parts of the world. 

There was only one man who rose to the occasion after 
the military situation became such that any man could 
rise to it. Of course, before the Spaniards surrendered it 
w^ould have been useless to talk about the withdrawal of 
our men from this dreadful danger that trembled threat- 
eningly over them in each of the miasmatic mists that 
rose by night; that shook its dreadful yellow fists at them 
from every thicket; that clasped their necks with baby 
arms when they helped the children of the Chiban refu- 
gees to go back home from El Caney; that threw out 
grasping tentacles from every building that had been 
allowed to stand after the arrival of the invading army. 

But after the surrender came and the war was over, 
at least in that part of Cuba, there was no disposition on 
the part of the commanding general to take the troops 
away from the menace of the fever. The shanties at 
Siboney from which the plague had, in all human prob- 
ability, started, w^ere burned at last on the order of Gen- 
eral Miles, but still the army was uselessly held there 
to suffer and to die, at the mercy of a foe whom bullets 
would not reach as they had reached the vanquished 

218 



AFTKIi TlIK KICIITINC WAS oVKIi. 

S|i;iiii:ii'(ls, ;iii(l which Immhl iiiicc;isiiii;|\- l)\- night, l)y 
(hiv, without iihii'iiis, lull ;il\\:iys thci'c mid :il\\;iys wiii- 
uiiii;' victories. 

It was at this \h>\\\\ thai the rccdrd-iiiakiiii:- itciiius of 
the reginiont agaiii appeared and imhiccd ('ohiiid Uoose- 
velt to viohlte all inililai'v ladc-. lie had \i(>hitcd thciii 
once before when he h^l the chai'gc at San dnan, and 
that had turned ont well. Perhaps lie liad gotten int(» 
the good liahit of doing the thing uhicdi was obviously 
right without waiting for the sign from superior officers 
who were obviously wrong. >\t any rate, at this point, 
on his own responsibility, he sent to General Shafter the 
following, and now famous, letter, which A\'as dated 
August 1st: 

"Major-Gen. Shafter : 

" Sir — In a meeting of the general and medical officers called 
by you at the palace this morning, we were all, as you know, 
unanimous in view of what should be done with the army. To 
keep us here, in the opinion of every oflficer commanding a 
division or a brigade, will simply involve the destruction of 
thousands. There is no possible reason for not shippinji' jirac- 
ticalh' the entire command North at once. Yellow fever cases 
are very few in the cavalry division, where I command one of 
the two brigades, and not one true case of yellow fever has 
occurred in this division, except amoiifj the men sent to the 
ho.spital at Siboney, where they have, I believe, conti'acted it. 
But in this division there have been 1,500 cases of malarial 
fever. Not a man has died from it; but the whole command 
is so weakened and shattered as to be ripe for dyiny like rotten 
sheep when a real yellow-fever ejiidemic, instead of a fake e))i- 
demic like the present, sti'ikes us, as it is bound to if we stay 
here at the height of the sickly season, August and the begin- 
ninjr of September. Quarantine against malarial fever is uuicb 
like quarantine against the toothache. All of us are certain, 

219 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

as soon as the authorities at Washington fully appreciate the 
conditions of the army, to be sent home. If we are kejit here 
it will, in all human probability, mean an appalling disaster, 
for the surgeons here estimate that over half the army, if kept 
here during the sickly season, will die. This is not only ter- 
rible from the standpoint of the individual lives lost, but it 
means ruin from the standpoint of the military efficiency of 
the flower of the American army, for the great bulk of the 
regulars are here with you. The sick list, large though it is, 
exceeding 4,000, affords but a faint index of the debilitation of 
the army. Not 10 per cent, are fit for active work. Six weeks 
on the North Maine coast, for instance, or elsewhere whei-e the 
yellow-fever germ cannot possibly propagate, would make us 
all as fit as fighting cocks, able as we are and eager to take a 
leading part in the great campaign against Havana in the fall, 
even if we are not allowed to try Porto Rico. We can be 
moved North, if moved at once, with absolute safety to the 
country, although, of course, it would have been inflnitel}" 
better if we had been moved North or to Porto Eico two weeks 
ago. If there were any object in keeping us here we Avould 
face yellow fever with as nnxch indifference as we face bullets. 
But there is no object in it. Tlie four immune regiments 
ordered here are sufficient to garrison the city and surround- 
ing towns, and there is absolutely nothing for us to do here, 
and there has not been since the city suri-endered. It is im- 
l)0ssible to move into the interior. Every shifting of camp 
doubles the sick rate in our present weakened condition, and, 
anyhow, the interior is rather worse than the coast, as I liave 
found by actual reconnoissance. Our present camps are as 
healthy as any camps at this end of the island can be. I write 
only because I cannot see our men, who have fought so bravely 
and who have endured extreme hardsliip and danger so un- 
complainingly, go to destruction Avithout striving, so far as 
lies in me, to avert a doom as fearful as it is unnecessary and 
undeserved. 

" Yours respectfully, 

' ' Theodore Roosevelt, 
"Colonel Commanding First Brigade." 
220 



AFTER THE FIGHTING WAS OVER. 

This had the desired etleet. J list as the othei' ollieers 
had followed Udosevelt at Sail -Iiiaii in the attack on tiie 
Spaniards, tliev now followed him in the e(|iiall_y well- 
oonsidercd effort to i-etreat from the fever. Koosovclt's 
letter was scarcely cold when the lollowiiio' " round 
rohin " was sent in : 

''We, tlie im(lei'sii;ii('(l oilirers coiniuaiMlin^- the various 
brigades, divisions, etc., of tlie Army of ( )ceu|)atioii in C'ul)a, 
are of the nnaninious o])iiiiou that the army should he at once 
taken out of the Island of Cuba and sent to some |)oint on the 
Northern sea-coast of the United States; that it can \n'. done 
without danger to the people of the United States ; that yellow 
fever in the army at present is not epidenne ; tliat there are only 
a few sporadic cases, but that the army is disabled ]»y malarial 
fever to the extent that its efficiency is destroyed, and that it is 
in a condition to be practically entirely destroyed by an epi- 
demic of yellow fever, which is sure to come in the near future. 
We know from the reports of competent officers and from per- 
sonal observations that the army is unal)le to move into the 
interior, and that there are no facilities for such a move if at- 
tempted, and that it could not be attempted until too late. 
Moreover, the best medical authorities of the island say that 
with our present equipment we could not live in the interior 
during tlie rainy season without losses from malarial fever, 
which is almost as deadly as yellow fever. This army nmst be 
moved at once, or perisli. As the army can be safely moved 
now, the persons responsible for preventing such a move will 
be responsible for the unnecessary loss of many thousands of 
lives. Our opinions are the result of careful personal observa- 
tion, and they are also based on the unanimous opinion of our 
medical oflicers with the ai'my, and who under.stood the situa- 
tion absolutely. 

"J. Ford Kent, 

" Major-General Volunteers. 
"Connnanding First Division, Fifth Corps. 
231 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

"J. C. Bates, 
" Major-General Volunteers, 
"ComniHiiding Provisional Division. 

"Adna E. Chaffee, 
' ' Major-General Volunteers, 
" Commanding Third Brigade, Second Division. 

' ' Samuel S. Sumner, 
' ' Brigadier-General Volunteers, 
" Commanding First Brigade, Cavalry. 

" Will Ludlow, 
" Brigadier-General Volunteers, 
*' Conmianding First Brigade, Second Division. 

"Adelbert Ames, 
" Brigadier-General Volunteers, 
"Commanding Third Brigade, First Division. 

"Leonard Wood, 

" Brigadier-General Volunteers, 

" Commanding the City of Santiago. 

"Theodore Roosevelt, 
" Colonel, Commanding Second Cavalry Brigade." 

The Associated Press despatch from Santiago which 
folh)we(l this presentation said: 

Major M. W. Wood, the Chief Surgeon of the First Division, 
said : 

"The army must he moved north," adding, with emphasis, 
"or it will be unable to move itself." 

General Ames has sent the following cable message to Wash- 
ington : 

"The Hon. Charles H. Allen, Assistant Secretary of the 
Navy : This army is incapable, because of sickness, of march- 
ing anywhere, except to the transports. If it is ever to return 
to the United States it must do so at once." 



AFTER THE FIOHTlXd WAS OVER. 

To a correspoutU'iit, of the Associated Press General Ames 
said: "If I had the power 1 would put the lucu on tlic li-aiis- 
ports at once and ship them North without fui-tlur mdcis. 1 
am eonlidtMit sueli action would ultimately I>e approvi^l. A 
full list of the sick would mean a copy of the roster of every 
company here." 

And so th(^ army was started North. Providence 
alone knows when it would have heen started if Roose- 
velt liad not sent Lis letter. Its condition certainly 
would not have been so plain to the autlioiMties at Wash- 
ington who were depending on Shafter foi- their news of 
it, if Ivoosevelt had not acted. And so I say that the 
Rongh Eiders again added to their record, when Roose- 
velt sent in his letter. 



223 



CHAPTER XIIL 

LAST DAYS IN CUBA. 

I am afraid that the chapter whicli has preceded this 
has been a dull one. The deeds of the Kongh Riders 
were so fast and furious while fighting was going on, and 
their whole conduct was so free from the conventionality 
of military usage that to include military reports and 
letters in the story of them seems almost like describing 
the process of making iron girders in a story of a fire, 
because there were some used in the construction of the 
burning building. 

The men were living their strange lives, working hard 
and getting little comfort from their work. When the 
armistices and truces were on, they loafed about the 
trenches and kept as cool as they could, which was not 
very cool. AVhen the armistices and truces were off, 
they struggled with the situation as well as they could 
struggle with it, and sometimes they took a shot at some 
impertinent Spaniard who made the serious mistake of 
putting his head up within range. 

ISTot a day passed but some one of them complained in 
the morning that his l)ones ached, and said it with such 
a pitiful expression of rolling yellow eyeballs that his 
comrades could not fail to know what was the matter 
with him. It was generally about five hours after these 
first complaints that it was necessary to carry the man 

224 



LA8T DAYS IM CUBA. 

jiwiiv to tlio liospitnl, ol'loii ravinp; with fever — yellow 
fever, of eoiirse. 

Notwithstimdiiiu- tlie feeliiii;- of (•(•iileiiipl wliidi the 
C^lbaiis luid eiinied t<U' I lieiiiscKcs in llic minds of llie 
lu>ii_i;ii Riders, and the i;ciier:d (U'sire to jeer whenever a 
Cuban miiforiii, or the poor |iretence at one wliieh was 
])revah'nt, eanie into sii;ht, the men were fiUecl with sjiii- 
pathy tor the pool' hal t'-stai'\'ed ret'iii;ces iiiid I'ccoiiccn 
trados who came to tlieiii for help and l'oo»L 

A ii'i'eat many refugees who had th'd Irom Santiag'o 
when the city was warned that it wonhl he homharded, 
liad gathered at Kl Caiiey. 'Idiey had found litth' that 
was better tlicrc than that which they had known in the 
places they had come from, except the food which the 
poorly provisioned American soldiers had been able to 
give them. There was nothing' that was systematic or 
effective in the efforts made to relieve their distress at 
first. 

A deep gash in a ridge was cnt by the road leading 
to El Caney. This gash was held by the Rough liiders. 
Thousands of Cuban refugees passed along the road on 
their return to Santiago, after the surrender. Th(> men 
had Hot more than half rations, but wlien they saw the 
]ioor (Albans eonung up this trail, they forgot at once 
their eontem])t for the race and their own hunger. They 
gave away their half rations with a reckless indiflFerencc 
as to what the morrow might bring forth. As a matter 
of fact, the morrow brought forth exactly what it might 
have been expected to — nothing. The men suffered 
greater ])i'ivation through tlieii' own gencM'osity at this 
time, than they had at any time liefoi-e through the 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

failure of the Coiiiniissary l)i'})artiiicnt to furnish tlieui 
with supplies. 

They not only gave away their rations, but the}' of- 
fered such personal assistance as they could to the weak- 
ened women and famished children anionii' the refugees. 
Many and uumy a woman, and many and many a child, 
was literally carried through all that territory included 
within the Rough Kiders' houndaries. This work of 
assistance was headed by "Happy Jack" of Arizona. 
Finally Dr. Bob (Jliurch heard of it, and ordered it 
stopped. He realized that the (\ibans were likely to 
transfer fever germs to the American troops if such 
close contact was permitted. He assured Colonel Roose- 
velt that he would not answer for the health of the men 
if they persisted in helping the Cubans. For the first 
time in his life " Happy Jack " gave evidence that he 
realized the existence of religious things. He said to 
Colonel Roosevelt: 

" God wouldn't let a fellow caich yellow fever while 
he was doing a good turn for them kids." 

Of course at this period many of the men were in 
the hospitals and suffering dreadfully. There were mis- 
takes in connection with the Cuban hospitals, as there 
will ])robably always be mistakes in connection with all 
things human. The Rough Riders suffered through 
these mistakes, as other soldiers suffered. Complaints 
of their misfortunes reached ( ^olonel Roosevelt. A man 
went up to him diffidently one day, and saluting, said: 

"I beg your pardon, colonel, but I have just come 
from the hospital ; I wasn't very sick and so I got along 
all right, but there are those among our boys down there 

338 



LAST DAVS IN CIM5A. 

Avlio arc sulTcn'iiig tcrrihly, and I do not think that they 
are getting proper treatnuait. i beg pardon, sir." 

It had been nnderstood for a long time that Cohjnui 
Ivoosevelt did not want to hear complaints. It was his 
theory that the men who were uiuhT him had seen 
enough of life, and rough life, too, so that they did not 
need to be finding fault. Hence the man's timidity. 
Bnt on this occasion it was not necessary to lie tinrKh 
Roosevelt turned to him ([uickly and thanked him foi' 
telling liim the story. Then he went ([uickly to the 
hospital. 

lie was rather a i-onghdooking character l)y tliis time. 
The one shonlder strap wdiich had been hanging by a 
single thread at San Jnan was lost now and thei'c was 
nothing on liim ('X('e])t his riding breeches, with their 
yelh)W stri]ies, to show that he was an officer. 

'* How are the boys getting along^ '' asked tlie colonel. 

"• Who are yon? " said the surgeon. 

AVhcrciipon, ('(doiicl Tloosevelt waxc^l exceedingly 
wroth and made rcmai'ks whifdi wouhl not have ludped 
him in his gubei-natorial cam])aign if he had repeate(l 
them wliile he was stnm])ing New York State. 

"I'm yoTir superior officer, sir. Colonel Roosevelt; 
stand at attention, salute, and take your hat off." This 
is an expurgated version of what the colonel said. 

The surgeon lost no time in getting his heels together 
and buttoning u]) his open shirt. 

After that one visit, there were no more complaints 
concerning the way the Rough Riders were cared for in 
that hospital. 

The \-irtual end of the war came when tlie Americaii 
009 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

flag was raised on the palace at Santiago. The Kongh 
Riders were not among the troops which were sent into 
Santiago to be present at the ceremony; they remained 
in the field. They w^ere among the thousands who stayed 
on the crest of the ridges which had been won at the 
cost of so many lives. As far as the eye could reach, the 
straggling line of uniformed men stretched off into the 
distance. Conspicuous among the blue uniforms of 
the regular troops were the brown duck suit^ of the 
Eough Riders. The hills of San Juan, and the other 
eminences commanding Santiago, swarmed with happy, 
cheering men. 

The Rough Riders were not only the most conspicuous 
of the soldiers, l)ut they were the heroes of the occasion; 
the other troops did them high honor. The First Illi- 
nois Volunteers began the cheering for them. After 
the first three times three h.ad been given. Private 
Hughes, of the Rough Riders, called for another three 
times three for Colonel Roosevelt, the man who had led 
the charge up San diiaii. The whoh^ army rej^lied with 
one great voice. A mighty roar went up and Colonel 
Roosevelt was happier than he had been since the mo- 
ment when that bit of shell struck him on the back of 
his hand. He waved his hat with the famous bine polka- 
dot handkerchief attached to it in acknowledgment of 
the tribute, and, in his turn, called for three cheers for 
the army. They were given with enthusiasm so great, 
that the troops in Santiago heard them. 

The beginning of the end came in Cuba on the 7th 
of August. It is a matter of speculation in the regiment 
whether the marching orders it received at San Antonio, 

230 



LAST DAYS IX CUIJA. 

on May 2Stli, or the inarcliiiii;' orders il i-cccivcd near 
Santiago, on Angiist Ttli, were most loiidlv clicci'cd. Kr- 
veillc M-as sounded very early in tlie morning, and the 
regiment broke cam]) witli a skill aequired by miicli 
practice. It iiiardicd to the .-aili-oad and took train to 
Santiago, reaching there at I ]).m. 

At the Santiago station, the troo])s fell into parade 
formation and marched like veterans; each troop was 
preceded by its little tiag, bearing tlu^ troop lettei- and the 
number of the regiment, and made a sort of triumphal 
progress through the conquered Spanish city. 

Colonel Roosevelt rode at the head of tiie regiment 
on the same sorrel horse which had been W(»nndcd at 
the charge of San Juan, lie was an extremely hap])y 
colonel; his round-robin had worked, and his jnen were 
being sent away beyond the reach of the ghastly yellow 
arms which the fever spectre had stretched out toward 
them. I'hey were leaving (hiba with a recoi-d on which 
there was not one smirch; they had ])layed theii- im- 
])ortant parts in e^'ery engagement in ('nha; tluy had 
missed nothing which was worth doing, and tluy had 
done nothing which w^as worth missing. The man who 
had gone to Cuba as the commander of the regiment, 
had earned his promotion to a brigadier-generalship and 
had received it as soon as he had earned it. This was 
pleasing for many reasons. The men loved A\'^ood as 
well as they loved Roosevelt. Roosevelt's friendshi}) fen- 
AVood was honest and sincere, and he was glaal to see him 
elevated; and besides, with AVood's ele\ation came 
Roosevelt's rise to the head of the regiment, which the 
public had named after him. lie liimself, while bi-av- 

231 



THE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 

ing every danger and taking every desperate chance he 
asked his men to take, had escaped nnseathed. A small 
scar on his left hand was the only mark of battle he was 
taking home with him, and he had not dodged a single 
bullet. These reflections were pleasant to the colonel. 
He knew, as he rode through those Santiago streets, that, 
partly because of his efforts, the most extraordinary regi- 
ment in the army liad been organized and equipped as no 
other volunteer regiment was equipped; he knew that 
that regiment had raised the first flag raised by the army 
in Cuba; had killed the first Spaniard kilk-d l)y the army 
in Cuba; had lost the first man lost by the army in Cuba; 
had led every battle fought by the army in Cuba, and he 
knew that his own personal efforts were responsibh' for 
the fact that tlie army in Cuba, its work well done, was 
going North again to escape the one enemy it could not 
fight — the fever. Is it a wonder that Teddy Koosevelt 
showed his teeth as he rode through Santiago? I have 
known him and seen him as Civil Service Commissioner, 
as Police Commissioner, as he went into his first battle, 
as he was inaugurated Governor of the State of New 
York, and yet I doubt if T have ever known liim at a 
moment more satisfactory than tliat which I am now 
recording. 

The regiment marched down the Alameda, skirting 
the water front, to the dock where the transport 
" ]\Iianu " was moored. The men were worn out, and 
their steps lagged as they turned toward home with a 
weariness which liad not shown in them wlien tliey 
turned toward the enemy. They were haggard and 
ragged and hungry. A few new Khaki suits made bright 

232 



LAST DA^S IN OUliA. 

yollo-\v spots in tlic (lull Itrowii monotony of ragged duck 
uniforms. I'licv wci'c llic |)iinctnation marks »jf the 
story of trial and hai'dsliii) wliicli tlic clollics of tlu; 
Koniiii Kiders told as plainly as their faces did, and told 
mnch more plainly than their (piietly enduring lips did 
when they reached the North and home. 

It is not necessary to speak of the ghastly gaj)s in their 
ranks, Avhieh made the strong troopers wince as they 
looked at them. 

The otiicial story of the men who had died and were 
wounded in hattle is told in the regimental roster which 
ends this hook. Ilie complete official story of the men 
who died in hosi)ital — they w^ere as brave as their com- 
rades wli(^ were shot — cannot be told, because the records 
of the War Department have not been completed. Only 
seven living men were l(»ft bcdiind in C^iba. These were 
Second lieutenant \\n\. Tifl'any, (»f Trooj) l\; ( 'orporal 
Edgar Schwarz, of Troop (J; and Privates Wni. E. 
TToyle, of Troo]) E; F. (!. AVhalen, of Troop A, and F. 
(i. Page, of Troo]i D. Idie men who left were sorry 
for the comrades who remained behind, but they were 
wild with joy over their own chance to get away. Most 
of their tents and all their baggage had falhm ]irey to 
the marauding (Hibans, who had ever followetj our 
troops, so that they endiarked in their skins and in their 
uniforms; they carried little else away from Cuba with 
them, except their arms and what ammunition they had 
not already been called ui>on to devote to Spanish 
enemies. 

The embai'kation was quick and easy. The regiment 
by this time had learned the trick of machiiu' work and 

2:!o 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

those little difficulties and delays which occurred in its 
early history no longer handicapped the men. From 
Santiago, Colonel Roosevelt sent this final message : 

" We shall take home with us a record of which we 
have reason to be proud; we leave behind us a few 
Rough Riders who are too feeble to be moved, but we 
had a larger percentage of soldiers killed in battle than 
the percentage of loss by fever and disease." 



234 



CHAPTER XIV. 

HOME AGAIN. 

The regimc'iit came North in two sections. First 
were the men who, disappointed, disgrnntled, and un- 
lia|)i)y, arrived in fJersc^y City, August lOtli, from 
'ram])n. 1 hey were the men who have heen spoken of 
as wearily waiting, hoping earnestly for orders to really 
go to the front, Avliieh neyer came. They came North 
on trains, and oii these trains were such memhers of 
Troops C, II, I, and J\I as were strong enough to coiiic 
When they arrived they were as hungry as they had 
been on that morning when they reached Tampa. Then, 
as now, they had been proA^ded with insufficient rations. 
Then, as now, they had become the victims of tlie I'ail- 
road com])aiiy. Their nundx'i's had been sadly de])leted 
l)y all kinds of sickness, and they were heai'tsick o\-ei' 
their failure to go to Cuba, as well as bruised and worn 
by the terrific journey up from Tampa. They brought 
with them as many of the eleyen hundred horses and 
mules, which had been left in their charge, as remained 
to be brought, and their minds were full of the dis- 
couraging fact that, during the war with Spain, they 
had only cared for animals. AVhen they reached Jersey 
City, they had been without prop(n- rations for more than 
twenty-foui" hours, and life seemed \-ei'v dreary to them. 
Some factory gii-ls divided their luucheous with them. 

235 



THE STOKY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 

Five days later, a different sight entirely was enacted 
at Montauk, L. 1., when the six troops who had really 
gone to Cuba, sailed in on the transport " ]\Iiami." Their 
arrival was a scene of triumph. Unlike their equally 
Lrave comrades who had been forced to spend the war 
days among the sand ilies and crackers of dismal Florida, 
they had actually been to war. AVliatever figliting there 
had been to see they had seen. Many of them had felt the 
sting of Mauser bullets, and many others who had gone 
South with them remained there sleeping in rude graves 
on Cuban battlefields, mute evidences of the regiment's 
heroism. Six troops were there. Kew York had been 
waiting for them, and preparing to receive them for 
many days. Tlu> deeds' of daring which the Hough 
Riders had credited to themselves had been recorded by 
a thousand ])rinting presses witliin the metropolis, and 
the stories read by seventy million eager eyes. The war 
was over. New York's own Seventy-first Itegiment had 
fallen the victim of four or five incompetent and lui- 
pleasaut officers, and come back to pass quietly into an 
ignominious oblivion, which was to be interrupted occa- 
sionally oidy by the shrill shouts of scandal. Xcw 
York's Sixty-ninth had had no opportunity to distinguish 
itself. So J^ew York turned out to welcome the Tlougli 
Riders. They were not of Xew York, l)ut Xew York 
was enqihatically for them. Roosevelt, who was one of 
New York's favorite sons, had l)een promoted to their 
colonelcy, and his name was whispered constantly as that 
of the man who would win, at this, the beginning of one 
of the State's most exciting gubernatorial campaigns. 

Tt was long l)efore daylight wlicn the " ^fiami " pulled 

2'M> 



HOME AGAIN. 

into the harbor, out there at the einl oi" Loiii^, Ishiiid, but 
she did not find the men who were there to reeei\'e her, 
nappiiiii'. The harboi- was dotted wilh the wliitc ImlU 
of welcoming yaehts, and as her name was signaHed to 
tlie shore, these set np a deafening scream of welcome 
from their steam whistles. One or two, even, fired greet- 
ing guns. 

For a k)ng time the troopshij) lay there in the harbor, 
waiting for orders from shore. All the mornina', the 
yachts plied ceaselessly in discreet circles about the 
transport, and busy little steam launches ran as near to 
her as the health officers would permit, so that friends 
could shout merry messages to those on the " ^liami," 
ami they could send ecstatic words of happiness back. 

Besides the six troops of Rough Riders, the '' Miami " 
carried the four troops of the Third Cavalry, with Gen- 
eral Joseph Wheeler and Lieut. Joseph Wheeler, Jr., as 
well. It was a1)out noon, August 18th, and wild cheers 
from the waiting soldiers on shore marked the aj^proach 
of the " j\[iami " towards the dock. The gull-like yachts 
drew in more closely. The hustling little launches sput- 
tered nearer than they had been permitted to go before. 
A band on board struck up, "• When Johnny comes 
marching home again," and the cheering became gen- 
eral as the cables from the great steamer were made fast 
to the stanchions on the pier. AVhen the gangplank 
was finally put down, everyone was cheering. I'he blne- 
eoats oTi shore were yelling with an enthusiasm which 
they had not shown since they had reached Montnuk. 
The civilian friends of the men on board were yelling 
Avitli an enthusiasm which they had never known before, 

239 



THE STOKY OF THE ROUGH KIIJERS. 

and the Rough Ividors themselves were yelling with that 
enthnsiasm which can only be appreciated by the soldier 
who has been away fighting, in a foreign land, against 
death in all its forms. After the first three cheers, the 
men on board took np their cowboy yell, and from the 
" JMiami " there rang ont, as there had rnng ont at San 
Antonio, in Florida, and in (_'nba, that bit of doggerel 
rhyme, which meant so much. 

Rough, tough, we^re the stuff. 
We leant to fight and we cant get enough, 
Whoop-ee. 

With the first glimpse of Roosevelt on the bridge of 
the ship, the crowd on shore went mad. He was the one 
paramount military hero of the war. He was the man 
on horseback in the politics of the State. He was Roose- 
velt. Wlieii " Teddy and his teeth " came down the 
gangplank, the last ultimate climax of the possibility of 
cheering was reached. He was bronzed by the Cuban 
sun, and his uniform was worn out, and stained by the 
trials of the campaign. But he was happier than Theo- 
dore Roosevelt ever had been before, or proljably ever 
will be again. He had come home to step into the 
superb inheritance which he had earned in Cuba. 

A moment after Roosevelt had stepped upon the gang- 
plank, General AVheeler ran forward, and taking him by 
the arm, came down Avith him. The Rough Riders who 
had been at Tampa had begged for the poor privilege of 
doing guard duty on the dock wliile their more fortu- 
nate comrades in arms stepped ashore, and they had great 
difficulty in keeping the soldiers and civilians alike, who 

240 



HOME A(iAI.\. 

were gathered on tliat dock, from nishino lui'wurd. 
AVlien tlu\v saw the famous old Confederate cavali-y com- 
mander and I lie famous Xow York hero walkinii' down 
together, tlieir enthusiasm knew no hounds, and theii- 
great desire Avas to pick them up and hear them on their 
shouhh'rs. Crossed havonets alone ])revente(l this. 
From the dock itself, from the ground heyond it, and 
fi'om tlie roofs of the freight ears standing on I lie tracks, 
teu thousand cheers went up. 

General Young and his staff were on the pier, and 
were the first to greet the two famous soldiers. Just 
behind them, and close up to the guard line, was ]\[rs. 
Ceneral John A. Logan. She had been the very first 
to recognize Eoosevelt when he appeared on the l)ridge 
of the ship, and was the first to rush forwai'd and clasp 
his hands in both of hers as he stepped on the dock. 

Eoosevelt's men followed him down the gangi)lank in 
double file, with the company officers at the head of 
each troop, and if the cheering diminished as they came, 
it was only because the throats of the men who cheered 
had already become hoarse, and not because their hearts 
were less full of enthusiasm. Individual greetings were 
shouted to many of the men by friends, some of whom 
had come from beyond the Mississii)])i to give them 
welcome that day. 

The shouts of the crowd Avere only silenced when a 
soldier answered the cry: 

" Plow are you, Sullivan? " 

" I'm well, thank God," said Sullivan, '' l)ut more 
than half of my troop w(>re left behind among the dead 
and sick at Santiago." 

341 



THE STOKY OF THE HOUGH RIDERS. 

One man took off bis hat to cheer again, but his voice 
was husky, and now as the spectators watched the ragged 
nnshaved veterans march down that gangplank, they all 
uncovered, and this silence was more impressive than 
their preceding cheers had been. Fathers, mothers, 
brothers, sisters, sweethearts, and wives were in that 
crowd, and some of them looked in vain fur the faces 
that they longed to see. 

So at the end, the landing of the troops at INIontauk 
had a tinge of sadness cast over it, in sharp contrast to 
the exuberant joy with which it had begun. 

The period the regiment passed at JMontauk was, in 
some respects, like the days at San Antonio. Only at 
San Antonio the work of drill and discipline was con- 
stant. The men were expecting tight in those days and 
wanted to be prepared for it. At Montauk they had had 
their figlit and wanted to forget it. They chose various 
ways of bringing about forgetfulness. I have seen news- 
paper stories to tlie effect that the liough Riders were 
hard drinkers. Asa matter of fact, they drank no more 
than other soldiers. There were plenty of available 
" canteens," or drinking places, at Montauk, but the 
proportion of Rough Riders who patronized them was 
no greater than the proportion of men who patronized 
them from other regiments. On(» man, who lost his 
popularity in the regiment by doing it, wrote an article 
for a Chicago paper, saying that the men of the Rough 
Riders were likely to forget those safeguards which, in 
civilized communities, are supposed to surround the 
ownership of personal property. lie was very properly 
thrown into the guard-tent for Avriting the story. 

343 



IIU.ME AGAIN. 

The general spirit of the men was more accurately 
caught during this period hv a New '^'oi'k Sun writer, 
than by anyone else. l'\)i' that reason I siiali take the 
lihci'ty of (piotiiig his nrticdc in very nearly its entirety. 
It was ])nl)lished in tlie i>un uf b'riday, Septeiidier Kitli. 
It follows: 



With their retiu'u to such ))arts of civilization as tiii'v origi- 
nally hailed from, tlie Kouoli Riders will i)i'ol)al)ly m'i l)ack 
their given names, and they avIio liave for the last four montlis 
answered to the general name of "Buddy," or tlu^ moi-e 
specific cognomens of "Mike," "Reddy," "Pudge," "Pop- 
Eye" and the like, will once more, not without a feeling of 
strangeness, hear themselves greeted as Harry, James, Charley, 
Will, or whatever other name was hestowed on them at hap- 
tism. Almost the first thing that ha|)i)ened to the Rough 
Rider upon enlistment was to find himself the recipient of a 
name, very informally presented, according to no set rule, 
which might cling to him during the entire campaign, or 
might be replaced in the course of time by a sobriquet which 
some event would fasten upon the wearer. In this class be- 
longs " Shmpnthx," which is the nearest expression possi])le 
with letters to the pronunciation of the vei'v remarkable mono- 
SA'llable designating a trooper who distinguished himself at 
Las Guasimas. After the first rush forward, when the Rough 
Riders were fighting frontier fashion, this particular private 
was heard between the sounds of the guns to repeat to himself 
in unwearying iteration a formula of woi-ds which, altogether 
meaningless at first, became sim])ly a jumble of sound as the 
words came faster and the tone grew louder. Finally it 
reached the vocal consistency of the word quoted above. Those 
near the utterer of the mystic tones opined that he Avas saying 
his prayers in Greek. He did not, however, appear to be in a 
panic, but cheered himself on with the strange word, for the 
faster and louder he shouted the more fiercely did he fight. 
When the battle was over several curious companions waited 
u])on him with the intention of finding out the secret. Each 

243 



THE STORY OF THE EOUGH RIDERS. 

had a try at repeating the sound, l>iit the originator of it failed 
utterly tt> recognize it. 

"Never said such a thing in my life," he declared. " You 
fellows have heen listening too hard to the song of the Mau- 
sers. " 

But the others insisted and kept on essaying the exclama- 
tion, until finally a liglit liroke in upon the trooper, and he 
burst out laughing. 

" Well, that's one on me," he said. " I remember now tliat I 
was repeating a set of words when I went into the row. I'd heard 
that it was a good thing to keep one's mind off himself in time 
of danger just to say over and over again some fornuila. I was 
afraid maybe I'd be rattled, so when the bullets began to sing 
I tried to remember some rhyme or something, and the only 
thing that came into my head was, ' Six slim, slick saplings,' 
If ever you fellows tried that at school you'll know it's no 
snide of a piece to speak over and over, even when everything 
else is peaceful. I guess I got it pretty well mixed up, but by 
the time I got fairly into the fight I nuist have forgotten to 
stop saying it. I know my tongue feels kind of tangled yet." 

The explanation was accepted, and the trooper was hence- 
forth known by his self-given nickname. A similar case of 
battlefield nomenclature was that of "Tarantula Hank," who 
was fighting valiantly in the trenches until one of the hideous 
and ferocious spiders came darting along toward him, where- 
upon he turned and tied, nor could he be persuaded to i-eturn 
until a conu-ade had smashed the tarantula with the butt of a 
carbine. " The Rockpicker " is a trooper who, while fighting 
in the trenches, had his carbine ruined by a Mauser bullet, 
whei-eupon, in a wild access of wrath, he rose and begun to 
hurl rocks toward the Spanish lines with furious imprecations. 
As the nearest Spanish fire was directed from a spot fully a 
third of a mile away, it is not siipposed that he added ajipreci- 
ably to the day's carnage. "Pills," a name which by right 
belongs to the troop surgeon, was bestowed upon a Corporal, 
who, during a swift advance, was heard to rattle like rain 
upon a tin roof, a phenomenon afterward explahied by the 
fact that his shirt was full of pill boxes. Later on those pills 
were of great value to his troop. Many of the nicknames 

244 



HOME ACJAIN. 

were confc^vrrd in a spirit of dorisioii, tlicir basis lyiiiff in con- 
trast. Two 111(11 of diametrically opposite typo wen^ assifiiied 
to bunk toyetlier in tbe same tent, and eventually became 
sworn friends. One was tbe typical fastidious clubman, tlie 
otber a t<jbacco-cliewing', cursing, rough-and-ready bad man 
from the middle West. Inmiediately tlie clubman was chris- 
tened "Tough Ike," and Ids bunkie became known through 
the regiment as " That Damn Dude," or for short, "The D.D." 
" Metropolitan Bill " was a citizen of the far West whos(> chief 
claim to being a city man was that lie had an aunt living in 
New York. " Sheeny Solomon," sometimes culled '■ Ole 
Clo'es," was a red-headed Irishman, 6 feet 2 in his stocking 
feet. The "Immigrant" was a trooper whose family helped 
settle New York. "Rubber-Shoe Andy " distinguished hiin- 
.self and won his name on scouting duty ])y invarial>ly tum- 
bling over something with a great clatter at the very moment 
when silence was most essential. 

There wei'e three bald-headed men in one troop, known, of 
course, as the Sutherland Sisters— Sister Jane, Sister Anne and 
Sister Araminta. A j'oung fellow — and a mighty good fighter, 
too — proud of his Jewish blood, accei)ted with i)erfect equa- 
nimity the nickname of the " Pork Chop." In the same troop 
with him was a private who was probably the mildest spoken man 
in the army ; one evening, however, he got excited over some- 
thing and was plainly heard by several auditors, wliose testi- 
mony is unimpeachable, to exclaim :" Oh, thunder 1" Tliat 
settled his case. He was known ever after as " Blasphenn- 
Bill." A Mississippi River gambler, noted for his quiet de- 
meanor, was called " Hellroarei'," while the mo.st picturesquely 
and ilamboj-antly profane man in tbe regiment rejoiced in the 
appellation of "Prayerful James." The fun-maker for one 
troop was a light-hearted Swede, always full of jokes, and 
because of his propensities and his natioiudity called the 
"Weeping Dutchman." "Nigger" was a young fellow .so 
white as to be almost an albino. " Beefsteak John " had many 
times called down tbe wrath of his famine-.stricken comrades 
by describing to them just liow he would like a steak cooked at 
that particular moment, how it sIkhiIcI lie two inches thick, 
delicately brown outside and deej) red inside, and bow tbe 

2ir> 



THE STOKY OF THE HOUGH KIDERS. 

melted butter sliould flow over it. To a cowboy who arose one 
night and fled through the camp in his dreams, under the im- 
pression that he was being pursued by an army of scorpions, 
his Eastern bunkie has given the name of " The Wicked Flea," 
because, as he says, it was a plain case of "no man pursueth," 
until a sentry collared the fugitive. It goes without saying 
that at the start all the fat men were called " Living Skeleton," 
" Beanpole," " Shadow," " Starvation Bill," " Dr. Tanner " and 
so on, while the thin troopers w^ere generally designated as 
" Jumbo," " Heavyweight," " Anti-Fat " and the like. Before 
the return the former list had dwindled to nothing, and the in- 
ventive genius of the self-appointed godfathers was taxed to 
find new names for those who had fortunately preserved their 
bones, but left most of the covering thereon in Cuba. 

To act as Col. Roosevelt's orderly was an honor to which 
every trooper aspired. It was not always an easy berth, as the 
Colonel covered a great deal of ground and kept his orderlies 
hustling, and had, moreover, a habit of noticing everything 
that was going on. A Rough Rider who was detailed one day 
to act as the Colonel's orderly in Cuba relates that the two of 
them had ridden to El Caney, where, while his commanding 
officer was attending to some busine.ss, the orderly contrived to 
acquire by purchase several bottles of Jamaica rum, which he 
disposed of in a nose bag. On the return Col. Roosevelt set a 
lively pace, as is his habit, and the nose bag begaii to dispense 
music. 

" Clink-clink, clinkety-clink, clinkety-clinkety-clink, " it 
went. 

"Smith," said Col. Roosevelt, pulling in his horse, "what 
is that noise ? " 

" Sounds like glass, sir," said the orderly. 

"So it does. Where does it come from, Smith ?" 

" From my nosebag, sir." 

" Indeed ! And what have you got in that nose bag ? " 

"Purchases, sir." 

"What ?" said Col. Roosevelt, his brow wrinkling. 

"Purchases, sir," repeated the orderly, firmly, but trem- 
bling in his boots. 

"Hm ! I should think so," snorted the Colonel, and i-ode on. 

24G 



HOME AGAIN. 

The clinking continued. Presently the Colonel |>iilli(l up 
again. 

"Smith!" 

"Yes, sir." 

"At the turn of the road there is a tree with large soft 
leaves. I wish you would stuff some of them into that nose 
bag. It makes too nmcli noise." 

"Yes, sir," said the orderly. 

There was a pause and the Colonel rode on. 

"Besides," he added, with a smile, suddenly turning in liis 
saddle. "Some of those — er — i)urcliases might smash. And 
you never can tell whom we might meet." 

At the tree the orderly packed the nose hag with leaves, 
which deadened the sound. Five minutes later they met a 
General on the road, but the nose bag was safely nmfHed, and 
Col. Roosevelt's foresight was gloriously vindicated. 

On tlio lotli of September, the Kough Riders were 
paid off; they had been in the service ahnost exactly five 
months, and so each nuni received something like five 
times $15.50. l\ow $77 is a fortune to any man who 
has not seen the color of money for several weeks, and 
is likely to be received by such with great enthusiasm. 
It is a question, if the men were happier when they heard 
of the surrender of Santiago than they were when they 
were paid off at JMontauk. 

It was all over before one o'clock; at that hour a 
committee of embarrassed troopers waited upon Colonel 
Roosevelt at his tent and asked him if he minded step- 
ping over to a rough pine table, which stood unsteadily 
on uneven ground. His command was informally drawn 
u]) in a sqmire of which this table formed tlu^ centre. 
Up(m the table was a curious stuuetliing. full of knobs 
and bunches and coNcriMl by a horse blanket. T^ieu- 

247 



THE SroKY OF 'JHE ROUGH EIDERS. 

tenant-Colonel Brodie happened along just then, and tak- 
ing Roosevelt by tlie arm, conducted him to a place in 
front of the table. Up to this time Roosevelt had not 
known what was coming. The breathless silence wdiich 
pervaded the j^lace and the curious expectant manner 
of his troopers warned him now that something pleasant 
was likely to presently occur. His face, already tanned 
to a deep dark brown, took on the ruddy hue of a (Hd)au 
veteran's blush, and he stood there awkwardly, not know- 
ing what to do. There was a pause while he looked 
about at the men who followed him so bravely at 
Guasimas and San Juan. He saw that in the eyes 
of some of them the tears were beginning to start, 
and while ho waited, his own were dimmed with mois- 
ture. 

From the ranks of ]\I Troop stepped William S. ]\lur- 
phy, wdio, althougli he was a private in the regiment, had 
been a judge in the Indian Territory at the time of his 
enlistment, and was known as one of the most eloquent 
men in tliat part of the West. He took off his cam- 
paign hat and ])resented the colonel with Frederick Rem- 
ington's famous "Bronco I^uster." Murphy had ])re- 
pared an elaborate speech, which would have done houor 
to the Indian Territory courts, but he couldn't s])eak it, 
and if he had, most of the men in the regiment would not 
have heard it. 

The chaps who had followed Roosevelt through the 
terrible hardshii^s of the whole campaign, who had en- 
dured their wounds without complaining, and who had 
stood their sickness without once crying out, gave way 
this day for the first time. There was almost no one in 

248 



IIOMK A(JAIN. 

tlio rogimont who was not crviiiu-, when .Miii-|.liv siiid, 
with strcjuniiia,' oycs: 

" It is titting tluit 1, uiic of tlic troopers iVoin ilic ranks 
of your rciiiiiicnt, should try to tell you as well as I can, 
to what is (hie tho honor given nic in niakinu- this |u'cs- 
cntatiitn. It is well known that whih' yon hold voiir 
officers in tlio highest esteem, hecanse of their hraverv, 
gallantry, and ahility, your lieart of hearts was evei- with 
your men, whether in the tented tield oi' in the trenches 
l>efor(^ the enemy's lines, or better still, in the trenches 
whicdi your regiment captured from the enemy. 

" I want to tell yon, sir, that one and all of us, from 
the highest of us to the humblest of us, will always carry 
with us in our hearts a pleasant and a loving memory 
of your every act, for there has not been one among them 
which has not been of the kindest. As lieutenant- 
eoloncd of our I'egiment, you first made us res])ect vou ; 
as oui' eoloncd you have taught us t<» love y<ni deeph', 
as men lo\'e men. It is our sincerest liojx-, now that we 
are about to separate, that this bronze ' Hronco JJnster ' 
will sometimes make yon think of us, as we shall ever 
think of you." 

It was a strange thing to see these strong uieii, who 
had, while they were together, been through so nnich, 
standing there almost overcome by emotion, when the 
nionient eaiue f'oi- them to part, Koosexclt spoke briefly 
and he faltered often. lie said: 

"Officers and ^lon: I really do not know how to 
answer you. Xothing could touch and please me as 
this has toU(died and ])leased uie. 'r]'oo])er Murphy s])oke 
(piite ti'uly when he said that my men were nearest to 

231 



thl: story of the eough riders. 

my heart, for while I need not tell to my officers in what 
deep regard I hold them, they will not mind my saying, 
that just a little closer come my men. 

" I have never tried to coddle you, and I have never 
made a baby of any one of you. I have never hesitated 
to call upon you to spend your best blood like water 
and to work your muscles to the breaking point. Of 
course, I have tried to do all that I could do for you, as 
you have ever done all that you could ever do for nu\ 
You are the best judges as to whether or not I have 
succeeded. 

" I am proud of this regiment beyond measure; I am 
proud of it, l)ecause it is a typical American" regiment, 
made up of typical American men. The foundation of 
the regiment was the ' Bronco Buster,' and we have 
him here in bronze. The men of the West and the men 
of the Southwest, horsemen, riflemen, and herders of 
cattle, have been the backl)one of this regiment, as they 
are the l)ackbone of their sections of the country- This 
demonstrates that Un(de Sam has nobler reserve of tight- 
ing men to call U]H)n, if the necessity arises, than any 
other country in the world. 

" The West stands ready now to furnish tens of thou- 
sands of men like you, who are only samples of what our 
country can produce. Besides the co\v-])unchei-, this 
regiment contains men from every section of the country 
and from every State within the Union. Tliis sIioavs 
us that the West is not alone in its ability to furnish 
men like you. This gives us double reason to feel jU'oud 
on this day when we disband. 

" I have profound respect for you, men of the Rough 

OfjO 



llOMK A(iAIx\. 

Riders, not only because you have iiulitini:- (|tialitirs, Imt 
bocniisc you also lia\c lliosc (|ualilics wliidi uiadc incii 
roc'Oi2,'ni/(' you as iiulitcrs, and cnalilcd vou to lie ainoUi;- 
the Hrst who found tlic npiiori uuity of iicttiii^ into llu; 
fiiilit. Outside (d' my own iuiiiicdiatc fandlv, I >liall 
al\va\s tcci that stroiiiivi- t ic^ exist hctwccn uie and \nu 
than exist helween ni<' and aiiNdUe else on earth. If 
your teelinu' toward nie is like luine towards nou, I am 
more than [(leased to lia\-e you tell me of it. 

" I realized when I took charge of you, that 1 was tak- 
iiii;' upon luysell a j^raxc res])onsil)ility. I eared for \du 
as individuals, hut 1 did not forget at any moment that 
it might he neeessaiw to sacritiec* the comfoi't or e\'en the 
lives of the indi\iduals. in order to insure the safety of 
the wh(de. ^ on would liaxc scorned a eommandei', who 
hesitated for a second to e.xpose yow to any risk. 1 was 
bound that no other regiment sh(udd get any nearer to 
the Spanish lines than yon got, and I do not thiid<: that 
any otliei' regiment did. 

" We i)artcd with many in the fights avIio could ill he 
sparcnl, and I think that the most vivid memories we will 
take away with us will he not of our own achievements, 
not of oui' <»wn dangers, not of our own suffei'ing, Imt 
will be of those whom we left under Cuban sod and 
those who died in the h()S]:)itals in the T^nitc^d States — the 
men who died from wounds and the men who, with tlu' 
same devotion to their country, died fi'oni fevers — I 
cannot mention all the names now, but three of them, 
Capron, O'Neill, and I''isli. will suflice. Tluy died in 
the ]iride of their youthful strength and tiny died for 
their country, like men who were ])roud to die. 



TPIE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 

" I should have been most deeply touched if the offi- 
cers of this regiment had given me this testimonial, but 
I appreciate it ten-fold, as coming from you, my men. 
You shared the hardships of the campaign with me; 
when I had none, you gave me of your hardtack, and if 
I lay coverless, I never lacked a blanket from my men to 
lie upon. 

" To lia^'e such a gift come from this peculiarly Amer- 
ican regiment, touches me more than I can say. It is 
something that I shall hand down to my children, and 
^alue more highly than I do the weapons which 1 carried 
through the campaign with me. 

" JS^ow, boys, I wish to take each of you by the hand, 
as a special ])rivilege, and say good-by to you iudividii- 
ally; this is to be our farewell in camp; I hope that it 
will not be our farewell in civil life." 

Then the men were mustered out of the service of 
Uncle Sam. Colonel Roosevelt ceased to be a soldier 
when his men did. lie jumped into one of the camp 
stages, taking with him Lieutenants John C. Greenway, 
John A. Mcllhenny, Chas. Ballard, and Hal Sayre. 
They were his guests at Oyster Bay for several days, and 
on the morrow. Lieutenants David (Joodrich and R. II. 
Ferguson joined them there. A large party of Rough 
Riders gave him a rousing good-by at the station and he 
went away wearing his worn and stained uniform — the 
same which had carried him through one of the most 
extraordinary campaigns knowm in the history of war- 
fare. 

During the stay at Camp Wikoff, an effort was made to 
organize a i^ermauent Rough Riders' Association. Lieu- 

254 



HOAIE AGAIN. 

tenant-Colonel Brodie was elected president of it, and 
one or two meetings were lu^ld, after the men were mus- 
tered out. So many of tlicm departed immediately for 
their homes that by no means all the members of the 
regiment have as yet been inscribed as mend)ers of this 
organization, but it will undoubtedly be eventually })ut 
on a Hrnier basis tlian it now occupies. 

The exodus of the Ivougli Riders was rapid. The 
camp seemed dead after they had gone away. Only one 
remained. This was Lieutenant-Colonel Brodie, who, 
because of his wounds, had l)een promoted from a major- 
ship to the second place in con.numd. His chief aim, 
after he had ceased to be a soldier, was to find a man 
in the uniform of a second lieutenant, who had sold him 
a horse the day before. Shortly aft(>r he had bought 
and paid for the animal, another ofhcer walked up to 
the line where he was picketed, and surprisedly re- 
marked: 

" Hello! who tied my horse here? " 

Then he took away the horse, which really belonged 
to him. 

Colonel Brody is still searching for the lieutenant 
who sold the horse to him. 

And thus ended the Rouch Riders, as a rcii-iment. 



.255 



CHAPTER XV. 

IN NEW YORK. 

The Rough Riders made almost as much of an im- 
pression on Xew York City as thej had made on Cuba, 
although the carnage Avas not so great. Discipline for- 
gotten, the articles of war no longer an important con- 
sideration, and home in innnediate prospect, they started 
out with what enthusiasm they had at their command — 
and it was much — to make things as hot in the metropolis 
as they had been in Daiquiri, on that never-to-be-for- 
gotten time of landing. The officers of the regiment 
went as one man to the Hoffman House, altli(jugli it was 
understood that the Fifth Avenue Hotel would be 
Colonel Roosevelt's headquarters, because it was the 
head(|uarters of the Republican Committee. 

Troop H reached IvTew York at midnight, and got 
lodgings in the Olive Tree Inn, on East 23d Street. 
That midnight was a hot midnight for l^ew York City, 
and it is not likely that the proprietors of the Olive Tree 
Inn will ever forget the fact that the Rough Riders 
took lodging there. 

Troops K, M, and B paused tenqiorarily in Long 
Island City. I will not say that the Red Cross people 
who cared for them there are sorry that they did, luit it 
is unquestionably true that they will never forget the 
fact that the men of troops K, M, and B paused in 

25& 



IN NKW \n\iK. 

IjmiX Island C'itv, and llial llicv were cared ior by (lio 
people (d the Ki'd Cross. 

A'cw ^'ork Wiis dotted witli their brown uinfni-nis early 
after the tii-st day of the liough Jviders' release. I'roj)- 
ably hall' ()l' them \isited liroadway, and tlie same hall' 
later t'ouiid thiiiu's lo interest them in oijicr pai'ls of New 
York City. Not one of tliem had removed his nniform, 
and so the ])nblie readily reeoiiiiized them. I Inndreds of 
civilians force(l their hosj)itality npon them. Fonr ni' 
them went to the Stock Exclumge. 'Idiey were instantly 
spotted by the niend)ers and were taken to the floor, an 
honor aceonhMl to few. Wlioever was of p-eat financial 
interest in the bnildinii at the time was foi-mally intro- 
dnced to them, and n(» onc^ Avas introdnced to them who 
was not glad to be. The old ])nil(ling on AVall Street 
resonnded for lionrs with clu^ers for the regiment, and 
their ])resence there really had its decided effect upon 
business for that day. 

An interesting episode of the evening occurred on 
Broadway. Six of them paused to explain to a Broad- 
way policeman that he didn't dare arrest them because, 
if he did, they would sick lioosevelt on him. lie was 
considerably puzzled by the strange situation, and was 
altout to rap for assistance when he discovered that one 
of the invading troopers was his long-lost brother. 

He didn't rap. 

The other five joined hands about the two re-nnited 
ones, and danced a war-dance which blocked Broadway. 

And so it went. AVherever the Rough Biders could 
go, they journeyed, and wherever they journeyed they 
owned the town. 

17 257 



THE STORY OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 

Troop II assembled at the Hoffman House and had 
a little celebration at the expense of CUiptain Curry. 
It was formally announced that night that $1,000 would 
be paid for any horse that Sergeant Tom Darnell could 
not ride. 

At the Hotel Imperial, the men of Troop Iv were 
gathered, and L Troop held a farewell session at the 
Grand Union. Very late in the evening, a number of 
the officers gathered at the Holland House and said their 
last good-bys. 

And so ended the Rough Riders. 

With the dawning of the next day many of them 
were on the trains, speeding towards their distant homes. 
Some of the AVesterners have stayed East and some of 
the Easterners have gone West. The regiment is broken 
up and scattered. 

Vale to it. 

It was the greatest fighting machine that any army 
ever held. 

Vale. 




258 



THE ROSTER OF THE ROUGH RIDERS. 



THE STORY OF THE KOUGH RIDERS. 









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Bernard, William C. . . 
Batchelder, Wallace X. 

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