The Rough Riders

The Rough Riders

3.7 49
by Theodore Iv Roosevelt
     
 

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The "Rough Riders" was the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action.

The United States army was weakened and left with little manpower after the Civil War roughly 30 years prior. As a result, President William McKinley called upon

Overview

The "Rough Riders" was the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action.

The United States army was weakened and left with little manpower after the Civil War roughly 30 years prior. As a result, President William McKinley called upon 1,250 volunteers to assist in the war efforts. Leonard Wood, a doctor who served as the medical advisor for both the President and secretary of war, was appointed the position of Colonel of The Rough Riders with Theodore Roosevelt serving as Lieutenant-Colonel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt used his political influence gained as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, to ensure that 'his' volunteer cavalry regiment would be properly equipped to serve as any regular unit of the U.S. Army. "They succeeded in getting their cartridges, revolvers, clothing, shelter-tents, and horse gear ... and in getting the regiment armed with the Krag-Jorgensen carbine used by the regular cavalry." Officers of the regiment each received a new lever-action M1895 Winchester rifle. A last minute gift from a wealthy donor were a pair of modern gas-operated M1895 Colt-Browning machine guns.

In contrast, the uniforms of the regiment were designed to set the unit apart. "The Rough Rider uniform was a slouch hat, blue flannel shirt, brown trousers, leggings, and boots, with handkerchiefs knotted loosely around their necks. They looked exactly as a body of cowboy cavalry should look."

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An expanded, illustrated edition of Theodore Roosevelt's 1899 memoir of the Spanish-American War, with a biographical sketch of Roosevelt, sidebars exploring aspects of the Rough Riders' legend and the war, and some 175 b&w and color illustrations including photos, paintings, cartoons, and songsheets. An epilogue tells how Roosevelt's popularity as a result of the war won him the White House, and summarizes subsequent achievements and disappointments in his personal and professional life. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931839556
Publisher:
Ross & Perry, Inc.
Publication date:
10/15/2002
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
0.78(w) x 8.00(h) x 5.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The fight was now on in good earnest, and the Spaniards on the hills were engaged in heavy volley firing. The Mauser bullets drove in sheets through the trees and the tall jungle grass, making a peculiar whirring or rustling sound; some of the bullets seemed to pop in the air, so that we thought they were explosive; and, indeed, many of those which were coated with brass did explode, in the sense that the brass coat was ripped off, making a thin plate of hard metal with a jagged edge, which inflicted a ghastly wound. These bullets were shot from a .45-calibre rifle carrying smokeless powder, which was much used by the guerillas and irregular Spanish troops. The Mauser bullets themselves made a small clean hole, with the result that the wound healed in a most astonishing manner. One or two of our men who were shot in the head had the skull blown open, but elsewhere the wounds from the minute steel-coated bullet, with its very high velocity, were certainly nothing like as serious as those made by the old large-calibre, low-power rifle. If a man was shot through the heart, spine, or brain he was, of course, killed instantly; but very few of the wounded died-----even under the appalling conditions which prevailed, owing to the lack of attendance and supplies in the field-hospitals with the army.
        
While we were lying in reserve we were suffering nearly as much as afterward when we charged. I think that the bulk of the Spanish fire was practically unaimed, or at least not aimed at any particular man, and only occasionally at a particular body of men; but they swept the whole field of battle up to the edge of the river, and man after man in our ranks fell dead or wounded, although I had the troopers scattered out far apart, taking advantage of every scrap of cover.
        
Devereux was dangerously shot while he lay with his men on the edge of the river. A young West Point cadet, Ernest Haskell, who had taken his holiday with us as an acting second lieutenant, was shot through the stomach. he had shown great coolness and gallantry, which he displayed to an even more marked degree after being wounded, shaking my hand and saying, "all right, Colonel, I'm going to get well. Don't bother about me, and don't let any man come away with me." When I shook hands with him, I thought he would surely die; yet he recovered.
        
The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered befell just before we charged. Bucky O'Neill was strolling up and down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover--a theory which was, of course, wrong, though in a volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our regimental toast on the transport running, "The officers; may the war last until each is killed, wounded, or promoted." As O'Neill moved to and fro, his men begged him to lie down, and one of the sergeants said, "Captain, a bullet is sure to hit you." O'Neill took his cigarette out of his mouth, and blowing out a cloud of smoke laughed and said, "Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn't made that will kill me." A little later he discussed for a moment with one of the regular officers the direction from which the Spanish fire was coming. As he turned on his heel a bullet struck him in the mouth and came out at the back of his head; so that even before he fell his wild and gallant soul had gone out into the darkness.

Meet the Author

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, and became the twenty-sixth president of the United States. He was a naturalist, writer, historian, and soldier. He died in 1919.

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The Rough Riders 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Leonard065 More than 1 year ago
This is a great read and insight into one of America's great leaders. A first hand look at a young officer's developing leadership skills that would soon lead to the White House.
toledojeff More than 1 year ago
Great book gives history with the everyday drudge of a soldger. Some comical this about teddy. Great read
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