The Rough Riders were the most famous of all the units
fighting in Cuba during the Spanish, American war. The Spanish, American war started by America wanting to expand their influence in the western hemisphere. To do that they would need to gain action politically or militarily in Cuba (a Spanish ruled
The first battle of the war was The Battle of Manilla.
Which was a naval strike on the Manila harbor. Led by Commander George Dewey, the Navy won the most glorious victory in the
history of the Navy. However this didn't end the war.
In order for America to force the Spanish out, a military
invasion on Cuba would have to take place. More than 250,000 soldiers rushed to volunteer for service. Soldiers gathered in Florida and waited impatiently for supplies and transportation. Some individuals organized and outfitted their own regiments. Teddy Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the time, he resigned his post and formed a voluntary cavalry. As soon as word spread that Roosevelt was looking for volunteers, the War office was swamped with requests of people wanting to volunteer. 23,000 people applied and only 2,000 were accepted. Those 2,000 volunteers were unlike any calvary the army had ever seen before. The calvary was made up of football players, full blood Pawnee Indians, aristocratic English dandies, trail wise cowboys, polo players, Rhodes Scholars, and policemen.
Roosevelt assembled his men in San Antonio, were he whipped them into army shape. Day after day, they marched, rode, shot, and paraded under the hot climate of Texas. Within a few weeks Roosevelt's calvary was ready to break the grip of the Spanish rule on Cuba.
With the July temperature climbing above 100 degrees, the
soldiers journeyed off through the thick jungle toward the city of Santiago. Wearing uniforms of wool, the men...
*World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. R
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