Rough Riders Essay, Research Paper
Roosevelt? s Rough Riders
Their Way into History
R. Andrew Kincheloe
Towards the terminal of the 19th century, William McKinley defeated Grover Cleveland for the presidential term and there was a immense push for the United States of America to spread out beyond its Continental lodgers. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) With an enthusiasm for a new impulse for international Manifest Destiny, the American people wanted to fit Europe? s imperial power by doing America? s weight felt around the universe. ( Boger p.714 ) The extent of expansionism was felt in the Pacific Ocean with the business of the Hawaiian Islands and Guam, but the most celebrated illustration of Americas enthusiasm for international assertiveness came in the Caribbean with the war for Cuban independency against Spain. ( Boger p.714 ) The Spanish-American war was a war that made the United States emerge as a universe power and has sense been thought of as the most popular war in American history. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) As John Hay had said, ? It has been a glorious small war, begun with the highest affairs, carried on with brilliant intelligence and spirit, favored by the luck which loves the brave. ? ( Lorant, p. 297 ) Wordss that genuinely captured the feelings of all Americans at the clip. In the American people? s eyes, the war was non won by political slang or a decisive Naval run, but by a rugged Lieutenant Colonel and his set of criminals, cowpunchers, and Harvard polo-players, more normally known as the Rough Riders. ( Lorant, p. 295 ) Although the war was non won by Roosevelt? s Rough Rider charge up San Juan Hill, the conflict gave the war its romantic kernel, which still fills history books today. Roosevelt? s Rough Riders were a cardinal portion in the battle for Cuban Independence by brave yet unconventional agencies that made them one of the most popular combat forces in American history.
Soon after McKinley? s presidential triumph in 1896, he appointed Theodore Roosevelt to the office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy under John D. Long. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) The chief jobs of the clip were the business of Cuba by Spain and the fact that dealingss with Spain were steadily declining. American understanding was with the Cubans who were arising against the corrupt and evil Spanish masters. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) Americans attitude towards the Cuban people was chiefly on human-centered motivations, but other grounds came into drama to force the United States into a battle. The first ground was being economic. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) The trade with Cuba, which had been one hundred million dollars in 1893, was severely disrupted by the rebellion. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) Another ground was geo-political. The United States had ever wanted to command the Caribbean country, with all it? s islands and chances. The United States severely needed ports for it? s turning Navy and the United States wanted to protect the attacks to the present site of the Isthmain canal associating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. ( Lorant, p. 281 ) As if the fire needed any longer fuel, Joseph Pulitzer? s New York World and William Randolph Hearst? s New York Journal continually published a series of Cuban atrociousness narratives which told of the inhumanenesss of the Spanish authorities, lead by the Spanish commanding officer, General Weyler, who herded non-combatant Cubans into concentration cantonments where 200,000 Cubans died. ( Lorant, p. 282 ) More studies kept following in about colzas, robbery, and indefinable offenses. Although the American people wanted to move, McKinley, and Cleveland before him, wanted to stay impersonal. Roosevelt disagreed with the determination and was convinced the United States should contend for the independency and civil autonomies of Cuba. ( Lorant, p. 282 ) Roosevelt was invariably seeking to carry others, including McKinley, into listening to his beliefs on the affair of war and was ever seeking to convey the Navy to full strength. Roosevelt felt that diplomatic negotiations is? utterly useless, ? without force behind it and that, ? the diplomat is the retainer, non the maestro of the soldier. ? ( Lorant, p. 282 )
But more frequently than non, Roosevelt was over stepping his boundaries and McKinley was set on giving Spain the chance to reform their ways. Reform would non come in adequate clip. Several events determined the fate of Spain. The first was being a missive intercepted in February of 1898 by a Cuban radical agent and turned over to the New York Journal. ( Lorant, p. 282 ) The missive was from Enrique de Lome, the Spanish Minister in Washington, and stated that President McKinley was? weak and a bidder for the disposal of the crowd, besides being a manque politician who tries to go forth a door behind himself while maintaining on good footings with the chauvinists in the party. ? ( Lorant, p. 282 ) This infuriated the American people, believing that Spain was teasing the United States, non to advert the complete deficiency of regard for the President. Spain? s haughtiness was a complete smack in the face every bit far as Roosevelt and the American people were concerned. Still, McKinley remained unaffected by the missive and remained impersonal about Spain. The following concatenation of events would turn out to be black for Spain. The U.S.S. Maine while at ground tackle on a? peaceable? mission in Havana seaport, Cuba, was enlarged and sank with the loss of two hundred and 60 lives. ( Lorant, p. 283 ) The detonation was thought to be either set by the Spanish, Cuban provocateurs or an internal detonation on the ship, but the American people were exhaustively convinced the Spanish authorities was responsible for this atrocious act of terrorist act. Still Roosevelt argued intensely for war but McKinley waited for footings for alteration. Without proper authorization, Roosevelt cabled Commodore Dewey, the caput of the American Naval forces, to keep the Spanish fleet on the Philippine islands and to be prepared for war by maintaining plentifulness of weaponries and coal aboard his vass. ( Lorant, p. 282 ) Then, After a long probe in Cuba, a Spanish underwater mine was determined to be the cause of the detonation of the U.S.S. Maine. ( It was subsequently determined that an interior coal fire was the cause of the detonation. ) With the study of the submerged mine racing across the state, on April 11 1898, President McKinley delivered his War address to Congress. ( Lorant, p. 282 ) With? Remember the Maine? on the lips of all Americans, the state prepared for conflict, including an elated Theodore Roosevelt. ( Grantham, p. 51 ) Roosevelt instantly resigned his station as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, ordered a new uniform from Brooks Brothers, half a twelve brace of eyeglassess, some Equus caballuss and was away to fall in a trade name new voluntary regiment in Texas. ( Lorant, p. 282 )
Although friends warned Roosevelt that to vacate his station in the Navy Department might intend the terminal of his political calling, he ignored the warnings because he felt he needed to turn out himself in conflict. ( Lorant, p. 295 ) Congress had authorized the enlisting of three voluntary horse regiments in the United States and districts of the West and Southwest. . ( Lorant, p. 295 ) General Russell A. Alger, the Secretary of War, was ready to put Roosevelt as the caput of one of the regiments, but Roosevelt declined the offer and proposed that his friend Leonard Wood, a immature Army sawbones, should be given the bid. Roosevelt settled for the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. . ( Lorant, p. 295 ) After several names were labeled to suit the new regiment, the Rough Riders, as it was came to be known, was formed and became one of the most extraordinary combat forces of all time to be assembled in the United States military. . ( Lorant, p. 295 ) The Rough Riders was made up of difficult siting cowpunchers, iron-tough gamblers, native Americans, and recruits whose dealingss with the jurisprudence were strained at best. On the other side of the spectrum, from the East came adventuresome college male childs from Harvard, polo-players, and Long Island fox huntsmans. . ( Lorant, p. 298 ) The Rough Riders were a assortment and undisciplined regiment but was physically tough and were first-class shootings and equestrians. Most of all and particularly to Roosevelt? s liking, they were eager to contend. Colonel Wood had joked, ? If we don? t acquire them to Cuba rapidly to contend Spaniards there is a great danger that they? ll be contending one another. ? ( Jeffers, p. 170 ) They trained all twenty-four hours long get downing at 5:50 am and stoping at 9:00 p.m. , with changeless mounted and land boring to transfuse the subject of military life. They wore their bluish shirts, slackly knotted hankies around their cervixs, brown bloomerss, and legings, boots and slouched-brimmed chapeaus that rapidly became the regiments hallmark. The rifles they carried were regular ground forces carbines and they were besides issued army six-guns. Sabers, the traditional symbol of the horse were non issued because of their ineffectualness in conflict. ( Jeffers, p. 175 ) The work forces rapidly grew used to the life of a horse soldier. ? Above all, ? Roosevelt wrote in his book The Rough Riders, ? every adult male felt, and had invariably instilled into him, a acute pride of the regiment, and a resolute intent to make his whole responsibility uncomplainingly, and, above all, to win glorification the manner he handled himself in battle. ? ( Jeffers, p. 177 ) The term Rough Rider did non sit good with the soldiers in the beginning. They did non desire people to believe they were some sort of sideshow. They wanted to be known as a? regiment that may be of unsmooth riders, but they will be as orderly, obedient, and by and large good disciplined a organic structure as any equal figure of work forces in any clump of the service. ? ( Jeffers, p. 151 ) The ground why the Rough Riders were such good soldiers was mostly due to the fact that they counted the cost before come ining the regiment. ( Grantham, p. 51 ) All members of the Rough Riders were prepared for their ain deceases and the decease of their enemy. ( Jeffers, p. 154 ) The Rough Riders had become a full military regiment and had the pride to fit any in the regular ground forces.
While the Rough Riders were developing in San Antonio, Texas, Commodore Dewey won the first triumph in the war in the Philippines. ( Lorant, p. 283 ) One of the chief grounds for this decisive triumph was due to the province of preparedness he had assumed on Roosevelt? s orders while Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Dewey sailed from Hong Kong with his squadron and on the dark of April 30, he slipped into Manilla Bay, where the Spanish fleet lay at ground tackle. At morning he closed into scope before giving his celebrated order of, ? You may fire when ready, Gridley. ? ( Lorant, p. 295 ) Five times he passed the Spanish fleet, raking it with heavy gunshot. The Spanish fleet was successfully destroyed.
Now it was clip for the land troops to do their manner to Cuba for the land war. Lack of transit and atrocious adjustments made the journey from Key West, Flordia really hard and uneasy for work forces who were largely used to being on unfastened grazing lands, non unfastened Waterss. ( Lorant, p. 296 ) The vass allowed standing room merely because of the capacity of the ships were stretched to twice the expected bound. ( Lorant, p. 296 ) Upon the reaching of Cuba, frill seas and deficiency of sufficient docks caused many of the boats to turtle, ensuing in the loss of ammo, rifles and nutrient. The frill seas besides took the lives of two Rough Riders coming ashore in the jerky Waterss. ( Jeffers, p. 209 ) The conditions on shore did non acquire any better. Heat and humidness along with unusual milieus caused for an unsettling scene for a war. While set downing, they were non met by any of the expected opposition in the town of Daiquiri because the Spaniards fled after being bombarded with shell
s from the war ships in the seaport. ( Jeffers, p. 209 ) They were met by a group of four 100 Cuban insurrectionists who were flourishing rifles from several periods of history, and proved merely to be utile as lookouts for the ground forces. ( Jeffers, p. 209 ) Another job that arose was the fact that the Rough Riders were a mounted horse but on their manner to Cuba there was no room for the Equus caballuss. The Rough Riders shortly became known by the regular ground forces military personnels as? Wood? s Weary Walkers. ? ( Jeffers, p. 210 ) Even with all the troubles that had arisen, the Rough Riders were still ready to contend.
Their mission was to force towards the chief town of Santiago were the chief concentration of Spanish soldiers had been stationed. ( Jeffers, p. 215 ) Two yearss after their reaching in Cuba, while progressing through thick jungle in the mountains at Las Guansimas, the Rough Riders were introduced to their? baptism of fire. ? ( Lorant, p.296 ) Although the brush was brief, Richard Davis, a intelligence letter writer who accompanied the regiment, said the brush was? the hottest, hastiest battle I of all time imagined. ? ( Jeffers, p. 215 ) Sixteen Rough Riders lost their lives and another 50 were wounded. ( Jeffers, p. 215 ) As the work forces were being wounded they continued to contend. One of the soldiers who was mortally wounded through the hip, asked for his canteen and his rifle and continued to contend until he died. ( Jeffers, p. 220 ) This was a common happening and showed the strong personal fortitude of the Rough Riders. The conflict was considered a triumph, which was the first for the Rough Riders and an embarrassment for the regular ground forces brass that produced small effectivity. ( Grantham, p. 51 ) They set cantonment in the little town called Sevilla of Las Guansiamas. There was small nutrient and other supplies which Roosevelt considered this a failure of the Army Commisionary Department as one more grounds of the states unprepardness for war. ( Jeffers, p. 222 ) But despite all the jobs, Roosevelt wrote, ? From the generals to the genitalias, all were eager to process against Santiago. ? ( Jeffers, p. 223 ) After a long expression of Santiago, the commanding officers decided to take the trenches on San Juan Hill in order to hold the high land advantage over the town and the garrison of El Caney. On July 1st and 2nd, at San Juan Hill, the Rough Riders would digest their greatest trial with the gaining control of the Spanish intrenchment at the acme of the hill.
As the military personnels set up at the pes of San Juan Hill, the United States heavy weapon forces opened fire on the Spanish military personnels guarding the hill. The Spanish rapidly returned fire and the exact strength and place of the enemy was non known. The military personnels had become pinned down at the pes of the hill by a heavy bombardment of heavy weapon fire. ( Jeffers, p. 223 ) While the work forces hid behind whatever they could happen for protection, Roosevelt sat upon his Equus caballus? Texas? with his six-gun drawn ( which he given by his brother-in-law from the deep-set Maine ) , shouting and siting among his work forces so they would be ready for the charge. He wore a dark blue shirt, with xanthous braces with Ag fasteners. ( Jeffers, p. 230 ) He was determined to put an illustration of bravery, but he besides set a alluring yet elusive mark for the Spanish? s German Mauser rifles. As Roosevelt and the other commanding officers waited for a signal to get down the upward charge, work forces all around were being picked off by the Spanish. With great defeat, Roosevelt sent courier after courier to happen a general to give the forward charge bid. He was eventually given the welcomed bid to travel frontward and back up the regular ground forces military personnels hesitated to progress because of confusion in the orders. So Roosevelt led his Rough Riders up the hill in forepart of everyone else. With the 9th regiment in forepart, the 1st on the left and the 3rd, 6th, and 10th buttocks, the military personnels shortly saw the Lieutenant Colonel bear downing up the hill with his regiment following loyally behind and joined in the gallant charge. ( Jeffers, p. 232 ) The regiments shortly became intermingled with Roosevelt spear heading the charge in what he called? my crowded hour. ? ( Jeffers, p. 234 ) From all sides the military personnels were overmastering the Spanish lines. Roosevelt managed to kill two Spaniards on his manner up the acme. The Rough Riders, the 9th and scattered members of the 1st horse scrambled up the hill. Roosevelt breathlessly reached the top and about instantly the Rough Riders and the 9th swarmed around him. The Rough Riders, along with other members of the regular and voluntary military personnels, had successfully taken San Juan Hill but American history would delegate the glorification to merely one adult male, Theodore Roosevelt. ( Jeffers, p. 237 ) But their glorification was shot lived. Immediately, the Spanish military personnels started firing and hiting cannons at the work forces on top of San Juan Hill and the remainder of the regular ground forces military personnels combating to make the acme. ( Jeffers, p. 237 ) Roosevelt instantly led a heavy charge of all the military personnels, both habitues and voluntary directly into the fire in the trenches to give coverage for the progressing work forces. White and black soldiers became intermixed during the onslaught but progressing as one doing the Spaniards to fly or give up. Roosevelt had fragments of six horse regiments under his bid. Finally, the regiments took over the trenches and managed to capture nutrient and supplies. They found shovels, impinging tools, choices, java, and nutrient found still hot on the ranges. ( Jeffers, p. 241 )
Out of the four hundred and ninety Rough Riders who had marched into the conflict for San Juan Heights, eighty nine had been killed or wounded, the heaviest loss suffered by any regiment in the horse division. ( Jeffers, p. 241 ) Roosevelt attributed the heavy losingss to the fact that his work forces had done the charging. That the Rough Riders had suffered more to a great extent than their oppositions was a point of pride for Roosevelt. Everyone who had witnessed both charges on San Juan Hill and the trenches agreed that they had occurred merely because of the adult male who had led them. Roosevelt was extremely regarded by everyone contending against the Spanish, which was made known by a recommendation sent to secretary of War Alger that Roosevelt be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest award awarded to a soldier, and was signed by Colonel LeonardWood. ( Jeffers, p. 243 ) Great esteem had besides been directed toward the Rough Rider regiment received a new Official name, the 11th United States Horse. ( Jeffers, p. 248 ) But no 1 admired the Rough Riders more than the adult male who trained and led them into their topographic point in history. Roosevelt proudly wrote, ? In less than 60 yearss the regiment had been raised, form, equipped, drilled, mounted, dismounted, kept for a two weeks on conveyances and put through two winning aggressive battles in really hard state, the loss in killed and wounded amounting to a one-fourth of those engaged. This is a record, which is non easy to fit in the history of the voluntary organisation? . It may be doubted whether there was any regiment which made such a record during the first months of any of out
wars. ? ( Jeffers, p. 248 )
Still, though the foot fought hard, the war was non decided by their courage. It was the Navy who delivered the concluding blow by destructing the Spanish fleet seeking to fly into unfastened H2O from Santiago seaport. Because of the misdirection of the War Department with the deficiency of supplies and nutrient, that the United States won the war was a miracle. What saved the twenty-four hours was non American efficiency but the incompetency of the Spanish, whose naval forces was untrained and who used merely a little figure of the 200,000 military personnels they assembled in Cuba. ( Gatewood, p. 26 )
In October, formal dialogues began in Paris with America represented by a five-man committee. A pact was devised that given Cuban independency and Spain assumed Cuba? s debt of 400 million dollars. ( Morris p. 597 ) The sign language of the pact in Paris marked the United States outgrowth as a universe power. The United States was now able to modulate it? s ain naval forces instead than England? s to implement such diplomatic jurisprudence as the Monroe Doctrine. The United States was now educated by its military errors into making an equal standing ground forces with a lasting general staff. ( Morris p. 597 )
To Roosevelt, the war had been a glorious escapade, cogent evidence of his physical bravery and his abilities as a leader. Roosevelt had become one of the most popular work forces in America and a lasting figure in history. ( Hill, p. 15 ) On the concluding twenty-four hours of the Rough Riders, the military personnels all met at Camp Wilkoff and presented their Lieutenant Colonel with a bronze broncho fellow. After the shouting had stopped, Roosevelt addressed his darling Rough Riders. ? I am proud of this regiment beyond step. I am proud of it because it is a typical American regiment. The foundation of the regiment was the cowboy? No gift could hold been so appropriate? The work forces of the West and Southwest? equestrian, rideman, and the leaders of cowss? have been the anchor of this regiment, which demonstrates that Uncle Sam has another modesty of contending work forces to name upon if necessity arises. Outside of my ain immediate household, I shall ne’er demo a strong ties as I do toward you. I am more than pleased that you feel the same for me. Boys, I am traveling to stand here, and I shall respect it a privilege if each of you will come up here. I want to agitate your custodies, I want to state adieu to each of you in person. ? ( Collin, p. 105-106 ) With wet eyes, the work forces of the 11th United States Horse filed earlier Roosevelt to state adieu to a adult male who had lead them into conflict and into history. Roosevelt? s Rough Riders were a rare staff of life of work forces who had lived, trained, and fought hard to carry through a end many thought would ne’er be possible, to emerge winning against hard and rough odds to go one of the celebrated regiments of all time to be assembled. ( Beale, p. 43 ) Americans will ever retrieve them as the Western cowpunchers and the Eastern polo-players who were lead by a adult male of unmeasurable character and spirit in a battle that lead them down the way into their topographic point in history.
1 ) . Beale, Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World
Power. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, Md. 1956 p.14-55
2 ) . Boger, Paul S. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. 2nd Edit.
Vol.2. D.C. Heath and Company. Lexington, Mass. 1993. P.714
3 ) . Collin, Richard H. Theodore Roosevelt, Culture, Diplomacy, and Expansion: A
New View of American Imperialism. Louisiana St. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge, La. 1985. P. 3-30
4 ) . Grantham, Dewey W. , Editor. Theodore Roosevelt. Prentice-Hall,
Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1971. P.46-54
5 ) . Gatewood, Willard B. Theodore Roosevelt and the Art of Controversy.
Louisiana St. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge, La. 1970. P. 3-30
6 ) . Hill, Howard C. Roosevelt and the Caribbean. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago,
Ill. 1927. P. 1-17
7 ) . Jeffers, H. Paul. Colonel Roosevelt. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York, N.Y.
8 ) . Lewis, WM. Draper. The Life of Theodore Roosevelt. United Publishers. 1919.
9 ) . Lorant, Stefan, The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Doubleday and
Company, Inc. , Garden City, N.Y. p. 281-332
10 ) . Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Coward, McCann and
Geoghegan, Inc. New York, N.Y. 1979. P. 565-662