American Grit Stories

Theodore Roosevelt Jr: Rough Riders Roll 5/5 (1)

Stop, drop, shut ’em down open up shop! Oh, no that’s how Rough Riders roll! Good job DMX, but for real Theodore Roosevelt and his cavalrymen are the original, no imitation’s accepted Rough Riders. Good old Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and this band of skilled horseman went to Cuba and surprised the Spanish by taking them for all they were worth at several locations. The notoriety of San Juan Hill is obvious, but Roosevelt and his Rough Riders rolled through the Spanish in two more battles that helped the United States secure victory in the Spanish-American War.

The first of the three was the Battle of Las Guasimas, where Roosevelt took command after it was believed Colonel Wood had been killed. During the battle, the Rough Riders suffered minor casualties and less than ten killed in action despite the Spanish having numerous tactical advantages. Also, Roosevelts men had to attack uphill. This seems to be a common theme for the Rough Riders as they rolled through Cuba. This outpost gave the United States a great outpost to rest, recoup and recover while supplies poured in over the next week.

Now, the stage is set for the Rough Riders to roll on up San Juan Hill. Truth be told even Theodore Roosevelt Jr. himself stated that despite leading the charge, the real credit belongs to the man in charge of the Gatling guns, Lt. John H. Parker. The charge worked! The Spanish that had been dug in at the top of the hill were dislodged thanks to Roosevelts Rough Riders and the Gatling guns that gave covering fire.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

The attack on San Juan Hill gave the U.S. forces an advantageous position to surround the city of Santiago, where roughly 13,000 Spanish troops were stationed. In the ensuing siege, the Spanish capitulated. The Spanish naval fleet had been destroyed at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba and left the city essentially defenseless.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. led the charge up San Juan Hill and exercised great tactical prowess in the other battles. He also gave credit where credit was due for Lt. Parker and the rest of his men whom he acknowledged upon his return to the United States. Be like Teddy.

Read more stories of American Grit:

CHUCK YEAGER: PART ONE

JACK LUMMUS: HE COULD DO EVERYTHING

DON C. FAITH: WHEN IN DOUBT, ATTACK

 

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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.