The Spanish-American War of 1898 was brief but decisive, marking the United States as a world power, Theodore Roosevelt as a national hero, and the Rough Riders as a legendary force in winning the independence of Cuba from Spain. This volunteer cavalry regiment was one of the most colorful ever assembled, with lawyers, cowboys and ranchers, actors and musicians, hunters and trappers, football players, Indian fighters, ivy-league scholars, and blacksmiths proving equal to each other in stoic bravery. Commanding them, inspiring them, dashing through gunfire, was the ebullient Colonel Roosevelt.
The Rough Riders, published the year after "the splendid little war," is Roosevelt's account of the mustering of the regiment, the perils endured, and the horseback charge up Kettle Hill during the battle for the San Juan Heights. It offers many glimpses of the heroic men who quickly won the hearts of Americans.
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