Friday, May 15, 2009

The Rough Riders in San Antonio

On May 15, 1898, newly commissioned Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt reported for duty in San Antonio, Texas. Serving under the command of Colonel Leonard Wood, Roosevelt took the next two weeks to train with the enlisted men and officers of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, soon to be known as the Rough Riders.

To take up arms and fight in Cuba, thirty-nine year old TR resigned from his post as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy. Roosevelt's sixth child had just been born the previous November and TR's wife, Edith, was recuperating from a very difficult surgery. What compelled Roosevelt to leave the safety and comfort of home? In his own words:

"During the year preceding the outbreak of the Spanish War I was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. While my party was in opposition, I had preached, with all the fervor and zeal I possessed, our duty to intervene in Cuba, and to take this opportunity of driving the Spaniard from the Western World. Now that my party had come to power, I felt it incumbent on me, by word and deed, to do all I could to secure the carrying out of the policy in which I so heartily believed; and from the beginning I had determined that, if a war came, somehow or other, I was going to the front."

The story of Theodore Roosevelt's leadership of the Rough Riders is an amazing and inspirational tale, for battle field promotions saw Wood in command of the brigade while TR led the Rough Riders on their assualt up Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights.

I've got some of my own battles to fight today, as I imagine you might, too. Take some encouragement from the man who was willing to fight and die for what he believed to be right. Throughout his life, TR overcame tragedy and hardship by redoubling his effort, by taking action.

So, ladies and gentlemen..."Charge!"

All the best.

TR Joe


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

I was just poking about the Internet this morning, followed one link to another, and was glad to find you'll in Carlisle, PA, on the 25th.

That's bully, of course!

I plan to drive over from Lancaster to see you.

Just an aside, I've always been a TR fan myself. I grew up near Buffalo, and gave tours at the Wilcox Mansion back in the 80's (I'm 46). Then, a few years later, when I moved to Long Island, where my wife is from, I gave tours at Sagamore Hill. I was also a friend of the late Dr. Gable for several years - I invited him to speak at my college twenty-eight years ago, and for a long time we corresponded.

Anyway, there's my TR tale. Can't wait to meet you.

My best,

Jon Kabel
Lancaster, PA

T.R. Joe said...

Jon - I am so sorry that, new to blogging, I forget to go back and check for notes such as yours. I do hope you'll accept my apology. I certainly hope you made it to Carlise, and I would have been thrilled to hear about your own adventures at the Inaugural Site. I hope to find a way to stay in touch, as I know south central Pennsylavania will be a regular stop on this TR adventure. All the best. TR Joe