Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Little More Learning...

I finished a short book about the Spanish -American War of 1898 last night. Frankly I was at the point when I just wanted to get finished and move on. I was interested to learn about some of the men who joined this group of voluntary soldiers.

I remember learning something in school about the Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt. But I couldn't tell much else.

This book is about the development of the voluntary group of cowboys, farmers, college men, mountain men, and military men that made up the Rough Riders. I had no idea this group of horse riders actually fought. I just remember seeing pictures of men on horses and never thought more of it as far as I can recall.

I question how Theodore Roosevelt kept such details while fighting. I think having been in the Army gave me the idea for reading this. I was surprised and impressed that Roosevelt was willing to give so much praise for the gallantry and dedication of fellow soldiers.

I can't imagine reading this story again, I did like learning about the names of the men and how some were famous for acts done out in the wild west. Like this line from the book: "One of our best soldiers was a man whose eal and assumed names I, for obvious reasons conceal."

It seems Roosevelt was much respected by his men. That was one thing I did not like in the Army. I felt that our leaders were weak and did not actually care about us the enlisted. I felt no desire to protect someone who did not want to be our friend. Oh, I also read this because I was stationed at Fort Leanard Wood and Dr. Wood was the other main character who helped create this group of Rough Riders.

(Detail from Charge of the 24th and 25th Colored Infantry and Rescue of Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, July 2, 1898 depicting the Battle of San Juan Hill.)

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