ROUGH RIDERS, officially the First U.S. Cavalry Volunteers, fought in the Spanish-American War and became the most widely publicized regiment in American military history. Its members came from the cattle ranges, mining camps, and law enforcement agencies of the Southwest. Such personnel offered brilliant copy for war correspondents and the unit's inexperienced but colorful commanding officers, particularly Theodore Roosevelt, enhanced its swashbuckling image. Although only half the regiment actually fought the Spanish, the fragment that reached Cuba lived up to its advance publicity. From Las Guásimas to San Juan Hill, the Rough Riders' attacks were often unconventional, but usually successful and helped romanticize the war in the United States.
Samuels, Peggy, and Harold Samuels. Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan: The Making of a President. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1997.
Jim DanHill/e. m.
Rough Riders, popular name for the 1st Regiment of U.S. Cavalry Volunteers, organized largely by Theodore Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War (1898). Its members were mostly ranchers and cowboys from the West, with a sprinkling of adventurous blue bloods from the Eastern universities. Roosevelt resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to enter active fighting. The command of the regiment went, however, to a man of more military experience, Leonard Wood. Roosevelt was made lieutenant colonel. Transportation difficulties caused the regiment's horses to be abandoned in Florida, and it fought chiefly on foot in Cuba. It took part in the battles about Santiago; its exploits, especially at San Juan Hill, were highly publicized.
See T. Roosevelt, The Rough Riders (1899, repr. 1961); C. Herner, The Arizona Rough Riders (1970).
Rough Riders ★★½ 1997
Miniseries covering the adventures of the Volunteer Cavalry, led by a prepresidential Teddy Roosevelt (Berneger), and their travails during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Fighting in Cuba, the Calvary were a mixture of western outlaws and cowboys and eastern bluebloods—all of whom would have to learn to fight together. Filmed on locations in Texas. 240m/C VHS, DVD . Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, Gary Busey, Brad Johnson, Christopher Noth, Brian Keith, George Hamilton, R. Lee Ermey, Nicholas Chinlund, Dale Dye, Holt McCallany, Illeana Douglas, Geoffrey Lewis, William Katt, Adam Storke, Dakin Matthews, Francesco Quinn, Titus Welliver, Mark Moses; D: John Milius; W: John Milius, Hugh Wilson; C: Anthony B. Richmond; M: Peter Bernstein. CABLE