Historical Context Edit
The First United States Volunteer Cavalry – better known to the unenlightened as the “Rough Riders” (the nickname taken from Buffalo Bill’s “Congress of Rough Riders of the World” … and describing Teddy’s unruly recruits rather well) – was a regiment raised by Theodore Roosevelt in 1898 AD for action in the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt had been a staunch supporter of America acquiring a colonial empire by almost any means, and when troubles arose in Cuba the United States took advantage of the opportunity to beat up the moribund and bankrupt Spanish Empire. Roosevelt immediately resigned his post as Asst. Secretary of the Navy and raised a volunteer regiment of 1060 cowboys, ranchers, miners, college athletes, and other rough sorts from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Although a cavalry unit, they served with distinction – mostly afoot, as at the famous charge up San Juan Hill (actually, Kettle Hill – but that’s Americans abroad for you) on July 1st. Afterward the Rough Riders were part of the siege of Santiago, until Spain surrendered in August, whereupon the volunteers returned home and went about celebrating in their own ways.