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172 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

horses was drowned swimming through the surf. It was a fierce fight; the Spaniards shot well, but they did not stand when we rushed.

We received the details of the fight of Las Guasimas on the 4th of July, I remember, and all night long I sat on my piazza on Orange Mountain, thinking, with a strange horror, of the danger in which my brother had been and still was.

On June 27, 1898, another letter, this time dated Santiago:

"We have a lovely camp here by a beautiful stream which runs through jungle-land banks. The morning after the fight, we buried our dead in a great big trench, reading the solemn burial service over them, and all the regiment joined in singing `Rock of Ages.' The woods are full of land crabs, some of which are almost as big as rabbits; when things grew quiet, they slowly gathered in gruesome rings around the fallen."

Bob Ferguson also adds interesting evidence to the courage of the First Volunteer Cavalry under fire.

Las Guasimas-June 25, 1898.

Theodore and Wood are more than delighted with the conduct of the men. You never heard such a hail of shot. The enemy, of course, knew when we would be in the jungle, and we could only guess their whereabouts. Their volleys opened up from all directions. Theodore did great work skipping from one troop to another, and directed them as they were deployed, but we can only trust that this kind of thing won't happen too often, for fear of results. It was, in fact, a surprise party, however, an expected one. Our men rushed into a known ambush with the careless dash of the cow-puncher. Once in, they literally had to hug the ground while the trees above and beside them were torn to shreds. . . . Theodore has marked the Spaniard all right-and the name of his regiment will never be spoken of any too lightly. They really did not understand fear and would willingly repeat the dose tomorrow. Poor Ham Fish,

Cowboy and Clubman   173

he was such a good-hearted, game fellow, and I got to like him

ever so much on the way down;-it is more than much now!The Spaniards showed any amount of skill in their tactics, and only the extraordinary grit of our men undid their calculation, together with the good work of a parallel column of Regulars, who cleared the Spaniards off a flanking ridge in the forest in the finest style-otherwise they could have out-flanked us on either side and given us Hell in open sight. So far, it seems like fighting an army of invisible Pigmies.... Kenneth was awfully good yesterday after the fight. He was the first to volunteer to help the wounded when the entire troop was too exhausted to move;-he carried them for hours until his back gave out. ... We really did splendidly yesterday. The Regulars are to have their turn now. We have been blooded ourselves. We lost too many officers. One little fellow, shot right through both hips, was the greatest little sport. He refused to be attended to until others were made comfortable, and he lay and smoked his pipe patiently. One man walked to the hospital with five wounds:-in the neck, right shoulder, right hand, left

thigh, and one other.

It is a matter of interest to print the above extracts, for even when my brother wrote his book called "The Rough Riders," he could not give quite the spirit which the letters, penned at the moment of the happenings, can so fitly interpret. Bob Ferguson again, on July 5, gave an important description of my brother:

Before Santiago, July 5, 1898.

We have been having the devil of a fine time of it, shooting Spaniards, and being "stormed at by shot and shell." When I caught up with Theodore, the day of his famous charge, (having been held in the reserve line until tired of being pelted at from a distance) "T" was revelling in victory. He had just "doubled up" a Spanish officer like a jack-rabbit, as he retreated from a block house. . . . That same evening, having


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