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,