On the morning of June 9, 1898, the 1st U.S. Volunteer Calvary Regiment, "The Rough Riders", arrived in this vicinity via an empty coal train originally boarded near the Tampa Bay Hotel (approximately 7 miles to the northeast). That morning, the docs at Port Tampa (1 mile to the west) were a hectic scene as 16,000 U.S. Army troops converged to embark on ships bound for Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Due to overwhelming congestion, and because the train was an unscheduled arrival, it was stopped across the street from here and refused entry into Port Tampa. Colonel Leonard Wood, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, and a small contingent of 590 Rough Riders hurried to the port while the rest of the regiment off loaded equipment from the train. Through bold initiate, Colonel Wood secured the S. S. Yucatan at the pier while Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt sent word back for the regiment to gather equipment and march on foot to meet the ship. In the end, about 66 percent of the regiment embarked for Cuba.