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Procure a Coal Train


100 S. Newport Ave., Tampa, FL 33606


On the evening of June 9, 1898, the 1st U.S.  Volunteer Calvary Regiment, "The Rough Riders", were ordered to leave their encampment (approximately one mile northwest of here) and proceed to Port Tampa (on the eastern shore of Old Tampa Bay) as part of the U.S. invasion force embarking for Cuba during the Spanish American War.   Approximately 600 Rough Riders, led by Colonel Leonard P. Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in the early evening at a spur line in this vicinity with order to await a train around midnight.  When the train did not arrive, the Rough Riders found what suitable ground there was and slept.   On June 8, 1898, at approximately 6:00 A.M. an empty coal train returning from Port Tampa was stopped by the Regiment.   After some discussion, Colonels Wood and Roosevelt convinced the engineer to reverse course and transport the Rough Riders to the port.   After the men and equipment were loaded into empty coal cars, the train traveled in reverse approximately seven miles, delivering the Regiment to Port Tampa.  


June 8, 2023


This marker is located just west of the University of Tampa, at the intersection of Hwy 60 and Newport Avenue.   Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders had broken camp and were attempting to get transportation for the troops, horses, and equipment to Port Tampa.  The train that was assigned to arrive at midnight did not show so they were forced to commandeer another train.

The next morning they were able to stop a coal train returning to Tampa from Port Tampa, which they boarded and convinced the Engineer to back up the 7 miles tom Port Tampa.

Rough Rider Office - 813-248-1898 - 601 N 19th St . - Tampa, FL 33605  Email:
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