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Original Rough Riders

(there were over 1200 original Rough Riders...we periodically add info here as it is located or provided to us)

Major Micah John Jenkins

Private Albin Jay Pollak

Micah John Jenkins was born July 3, 1857, and graduated from West Point in 1879. 

He served in the Spanish–American War, as Captain of Troop K, 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the "Rough Riders." He fought with the Regiment in Cuba and was present during the attack on San Juan Hill. 

He was promoted to Major of the Regiment on August 11, 1898; and was mustered out of service with the Regiment at Montauk PointLong Island, New York in September 1898. He died in Charleston, South Carolina on Oct. 17, 1912.\ and is buried in Saint Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Yonges Island, Charleston County, South Carolina.

Albin Jay Pollak was considered one of the last living RR.  Born 19 Aug 1876 in New York City, Albin Jay Pollock, 92, was believed to be one of the last survivors of the famed Rough Riders in the Spanish American War when he passed away December 23rd, 1967. Pollock, a practicing geologist for 40 years, lived in San Francisco most of his life.  He was buried with military honors tomorrow at the Veterans Home of California. 

During the Spanish American War, Private Pollock was assigned to K Troop and was reported as being sick in the line of duty.

1st Lieutenant Thomas Winthrop Hall 

Regimental Adjutant

Charles L. Ballard

Thomas Winthrop Hall (aka: Tom Hall) was a cavalry officer, author, and lawyer. He was born in Ogdensburg, NY in 1862. After graduating from West Point in 1887, he served in Arizona as second lieutenant in the 4th and 10th Cavalry at Forts Huachuca and Apache, from September 29, 1887 until January 1, 1889, when he resigned.

Reenlisting during the Spanish-American War, he served as first 

lieutenant and regimental quartermaster for the 1st Volunteer Cavalry from May 2, 1898 until August 1, 1898, when he resigned once more. 

While serving with the 1st Cavalry, however, he participated in the battle of Las Guasimas, San Juan, and the siege of Santiago. While with the Rough Riders he suffered a malaria attack upon first landing in Cuba, but continued on duty until the delayed onset of fever nearly took his life. He suffered multiple relapses of the disease for years afterwards.

In civilian life, he became a lawyer in IL (1889), a commandant of cadets at two military schools, and an editor for several publications. By 1889 he had started selling poems and short stories to magazines, and, despite his short life, eventually published nine books. At the age of 37, he died of sunstroke in Hannibal, MO, on August 24, 1900. 

Charles L. Ballard (lawman, broke up Black jack gang)

Charles L. Ballard, born in Texas in 1867, came to New Mexico with his father and settled at Fort Sumner in 1878. In 1893, while serving as sheriff, he made a record for himself for bravery by capturing the Cook brothers who were members of the Dalton gang of murderers and desperadoes operating in the Pecos Valley.

In 1898, Governor Otero, Territorial Governor of New Mexico wired Charlie Ballard asking if he would accept a commission in the regiment to be mobilized at San Antonio, Texas 

to serve in the Spanish American War. On accepting Mr. Ballard was made Second Lieutenant in Troop M of the famous Rough Riders with Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in command.

Mr. Ballard, after hostilities were suspended, was invited with four of his military companions to visit the Roosevelt family at Oyster Bay, where they were entertained at dances, fishing parties, and dinners given in their honor. 

Private Joseph Burton Crockett

William M. McGinty

Trooper Joseph B. Crockett, Troop I, 1st USV Cavalry ('Rough Riders'). Trooper Crockett was described as 28 years of age, height 5' 7 1/2", dark complexion, and having brown eyes and dark hair. 

He was born in Logansport, Indiana and was a railroad man before enrolling in the Rough Riders at Santa Fe, N. M. on May 5, 1898. He was originally enrolled in Troop G; however, on May 12, he was transferred to Troop I. 

He is listed on the Company Muster-Out Roll at Camp Wickoff, L. I., on Sept. 15, 1898; he is listed again with Troop G. Chief Researcher Franklin B. Mallory also notes that this revolver is listed within an article on the Rough Rider revolvers in the March/April 1989 issue of "Man at Arms" magazine. Theodore Roosevelt's book "The Rough Riders" also confirms Crockett's transfer to Troop I and lists him as from Topeka, Kansas. Joseph Burton Crockett (1869-1926) returned to Topeka following the Spanish-American War and was buried in Leavenworth National Cemetery. 

William McGinty (bronco buster, shortest man in Regiment, Wrote book: "Oklahoma Rough Rider: Billy McGinty’s Own Story"

William M. McGinty (January 1, 1871 – May 21, 1961) was an Oklahoman cowboy.

As a cowboy in Kansas and the Indian Territory, he became acquainted with fellow cowboy Bill Doolin and others who would later turn outlaw.

Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt and hero at San Juan Hill,[3][4] he also toured with Buffalo Bill's Congress of Rough Riders. He was the first bronc buster in a movie, filmed during an act for the 1889 Paris World's Fair.

In the 1920s, he became the leader of the McGinty's Oklahoma Cowboy Band, which later became Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys, the first nationally famous cowboy band.

In 1954 he was elected life-time president of the Rough Riders Association. There is a great article in True West Magazine about him which can be found here.

McGinty died: 21 May 1961 at age 90.  He is buried in: Ingalls Cemetery, Ingalls, Payne County, Oklahoma

Robert Munro Ferguson

Robert Duffield Wrenn

Robert Munro Ferguson (hunting/ranching partner)

Robert Harry Munro Ferguson was born on June 8, 1867 in Raith, Scotland.  His father, from an illustrious family, died one year after Robert’s birth.  As the third son, Robert had to leave home and find his own way in the world.  He made the decision to cross the Atlantic and go to Canada, where he was appointed aide-de-camp to 

Lord Aberdeen, who was the Governor General.  Taking a break from his office work, he eagerly

joined Roosevelt’s Rough Riders when the Spanish American War (1898-1901) broke out.  During his service, he earned the title of lieutenant and gained Teddy Roosevelt’s admiration after being the first man in his regiment to enter the enemy trench at Santiago.  Teddy wrote about this to Patty Selmes (Robert’s future mother-in-law) saying, “ I wish you could have seen him, in his gentle, quiet way, going everywhere with me and everywhere I sent him, with literally complete indifference to Spanish bullets.”  He moved to the mountains of southwest New Mexico where they eventually built a home.  Robert succumbed to  disease in 1922.

Robert Duffield Wrenn (September 20, 1873 – November 21, 1925) was an American left-handed

 tennis player, four-time  U.S. singles championship winner, and one of the first inductees in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Bob Wrenn was born in Highland Park, Illinois. Wrenn attended Harvard University, where he was a prominent quarterback on the football team. Wrenn was considered "one of Harvard's greatest all-around athletes," a star player at football, ice hockey, and baseball. Wrenn won tennis titles in 1893, 1894, 1896 and 1897 (losing out to Fe Hovey in 1895).

In 1898, he served in Cuba with Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War. He contracted yellow fever while in Cuba.

Mason Mitchell

Captain Allyn K. Capron

Mason Mitchell (former chief of scouts in Riel Rebellion)

Mitchell was a Broadway actor, world traveler, big game hunter, served in Theodore Roosevelt's celebrated Rough Riders and was a diplomat to countries around the globe.

In 1885, he enlisted in the Canadian army and became chief of scouts during the Riel Rebellion, an uprising by the Metis people in northwestern Canada. He was awarded a medal for gallantry by Britain's Queen Victoria.

In 1896, he returned to New York City and the theater, managing the Garrick Theater, but two years later he was of the first to answer Theodore Roosevelt's call for volunteers to join his regiment of Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War.

Fighting the Spanish in Cuba, Mitchell was wounded by shrapnel in his back and side in the trenches outside of Santiago. Returning to New York after healing at Key West, Mitchell became very good at telling the story.

"I saw the shell over my head, which when it burst, put me out. How did it feel? The wound itself, I thought it had ripped open my back. The concussion, although the missile was small, was so terrible that I was sure that nothing was left of my anatomy from neck to my waist."

Captain Allyn K. Capron

Captain Allyn K. Capron Jr. commanded "L" Troop of the Rough Riders. When the Spanish–American War broke out, Capron raised a troop of Rough Riders from the Old West (now Oklahoma) to serve as volunteer cavalry in Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt later wrote of Capron:

I think he was the ideal of what an American regular army officer should be. He was the fifth in descent from father to son who had served in the army of the United States, and in body and mind alike he was fitted to play his part to perfection. Tall and lithe ... a first-class rider and shot. ... He looked what he was, the archetype of the fighting man. [His] mastery of his art was so thorough and his performance of his own duty so rigid that he won at once not merely their admiration, but that soldierly affection ...— Roosevelt, Theodore, The Rough Riders

Captain Capron was killed in action on June 24th 1898 at the Battle of Las Guasimas.  He was awarded a posthumous Silver Star in 1925.

Sergeant Hamilton Fish II

Private Frank B. Booth

Sergeant Hamilton Fish II

Fish was a member of "L" troop commanded by Captain Allyn K. Capron Jr. He was not the only soldier from a prominent family in the unit: "... 

To this rugged crew, Roosevelt added some 50 men with backgrounds closer to his own: Ivy Leaguers from wealthy Eastern families. In citing their qualifications for active duty, Roosevelt touted their athletic accomplishments. Dudley Dean was "perhaps the best quarterback who ever played on a Harvard 11."

Bob Wrenn was "the champion tennis player of America." Other Easterners included "Waller, the high jumper; Craig Wadsworth, the steeplechase rider; Joe Stephens, the crack polo player; and Hamilton Fish, the ex-captain of the Columbia crew."

Fish was one of the first Americans killed in the Battle of Las Guasimas, near Santiago, Cuba, on June 24, 1898. He died of a gunshot just near the heart and survived less than a minute, according to a Rough Rider, trooper Ed Culver, who was wounded by the same bullet.

Frank B. Booth (1875-1898) – Roosevelt Rough Rider – from Madison, Wisconsin.  At the start of the Spanish-American War (1898), a conflict with Spain fought in Cuba;  the U. S. raised three volunteer cavalry regiments to fight the Spaniards.  Only one, the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, saw action and this was the unit Booth joined.  He served as a private in Troop F.  The cavalrymen were named Rough Riders by their leader Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.  The future president took the name from his friend William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.”  Private Booth was wounded in action and died of complications while being treated in the Key West hospital.

Dudley Stuart Dean

2nd Lieutenant John McIlhenny

Dudley Stuart Dean (April 19, 1871 – September 25, 1950) was an All-American football quarterback for Harvard University. He played quarterback for Harvard from 1888-1890 and was selected as an All-American in 1890. Dean also fought with the Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish–American War. For more information about his involvement at San Juan Hill read this link: Dudley_Dean.

John Avery McIlhenny (1867–1942) was an American businessman, soldier, politician and civil servant. He was the son of Tabasco brand pepper sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny and after his father's death in 1890, he oversaw the business operations with his mother.

John Avery McIlhenny (1867–1942) was an American businessman, soldier, politician and civil servant. He was the son of Tabasco brand pepper sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny and after his father's death in 1890, he oversaw the business operations with his mother.

With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he joined the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry of the United States Army, the celebrated Rough Riders on May 19, 1898. Participating in the battles of Las Guasimas and San Juan Hill, Cuba, he was claimed to have saved Theodore Roosevelt from sniper's bullet. Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, of Troop E, by Roosevelt for gallantry in action, he was discharged on September 15, 1898. He and Theodore Roosevelt became life long friends. He entered politics, serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1900-1904 and the State Senate, 1904-1906. On November 30, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt, appointed him U.S. Civil Service Commissioner. He retained post under Taft and Wilson, was appointed president of U.S. Civil Service Commission, on June 12, 1913 and appointed financial advisor to Haiti during U.S. occupation on January 27, 1919. He resigned from public office on October 11, 1922 and retired in Washington, D.C.

Captain Maximilian Luna

Major Alexander Oswald Brodie

Maximilian Luna (Trp F CO, pleaded for troop to go to Cuba because of its Latino composition)

Born 16 Jun 1870 in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Died 15 Nov 1899 (aged 29).

Captain Maximiliano Luna was the most distinguished Latino member of the “Rough Riders.” He was descended directly from the conquistadors who settled New Mexico in 1650 and his family had lived along the Rio Grande River since the 17th century. At the time that he joined the Rough Riders, he was 28 years and was educated at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the group, he had served as a sheriff in Valencia County, New Mexico.

He particularly distinguished himself on the bloody field of Las Guasimas and during the terrible onslaught of San Juan Hill.

He was mustered out with the regiment Sept. 15, 1898, receiving the highest commendations of his commanding officers, General Wood and Col. Roosevelt.

His name is the first listed on the Rough Riders Memorial. He drowned while crossing the Rio Agno in the Philippines. His remains were never recovered for burial.

Alexander Oswald Brodie (November 13, 1849 – May 10, 1918) was an American military officer and engineer. Earning his initial reputation during the Indian wars, he came to prominence for his service with the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War. His friendship with Theodore Roosevelt then led to Brodie being appointed Governor of Arizona Territory from 1902 to 1905.

In March 3, 1898, with the outbreak of war between Spain and the United States appearing likely, Brodie sent telegraphs to President William McKinley and Governor Myron H. McCord seeking permission to

 raise a volunteer regiment of cavalry. With the start of the Spanish–American War the Rough Riders were formed and Arizona Territory allocated a quota of 170 men. Brodie was appointed as senior regimental officer at the rank of major on April 25, 1898.

Following training in San Antonio, Texas, Brodie's unit was deployed to Cuba. On June 24, 1898, during the Battle of Las Guasimas, he was wounded by a bullet in his right wrist. Initially refusing to leave the battle, Major Brodie was eventually forced from the field by pain and blood loss. He was evacuated from Cuba and treated in the hospital at Fort Wadsworth, New York. After recovering from his wound, Brodie returned to the Rough Riders on August 11, 1898, and, being promoted to lieutenant colonel, succeeded Theodore Roosevelt as unit commander. Brodie himself mustered out on September 15, 1898, and returned to Arizona Territory to work as a mining engineer.

A great deal more information about Major Brodie can be found here.

Sergeant Hallett Alsop Borrowe

Reverend Henry A. Brown, U.S. Army

Born: April 1, 1864, Paterson, NJ

Died: 22 May 1921 (aged 57), New York City, NY

Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ

Sergeant Borrowe was assigned to Troop L of the Rough Riders.  He was the custodian of the Dynamite gun which he fired in the Battle of Santiago on July 1st.  He later provided a report to General Wood with his observations of the weapon system.


Pursuant to your order, I have the honor to submit the following report on the Sims-Dudley pneumatic gun. The gun has now been in action three times, namely, at the Battle of Santiago, on July 1, and at the subsequent bombardment of that city on July 10 and 11. In all 20 shots have been fired, resulting in the destruction of three Spanish guns, the extensive demolition of trenches, and presumably a considerable loss of life to the enemy. It may therefore be asserted that as a destructive agent the gun is a success, and justifies the claims made for it by its makers in this respect. The test, however, to which the gun has been put has been equally serviceable in laying bare certain faults in material and construction, which not only mar the efficiency of the gun, but add greatly to the danger attending its operation."

More on his report can be found at this link.

Chaplain Brown is the tall dark-haired man in center of the picture.  Second row, third from the left.

Reverend Henry A. Brown, U.S. Army

Said Teddy Roosevelt of Chaplain Brown...

"Chaplain you have done noble work.  There is no time more opportune than the present to give expression to the feeling we all bear you.  You are as brave as any man in the regiment.  When we went up that hill, I even caught you with a carbine in your hand.  

Your action on the firing line and your unrelenting care for the wounded when you would go into the midst of showers of lead to minister to the men’s wants deserve the highest praise.” Theodore Roosevelt, September 3rd, 1898

Reverend Henry A. Brown, U.S. Army, served on the Board of directors for the Rough Riders National Monument Society in 1906.

He was also instrumental in the post-war location of the body of Captain Bucky O'Neil.  Read the story here.

Acting 2nd Lieutenant Ernest E. Haskell

Captain William Owen "Buckey" O'Neil

Acting 2nd Lieutenant Earnest E. Haskell (a West point cadet, on leave from the Academy), wounded at San Juan Hill.  

Ernest Haskell was born on September 24, 1876 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He dies November 9th, 1932 (aged 56) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  He is buried in Arlington Cemetery.  

"Earnest Haskell, a West Point cadet gaining battle experience during his vacation from the Academy, was shot in the stomach. Roosevelt saw him fall and rushed to his side. "It's all right, Colonel, I'm going to get well," the youth assured him.  "Don't bother about me".  Roosevelt, who treated all of his men as if they were his sons or brothers, held him momentarily by the hand, mistakenly positive that the wound was mortal." 

(Excerpt from Roosevelt's Rough Riders by Virgil Carrington Jones)

William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill (February 2, 1860 – July 1, 1898) was a sheriffnewspaper editor, miner, politician, Georgistgambler and lawyer, mainly in Arizona

In 1898, war broke out between the United States and Spain. O'Neill joined the Rough Riders and became Captain of Troop A. First Lieutenant Frank Frantz served as O'Neil's Deputy Commander. Along with Alexander Brodie and James McClintock, he tried to make an entire regiment made up of Arizona Cowboys. Eventually though, only three troops were authorized.

The Rough Riders landed at Daiquirí on June 22, 1898. Two Buffalo Soldiers, of the 10th Cavalry fell overboard. Upon seeing this, O'Neill jumped into the water in full uniform and sabre. He searched for the men for two minutes, before having to come up for breath.

On June 25, 1898, the Rough Riders saw their first action. O'Neill led his men at the front of the line in the Battle of Las Guasimas, capturing the Spanish flank. During the action he saw several men, who he believed were Spaniards, across the road from him, and shouted "Hostiles on our right, fire at will!" He learned after the firing ceased that the men he exchanged shots with were Cuban rebels.

On July 1, 1898, at about 10am, the Rough Riders and the 10th Cavalry were stationed below Kettle Hill. The Spaniards, who were on top of the hill, [Mauser] rifle fire down on the Americans. Buckey O'Neill was killed in action.

There is more detailed information about Captain O'Neil on Wikipedia here.

Private William J. Pollack

Private William B. Proffitt

One of the most notable Native Americans in the Rough Riders was the multi-talented Pawnee William Pollock (1870–1899), a painter as well as a warrior. In fact, Pollock listed “artist” as his occupation on his enlistment papers. William Pollock was born in Nebraska three years before the start of the Pawnees’ relocation to Indian Territory. His birth name was “Tay-loo-wah-ah-who,” but he subsequently was referred to as Pollock, taking the name of a local federal Indian agent and cattleman.

On May 5, 1898, at Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory, Pollock enlisted for two-year service in the U.S. Army. His muster roll indicated he stood five feet, eight inches, with dark complexion and black hair. He listed Eagle Chief of Pawnee, Oklahoma Territory as his “parent or guardian.” Pollock was one of eight Pawnee who joined the Rough Riders, continuing a tribal tradition of alliance with the U.S. Army. 

 “One of the gamest fighters and best soldiers was Pollock, a full-blooded Pawnee,” wrote Roosevelt in his memoir The Rough Riders. Pollock was a silent, solitary fellow – an excellent penman, much given to drawing pictures. When we got down to Santiago he developed into the regimental clerk.

On June 24, American forces conducted a direct assault on Spanish General Antonio Rubin’s troops. Although this clash, known in history as the Battle of Las Guasimas, was in effect indecisive and American military leadership questionable at best, newspapers in the United States hailed it as a victory. Two soldiers in Pollock’s D Company died in combat at Las Guasimas. At the battle, Thomas Isbell, a Cherokee was shot seven times, but managed to survive. Importantly, “Pawnee Pollock,” as he was referred to by the officers, was cited for bravery. Roosevelt commented: “Among the men whom I noticed as leading in the charges and always being nearest the enemy were the Pawnee Pollock, Simpson of Texas, and Dudley Dean.” Well after the war, two of Pollock’s Rough Rider comrades noted his actions at the battle. One remarked that when the shooting became intense and the enemy’s Mauser bullets were “flying fast,” soldiers of Company D took cover. The exception was Pollock who stood his ground. Hidden behind a tree, he unloaded the bullets in his carbine. The other Rough Rider said Pollock was “making every shot count.”

Private Pollock was one of those affected by the Cuban fever. On September 15, the quarantine was lifted and Pollock returned to Pawnee, Oklahoma Territory. On March 8, 1899, approximately six months after his return, he died at the age of 28. 

Read more here.

Tall, sinewy, fearless William B. Proffitt from North Carolina, twenty four years old, son of a Confederate Officer, a handsome man pf remarkable strength.

Served in Cuba. When the Spanish sharpshooters became so annoying that Roosevelt hand-picked a detail of marksmen to hunt them out.  Proffitt was among them.  They killed eleven without receiving so much as a scratch themselves.

Returned with regiment to Montauk, NY. Admitted to hospital September 1 with kidney trouble and fever considered in line of duty. Mustered out of service October 21, 1898 well after regimental disbanded (Sept 15) in NYC. It must be assumed it took him that long to recover from kidney trouble/fever.

Post war: He married a Cornelia Young probably in New Mexico. They has a son, Waldo W. Proffitt born in 1901 in Phoenix, Arizona and died in California of an accidental electrocution

On his death: "William Proffitt, the crack shot who had performed such effective work hunting snipers in the hills before Santiago, had been murdered. No one knows exactly what happened, but Proffitt was killed while prospecting in the deep canyons of the Bradshaw Mountains south of Prescott. His body was eventually recovered, but no clue was ever found as to the identity of the assailant."

Captain William H. H. Llewellyn

Captain George Curry

William H. H. Llewellyn served as the captain of Troop G of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry.

When the Spanish-American war broke out in April 1898 New Mexico Governor Miguel A. Otero called for volunteers for a cavalry regiment that would become known as Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. The New Mexico component was to consist of four troops, designated E, F, G and H, and was officially mustered into service on May 6 and 7. Llewellyn assisted with the recruitment and became Captain of troop “G”, while his eighteen-year-old son Morgan joined troop “H” that was under the command of future governor Captain George Curry. Major H. B. Hersey took command of the four troops that now formed the second squadron of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry.

At the San Antonio Exposition grounds horses were allotted to the various troops by color, and the training began. Only a few days later on the twenty-ninth of May the regiment boarded a train for Tampa. When it was time to embark for Cuba orders were received for one of the four New Mexico troops to stay behind in Florida. The toss of a coin decided the issue and to their everlasting disappointment the lot fell on Curry’s troop “H”. It was thus that Llewellyn’s son Morgan missed his chance to participate in the Cuban campaign.

In Cuba Captain Llewellyn was credited with an important contribution to the American victory in the battle for a hill at San Juan. Dubbed “Kettle Hill”, a sentry named Ralph McFie had been posted for night duty, when he heard the stirrings of Spanish troops moving into position. Retreating to his own lines he was intercepted by Captain Llewellyn. McFie was also from Las Cruces and Llewellyn knew him well. The Captain lost no time to notify headquarters, causing the promoted Colonel Roosevelt to order an early counterattack that went into history as the celebrated charge of Roosevelt's Rough Riders up San Juan Hill. McFie’s vigilance and Llewellyn’s prompt action earned the latter a promotion to Major. The campaign also caused him to contract yellow fever and put him into the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

As Roosevelt’s comrade-in-arms on San Juan Hill, Llewellyn returned to Las Cruces as something of a war hero. When Roosevelt became President in 1901 he appointed him United States attorney for New Mexico.

Since the 1890’s Llewellyn had been a member of the New Mexico Territorial Militia and when he was appointed Judge Advocate General of the New Mexico National Guard he was promoted to Colonel. He also was active since at least 1899 in New Mexico’s long drawn out struggle for statehood. He served in the Constitutional Convention of 1910 and in November 1911 was chosen a member of New Mexico’s first state legislature, where he represented Dona Ana County.

William Henry Harrison Llewellyn died in the U.S. Army William Beaumont hospital in El Paso on June 11, 1927 and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Las Cruces.

George Curry was the Captain of Troop H of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (. Curry missed going to Cuba by a coin toss, and was among the Rough Riders left behind in Florida.

“When the time came to move the regiment into action in Cuba, Colonel Wood chose Captains Muller and Llewellyn from our squadron. Calling in Captain Max Luna and me he told us: ‘I am sorry I cannot take you both, but I must leave one troop of your squadron here.’…Captain Luna and I tossed a quarter to see which troop should go…Luna won.” Curry and his men were deeply disappointed and as the summer heat intensified it became difficult for Curry to maintain discipline.

The regiment was formally mustered out on the fifteenth of September and Curry returned to New Mexico. When a new county (Otero) was created in 1899 from parts of Lincoln County, he moved to Alamogordo and became County Sheriff. But that was not the end of his military career. A year later he was offered and accepted a commission as a lieutenant in the Eleventh Volunteer Cavalry that was being organized in the Philippine Islands, and Curry was authorized to recruit 100 men, a task he accomplished in two days. In November 1899 he sailed from San Francisco via Honolulu straight into a typhoon and “the vessel limped into Manila Harbor the night of December 17.”

The action Curry missed in Cuba he saw in fighting Philippine forces at San Mateo and other places. After organized opposition to American government ended in 1901 he was appointed governor of Ambos Camarines province. In July of that year he became police chief of Manila, a position he held until July 1902 when he resigned to go into private business to become president of the Camarines Mercantile Company. He prospered until he contracted cholera, which forced his return to the U.S. in 1903.

In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt asked Curry to accept an appointment as governor of Isabela Province, in the extreme north part of Luzon. In served in that office and a following one as governor of Samar province until 1907, returning to the States to become governor of New Mexico Territory from 1907 until February 28, 1910.

Sergeant Nevin P. Gutilius

Private Richard Leroy “Dick” Shanafelt

Sergeant Nevin P. Gutilius

Sergeant Nevin Gutilius was born in Gettysburg, PA.  He was a miner and joined the Rough Riders in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 5th 1898. Upon enlistment he was 44 years old and stood 5ft., 3-3/4ins., with a ruddy complexion, Brown eyes and gray hair.

Arrived San Antonio, May 17, 1898

He was part of the dynamite gun crew and also served as a flag bearer.

Appointed to rank of Sergeant on May 7 by Regimental Commander (Col. Wood)

Appointed Regimental Color Sergeant August 15.

Nicknamed “Daddy of the Regiment” (presumed due to his age and described as having a ruddy complexion, brown eyes and grey hair)  

Sent to Cuba June 8 – Aug 19.

Discharged Sept. 15, 1898 at Camp Wykoff, NY

The uniform here was worn by Private Shanafelt.  It is on display in the Frontier Army Museum, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Dick Shanafelt served in the 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders) during the Spanish American War, 05/01/1898 – 09/30/1898.

Private Shanafelt enlisted May 5th in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. He was 19 years old and stood 5ft, 10 inches.  His eyes were gray-blue and his hair was dark-brown. Shanafelt was born March 14, 1879 in Franklin Co, Nebraska. When he enlisted he was a newsdealer and was single. Shanafelt died Nov 10th, 1967 at the age of 88 in Wadsworth Kansas and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas.

Private Shanafelt was assigned to Troop D of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment.  He served in Cuba with the regiment and returned safely to the US with the regiment. 

He contracted the ‘Yellow Fever’ and spent a year convalescing in New York City with the DeGrove family. After being back home for one year, he reenlisted and went to the Philippines in the war with ‘The Insurgents’. He served as a Sergeant in Company D, 19th US Infantry Regiment through 1902. In later years he served in the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Muskogee, Okla. After 28 years in the bureau, he retired.

He was one of the last handful of Rough Riders still alive when he passed away in 1967.

1st Lieutenant James R. Church

Lieutenant William Tiffany

James Robb Church (January 1, 1866 – May 18, 1923) was a United States Army Assistant Surgeon who received the Medal of Honor for his actions as part of the Rough Riders regiment during the Spanish–American War. He also served in World War I, and wrote about the effects of poison gas and his experiences as a wartime doctor.

Church was awarded a Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Las Guasimas in the Spanish–American War on June 24, 1898.[2] He received his medal on January 10, 1906, from Theodore Roosevelt, who was also part of the Rough Rider regiment.[2][3] It was the first time that the Medal of Honor had ever been presented in person by the president of the United States.[1][2]

The citation read in part: “In addition to performing gallantly the duties pertaining to his position, voluntarily and unaided carried several seriously wounded men from the firing line to a secure position in the rear, in each instance being subjected to a very heavy fire and great exposure and danger.”

Colonel Church died May 18, 1923, at age 57 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lieutenant William Tiffany

Born 20 Nov 1863, Newport, Rhode Island

Died 25 August 1898 (aged 34), Boston, MA

William Tiffany was a good friend of Roosevelt. When the unit was formed it was largely composed of frontiersman from the Indian Territory, Arizona and New Mexico territories. But once Roosevelt joined its ranks, it soon attracted his Ivy League friends, among a mix of colorful characters.

Tiffany was the son of Newport, Rhode Island, scions George and Isabella Tiffany.  Tiffany aided in providing extra firepower for the Regiment —a pair of the Colt M1895 machine guns chambered in the Spanish 7x57 millimeter. Tiffany helped pay for one of the two machine guns the Rough Riders had with them, while it is believed the other was split among the other socialite friends of Roosevelt. Both weapons were used in the charge of San Juan Hill.

On July 2, Sgt. William Tiffany, Cpl. Stevens and six other Rough Riders reported to Lt. Parker, on orders from Roosevelt. They brought the Rough Riders' two Colt automatic rifles to join the detachment. Sgt. Burrowe of the Rough Riders soon joined Parker with the regiment's dynamite gun. The odd assortment now under Parker's command participated in actions on July 11.

For his service, William Tiffany received a battlefield commission to lieutenant. However, he succumbed to the Cuban (yellow) fever and lack of proper nourishment and died during the campaign. 

One of the two “Tiffany Guns” is now in the collection of the NRA Museum—a testament to the American military’s first automatic weapon and to William Tiffany for wanting the best weapons to help his unit in combat.

Corporal Frederick Herrig

Private Henry Levi Peck Bardshar

Corporal Frederick Herrig from Montana served in K Troop.  He joined the Rough Riders as a Private on May 13th in San Antonio.  He served in Cuba with the regiment and was promoted to Corporal.

Herrig was an expert at breaking horses and perhaps the best all-around horseman in the Regiment.  He was described as loyal, simple-minded, a friend of Roosevelt and a man much older than those with whom he served.

He was a skilled hunter and marksman and served in the regiment as a sharpshooter.  He also served with the machine gun team. Herrig was discharged September 30th and eventually returned to Montana.

Little was known about Montana’s vast, unmapped wilderness when presidential proclamations set aside U.S. forest reserves during the 1890s. In 1904, Ant Flat, Montana became one of the region’s first year-round ranger stations. Ample water, land suitable for pasture and domestic gardens, proximity to heavy timberlands, and access to the Great Northern Railway made Ant Flat an ideal location. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed his friend Fred Herrig, a decorated Rough Rider, its first ranger. The primitive facility grew and by the end of Herrig’s tenure in 1920, this strategically positioned district within the Blackfeet Forest Reserve was top-rated for fire detection, prevention, and control. Although no original log buildings remain at Ant Flat, lilac bushes Herrig planted mark the site of the first primitive headquarters. 

Corporal Herrig died May 17th, 1939 at the age of 79 and is buried in Conrad Memorial Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead Co., MT. 

Henry Levi Peck Bardshar (Born 6 Apr 1872, Clyde, Ohio).  On 12 Sep 1896, Henry Bardshar was elected by the Yavapai Republican Convention to the Arizona Territorial Convention.

On 1 May 1898, Henry Bardshar enlisted with the 1 US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (The Rough Riders) at Whipple Barracks, Arizona Territory. On 17 May, at a camp near San Antonio, Texas, Henry was mustered as a Private with Troop A. He was described as: single, 5 feet 11 inches, fair complexion, light blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a miner. Henry was engaged in the Santiago Campaign in Cuba; the Battle of Las Guasimas on 24 Jun, the charge on the San Juan Heights on 1 Jul, and the Siege of Santiago de Cuba. From 1 Jul to 15 Aug, he was on special duty as an orderly.
Teddy Roosevelt reported that Henry Bardshar was at his side as they began their charge on San Juan Hill from Kettle Hill. Two Spaniards, in the light blue and white uniforms of the regular army, jumped from the trenches and fired on Roosevelt and Bardshar before the two Spaniards turned around and fled from the charging Rough Riders.

“Forty yards from the summit, a wire fence stopped Little Texas. Roosevelt dismounted and with his new orderly, Arizona miner Henry Bardshar, jumped the fence and blazed away at the Spanish troops above them. Bardshar killed two Spaniards directly in front of them. Other Rough Riders crowded forward, firing their Krags and taking cover behind the huge sugar cauldrons near the summit. New Mexico troopers planted their guidons on the summit as the defenders fled.”

On 15 Aug 1898 he was absent due to sickness. Henry was still absent on sick furlough when he and his regiment were mustered out of service at Camp Wickoff, Montauk Point, Long Island, New York. He was recorded as a resident of Prescott, Arizona. On 18 Apr 1900, the Record and Pension Office of the War Department certified Henry's muster out date as 15 Sep 1898.

In 1900, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory; Henry Bardshar was enumerated as a gold miner. In 1905, Henry P. Bardshar was appointed as an Internal Revenue Collector for Arizona, Territory of New Mexico. On 4 Oct 1920, Henry Peck Bardshar filed for his military pension in Arizona. His unit was recorded as "A, 1 U.S. V. Cav".
On 20 Sep 1946, Henry Peck Bardshar passed away. He was interred in the Rosedale Cemetery with military honors.

Private Benjamin Horace Colbert

1st Lieutenant John Campbell Greenway

Benjamin Colbert (Native American, later noted Chickisaw chief)

Private Benjamin Horace Colbert was born in 1873, in Colbert, Oklahoma.

In his memoir about the Rough Riders, Roosevelt talked about going to Indian Territory and mustering Native Americans into service from the region. Roosevelt commented that "[t]here was one characteristic and distinctive contingent which could have appeared only in such a regiment as ours. From the Indian Territory there came a number of Indians - Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks. Only a few were of pure blood. When Colonel Theodore Roosevelt (then Assistant Secretary of the Navy) visited Indian Territory to recruit troops for the First Territorial Volunteer Cavalry, one Chickasaw by the name of Benjamin Horace Colbert eagerly answered the call, enlisted, and became a member of Roosevelt's famed Rough Riders.

On May 23, 1898, he enlisted in the US Army and deployed with the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the "Rough Riders", famously led by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. Benjamin served with Troop F.

During his deployment, Private Colbert would participate in the Landing at Daquiri and the Battle of Las Guasimas.  He left behind a journal of his experiences, the first entry was titled "The experiences of a Redman with Roosevelt and his Rough Riders".
His heroism at San Juan Hill brought him to the attention of Theodore Roosevelt, and after the battle he was sent for by TR and named his orderly and field secretary.

After the war, Chickasaw Nation Governor Douglas H. Johnston selected him as his private secretary and later made Colbert a member of his cabinet and National Secretary. When his friend TR became president, he quickly appointed Colbert United States Marshall for the Southern District of the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). As a final achievement in his Rough Rider legacy, Colbert, while visiting Roosevelt at the White House, suggested assigning fifty Rough Riders as honor guards to lead him to the Capitol during the second Inaugural parade. Roosevelt replied, “Bully!” …and the Rough Riders were called to Washington.

He also attended Baylor and Vanderbilt Universities. He was a long-time resident of Tulsa and moved to Hot Springs to live with his son, Ted Colbert, about a year prior. Benjamin was a member of the Presbyterian Church, a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner.

Private Benjamin Horace Colbert died on December 8, 1960, and rests in the Calvary Cemetery in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

John Greenway was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on July 6, 1872, to Dr. Gilbert Christian Greenway and Alice White Greenway. John Campbell Greenway was well known for his developments in the mining industry and was also one of a handful of soldiers with Arkansas connections to serve with the Rough Riders.

During the Spanish-American War, he served as a volunteer with Theodore Roosevelt’s famous Rough Riders. Serving in A Troop, he was wounded June 24 at Las Guasimas and later cited for bravery at the Battle of San Juan Hill.  He was reported to have been the second soldier to reach its summit. By the end of the war, he had been promoted to brevet captain. Roosevelt described him as “a strapping fellow, entirely fearless.”

Upon conclusion of the war, he returned to Carnegie and accepted the job of assistant superintendent for the U.S. Steel Corporation mines at Ishpeming, Michigan. When Carnegie purchased holdings in Minnesota, Greenway became general superintendent of the operations in the Mesabi Range in 1906. While there, he became an important factor in the development of the town of Coleraine. During his career, he was also instrumental in the development of the towns of Marble and Taconite, Minnesota; Ajo, Arizona; and Los Lamentos and Chihuahua, Mexico.

In 1910, he became general manager of the Calumet and Arizona Cooper Company in Bisbee, Arizona. At that time, he was also the general manager of the New Cornelia Cooper Company, vice president and general manager of the Cornelia and Gila Bend Railway, and vice president of the Ahumada Lead Company.

After a visit to Ajo, he opened a new copper mine there. Once again, he was deeply involved in the development of a town where he would make his home.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Greenway volunteered and was commissioned a major in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Serving with the First and Twenty-Sixth Divisions, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the 101st Infantry. He saw active service on the European front and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre, among other honors. After the war, he was commissioned a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Politically, Greenway had been an active supporter of Roosevelt’s Progressive Party campaign for president in 1912, serving as a presidential elector from Arizona. Though later returning to the Republican Party, he had become a Democrat by the early 1920s. During the 1924 Democratic National Convention, his name was placed in nomination for vice president, but his own political ambitions never seemed to move past the planning stages.

On a visit to Washington DC to lobby Congress for a dam project, he was diagnosed with a large gallstone. Following a recommended surgery by his doctor in New York City, complications developed. On January 19, 1926, a few days after surgery, he died from a blood clot in the lung.

In 1930, Greenway was honored as one of two Arizona dignitaries to have their statue placed in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington DC. His statue remained there until it was replaced with one of Senator Barry Goldwater in 2015. His statue now stands in the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building near the Arizona State Capitol. In 2015, he was inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame.

Lieutenant Richard Cushing Day

Private Sherman M. Bell

Lieutenant Day was born in Miami County, Kansas.  He joined the regiment on May 14th. He had been a typewriter from Vinita, Indian Territory.  When he joined he was recorded as being 27 years old, single, 6’ 2.5”, fair complexion, gray eyes, dark-brown hair.

Lieutenant Day took over L Troop after Capron was killed at Las Guasimas.  This Troop was formed out of the Oklahoma Territory or Indian Territory.

Theodore Roosevelt made this statement about Second Lieutenant Richard Cushing Day, “With Capron Dead, the command of the Indian Territory group devolved upon Lieutenant Thomas, like Capron was the 5th Generation of his family to fight in America’s wars, after Thomas suffered his thigh wood, Lieutenant Richard Cushing Day took command of the ill-fated Troop, and Roosevelt said, “Brought them steadily forward.”

He was given permanent command of Troop L after his CO was injured during the Battle of “San Juan Hill” or “Battle for the San Juan Heights”.

He was wounded at San Juan Hill on July 1st.

He was recommended for promotion by Colonel Roosevelt for his gallantry in action.

Private Sherman M. Bell from Colorado Springs, CO enlisted and was assigned to K Troop.  

While with the Rough Riders in Cuba, Bell was suffering from a hernia, and "limped through the jungles and across the hills most of the time, but always seemed to stay up with the troops despite the pain."

He was discharged as a Private when the Regiment was disbanded.

Bell later served as a Deputy United States Marshall and served as the Adjutant General of Colorado.

He was born March 1867 in Newman, Illinois and died 10 Jan 1942 in Sable, CO.

Private Frank Vans Agnew

Private John Martin Adair

Private Frank Vans Agnew, enlisted in the 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders) on June 6th, 1898, while the unit was in Tampa, Fl.  Vans Agnew was from Kissimmee, Florida and enlisted as a Ferrier and was assigned to C Troop. 

As a Ferrier, he was left behind with the horses in Tampa when the regiment sailed to Cuba a few days later. He later rejoined the regiment at Montauk Point, NY and was then discharged on 9/30/1898 when the regiment was disbanded.  His Rough Rider uniform is on display at the Tampa History Center.

Frank Vans Agnew had been a veterinary surgeon, a farrier in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, an assayer at gold and copper mines in Western Canada and Kazakhstan, and an orange grower in Florida. Vans Agnew left America in 1914 and claiming to be 40 (rather than 46) enlisted in 2nd King Edward’s Horse. Posted to the front in May 1915 Frank was soon in the thick of the action at the Somme and in 1917 was transferred to the Tank Corps, winning the Military Cross (MC) at Messines. He was wounded and captured in November and spent 13 months in POW camps before a spell in Copenhagen helping to repatriate British soldiers. His later career saw him in Belize, prospecting for chicle trees, ranching in New Mexico and growing daffodils in Cornwall before his retirement, which was interrupted by two years in the Home Guard and three in the Royal Observer Corps. He died in 1955. He is buried in Scotland.

Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma

Private John Martin Adair, June 23, 1858 - May 29, 1955, 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, Troop L

John Martin Adair was born on June 3, 1858 in the town of Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation (now Fort Gibson, Oklahoma). His father was a member of the Cherokee Nation, named John Lafayette Adair.

John attended the Cherokee National School and later attended the Shurtleff College at Alton, Illinois. Once he completed college, John returned home where he spent several years to running his parents' cattle business, which included extensive herds on the open range of the Cherokee Nation. He remained there until his mother passed away in 1882.

With the coming of the Spanish American War, John chose to join the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, better known as the "Rough Riders." Though be was nearing forty years of age, making him nearly twice as old as many recruits, he joined Troop L on May 14, 1898. Adair was described as having a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. 

He listed his place of birth as Fort Gibson, and indicated that he was a farmer by occupation. Adair saw service with his troop in Cuba. Apparently John met the famous reporter Richard Harding Davis, who was spending time with his troop.

Returning home, he went to work in a mercantile store at Fort Gibson for Frank M. Nash. On leaving this position, he returned to live in the family homestead and farming and raising stock.

In later years, supposedly, when giving a presentation at the Ritz Theatre, Will Rogers  made the statement that "the only man in Oklahoma that I envy is Johnny Adair, he was in the battle of San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt." After saying that he ask Adair to stand in the audience.

Though he was nearing eighty years of age, john spoke of going to the goldfields of Arizona, not to strike it rich, but simply for the adventure. It is unclear if he ever made the trip. John Martin Adair passed away on May 29, 1955, just three years short of his one hundredth birthday. Adair was buried in the Hendricks Cemetery, Tahlequah, Cherokee Co., Oklahoma.

This is a summary from an article written by Patrick McSherry; Data contributed by Alice Huitt Preston 

Major Henry B. Hersey

Major George Marshall Dunn

Major Henry B. Hersey of Santa Fé, N. M.

He was born in Vermont in 1861 and left Norwich University after two years to enter the United States Signal Service Technical School in 1883. He went from there to the Weather Bureau, for whom he worked in Washington, DC, Fort Myer, VA, New London, CT, Deadwood, SD, Titusville, FL, Santa Fe, NM, Louisville, KY, Ithaca, NY, and Milwaukee, WI. In Titusville he operated the Telegraph Line to Jupiter, FL.

Hersey resigned as the Adjutant General of the New Mexico territory and helped form the New Mexico contingent of Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Hersey was picked to be the be the squadron commander for the regiment’s 2nd Squadron in charge of Troops E, F, G and H.   He was also a major player in the training of the Regiment before their deployment to Cuba. He was left behind in Florida and missed the fighting.

Of note on July 11th Major Hersey sent the following telegram to the War Department.


Hersey trained in ballooning in France, 1906. He was co-pilot on the balloon United States when it won the first international balloon race. He volunteered to be the meteorological observer for the Wellman Chicago Record-Herald Polar Expedition of 1907 on their (unsuccessful) attempt to make an airship flight from Spitzbergen to the North Pole. When he returned, Lt Frank P Lahm, the pilot of the 1906 race, was in poor health, so Hersey acted as pilot in the 1907 international balloon race for the Gordon-Bennett Cup. It began in St. Louis, Missouri, on 21 Oct 1907, but losing gas, he placed only eighth.

Hersey was a member and licensed pilot of Aero Club of America and the Aéro-Club de France; fellow of Royal Meteorological Society of London; 32° Mason; vice-commander of Wisconsin Commandery, Military Order of Foreign Wars.

He was a Major until at least 1917 and Colonel after 1919.

Photograph showing (front row, right to left): Theodore Roosevelt, Leonard Wood and former Civil War Confederate General, Joseph Wheeler. (Back row, right to left): Chaplain Henry A. Brown, Major Alexander Oswald Brodie and Major George Dunn.

George M. Dunn was born 20 Mar 1856, in Madison, Indiana.  When the Spanish American War was declared he joined the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment from Denver, CO.  He was noted as having been a Master of Hounds for a fox hunt club.  Dunn was one of three Majors who were the original squadron commanders of the regiment.  (Squadrons were a sub-unit of the regiment, and each squadron consisted of four of the 12 cavalry troops.)  Dunn was appointed as commander of the 3rd squadron.  He was described as a thorough tactician and strict drillmaster.

Dunn, along with Major Hersey were left behind in Tampa when the Regiment sailed for Cuba.  He later rejoined the full regiment in New York. 

He was appointed Major with the Judge Advocate General Division on April 17, 1899. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on November 22, 1908. He was promoted to Colonel on February 20, 1913.

He died 6 Oct 1926 (aged 70), Bethesda, Maryland.  Colonel Dunn is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, PLOT, Section 4W, Site 3309.  A Cenotaph for him is found in Oak Hill Cemetery in the District of Columbia on the monument of his parents.

Private Jesse D. Langdon

Sergeant Albert P. Wright

Jesse D. Langdon, Fargo, North Dakota, Private, Company K, enlisted 7 May 1898, Washington, DC

When the U.S. declared war on Spain in April, 1898, 16-year-old Jesse Langdon of Fargo wanted to volunteer, but his father told him he was too young.  Impetuous, Jesse Langdon ran away from Fargo to Minneapolis to enlist in the 13th Minnesota Infantry. As Langdon later said: “I lied about my age. I said I was 19. I was big for my age, so no one questioned it.”

But the very next day, Langdon read a newspaper story about Theodore Roosevelt’s recruitment of a “cowboy regiment,” called the Rough Riders, to be “picked from the best fighting and riding ... rangers of the West ... chosen for their ability to ride, shoot, and fight.”

Langdon said he had been “born in the saddle,” and had his “first pony when [he] was five years old.” As Langdon later recalled: “I greatly preferred the Rough Riders to the infantry,” and “I thought I could qualify,” because “I didn’t think [any] horse on earth could throw me.”

Accordingly, when he reported for infantry duty, he informed an officer that he really was an underage 16 and had not gotten his father’s consent. The officer exclaimed: “You can’t enlist at all, with or without ... consent – you’re out!”

Langdon immediately hitched a ride on a freight train to Washington, D.C., with only $10 to his name. It was a cold, miserable trip. Upon arrival in D.C., Langdon panicked after hearing that Theodore Roosevelt was leaving for San Antonio, Texas, for training. Langdon scurried to the enlistment headquarters and met Roosevelt coming down the stairway. “I told him my name,” recalled Langdon, explaining how he traveled cross-country “to enlist in the Rough Riders.”

Roosevelt said: “Can you ride a horse?”

Langdon replied: “I can ride anything that’s got hair on it!”

Roosevelt gave “one loud ‘Haw!’” and said: “Go on up the stairs. Tell them I sent you.”  

So Jesse Langdon became, at age 16, the youngest of 1,060 Rough Riders. Langdon went to Cuba, then survived the famous charge up San Juan Hill, but, sadly contracted deadly yellow fever, and then malaria.

Commanders sent Langdon “straight home to Fargo.” On September 7th, in 1898, a newspaper reported that Langdon suffered a “physical collapse” and was expected to die. Providentially, the North Dakota Rough-Rider recovered. Jesse Langdon lived to be age 94, dying in 1975, ever-renowned as the longest-living Rough-Rider.

Dakota Datebook written by Dr. Steve Hoffbeck, MSUM History Professor.

Private, C Troop, 39 years old, 6’3/4”.  Wright was described as having a fair complexion, light blue eyes, dark-brown hair, and single.  He was born in Fairfax, VA and was a cowboy and a mining engineer.  He joined the regiment on May 2nd, at Whipple Barracks.  Wright was wounded in action on June 24th.

One of the older members of the regiment at age 39, Albert Wright became the color bearer.  After the landing at Daquiri, Wright, one of the tallest soldiers in the regiment raised the handmade flag presented by the Women’s Relief Corps of Phoenix.  The flag was raised over an abandoned blockhouse and was the first American emblem raised in the 5th Corps invasion.

As the regiment moved forward on June 24th, Wright, bearing the colors moved with the regimental command group, accompanying Colonel Wood.  The Battle of Las Guasimas ensued.  The next day Color Sergeant Wright led the line of men filing past the graves of 7 Rough Riders killed in action during the battle.  The flag he carried was at half mast, with bullet holes plainly visible in its folds.

On the morning of September 15th, Wright lowered the regiment’s colors for the last time as the regiment disbanded.

Captain James H. McClintock

Major George B. Wilcox

In April, 1898 McClintock assisted Colonel Alexander O. Brodie and Captain William O. O'Neill in enrolling a cavalry regiment for the Spanish–American War. Only two troops, two hundred and fifteen men, were accepted. Colonel Brodie had become one of the squadron/battalion commanders of the regiment and was promoted to major.  McClintock was made "B" Troop commander with O'Neill as "A" Troop commander.  These two men were appointed captains in the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, otherwise known as Roosevelt's Rough Riders.

Captain McClintock would later be given the brevet of major, for gallantry in action. He was seriously wounded on June 24, 1898, at Guasimas, Cuba, with three machine gun bullets striking him in the leg. B Troop 1st Lieutenant, George B. Wilcox assumed command of the troop and McClintock was evacuated down to the beach at Siboney, and sent back to the United States and transported up to the hospital at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.

Because of his serious wounds, he did not take part in the more famous Battle of San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898. It would not be until Thanksgiving Day that he was discharged from the hospital at Fort Wadsworth. He was carried on the rolls of the Rough Riders until their disbandment.

George B. Wilcox was born 23 Sep 1863.  Wilcox enlisted in the army and fought during the Indian Wars until 1889. When the Spanish American War broke out he joined the Rough Riders in Prescott, Arizona.

The mustering in took place at Fort Whipple Barracks, from where Arizona’s two troops, A and B, of 107 men each, were taken to San Antonio. Here Col. Leonard Wood assumed command and the regiment received its war training. Wilcox was assigned to Captain McClintock’s B Troop as First Lieutenant.

On June 24th the engagement of Guasimas was fought. The Spanish force was estimated at 4,000; the Americans numbered 940. The engagement lasted for about two hours in which the Americans advanced steadily, firing at will.

Captain McClintock says that probably the Spaniards had been leaving their entrenchments for some time before the final rush of the Rough Riders, for when the Americans reached the trenches only twenty-nine Spanish dead were found. During the Las Guasimas battle, Captain McClintock received several machine gun bullets in the ankle. Lieutenant Wilcox assumed command of B Troop.

Wilcox led B Troop during the battle of San Juan Hill and survived the war.

Wilcox served again in WWI as a Major and commanded a training battalion in North Carolina.

Wilcox died 2 Jul 1949 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Bisbee, Cochise, Arizona.

Sergeant George Washington Armijo

1st LT John R. Thomas, JR.

On 2 May 1898, Santa Fe, New Mexico; George W. Armijo enlisted as a Sergeant with Troop F of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry (The Rough Riders). On 6 May 1898, he mustered into service at Camp Wood near San Antonio, Texas. He was described as a native of Valencia County, New Mexico; 20-2/12 years old (B: Mar 1878), 5 feet 6-3/4 inches, fair complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, and a farmer. His parent/guardian was identified as Mariano Armijo of Albuquerque. 

Thomas enlisted in Company L at Muscogee, Indian Territory (Oklahoma).                                                                                           He was the son of two times Illinois Congressman and Oklahoma Federal Judge John R. Thomas.                                                                                        

Thomas was 2nd in command of Captain Allyn Capron’s company made up of mostly men from Western Territory. At the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24th, when Capron was killed 1st LT Thomas  took command of the company until he was seriously wounded in the right leg.  

On 17 May 1898, he mustered into service at a camp near San Antonio, Texas with the same description except his age was recorded as 22-2/12 years (B: Mar 1876). 

On 13 June, the Rough Riders sailed from Tampa, Florida to Cuba. On 24 June, Sgt Armijo was wounded during The Battle of La Guasimas (gunshot to the wrist). The Charge on San Juan Heights and the Siege of Santiago de Cuba began on 1 July. Santiago de Cuba surrendered on 17 July. On 15 Sep 1898, Camp Wycoff, Montauk Point, Long Island; George W. Armijo and his unit were mustered out of service after the mandatory 30 day quarantine.

He begged his men to take him to the front of the action so he continued to fight. Col. Leonard Wood personally offered him his horse to go to the aide station but Thomas refused. He was taken to the rear after he passed out from loss of blood and heat exhaustion. Thomas was later awarded the Citation Star (later known as the Silver Star) for his bravery at Las Guasimas. He would go on to fight in both the Philippines and World War 1. During the First World War he was the Chief of Aviation Intelligence and decorated by the United States, France, Belgium, and Italy. Retiring as a Colonel in the Regular Army he died in 1933 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

George was the son of Mariano de Jesus Armijo and Dolores Elizabeth "Lola" Chavez. He attended private schools in NM and in 1893 graduated from the Christian Brothers College in St. Louis, Missouri.

On 15 Jan 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt sent a letter of congratulations to his "dear Sergeant" for getting married. The president also extended "warm regards to the bride". 

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