The “Rough Riders” was the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, which was raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War. President William McKinley called upon 1,250 volunteers to assist in the war efforts. Theodore Roosevelt, a former assistant secretary of the Navy, who had supported US involvement in the Cuban independence commanded “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.”
Colonel Roosevelt played a key role in the outcome of the Spanish-American war by his company’s brave charge that took down the Spanish defenders at San Juan Heights. This allowed the Americans to capture Santiago de Cuba, a stronghold of the Spanish army. The Spanish cruisers left port where they encountered and were defeated by the United States Navy. On August 12, 1898, the Spanish government surrendered to the United States and agreed to an armistice that relinquished their control of Cuba and granted the United States the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The Spanish-American War also began a trend of United States intervention in foreign affairs which has lasted to present day.
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