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war would not continue much longer, and this prediction proved correct.
During the rush made by the Rough Riders and our other soldiers, they had gone right through several bodies of Spanish guerillas who were secreted in the trees of the jungle. These guerillas, really lawless fellows belonging to no particular command, could not get back into Santiago because of the strong American guard at the intrenchments, and consequently they contented themselves with remaining out of sight and peppering our soldiers whenever the opportunity offered.
“ This will not do," said Theodore Roosevelt. “They are shooting down our men without giving them a chance to fire back. We'll have to get after them.” And without delay he sent out a detachment of the best Rough Rider shots to be found. These sharpshooters searched the jungle back of the intrenchments thoroughly, and as a result killed eleven of the guerillas and wounded many more.
After that the guerillas kept their distance, satisfied that the Yankees could beat them at their own game.
DEVOTION OF THE Rough RIDERS TO THEODORE ROOSE
VELT - - His KINDNESS To His MEN LAST OF THE FIGHTING - THE TRUCE AND TREATY OF PEACE
WITH the defeat of Admiral Cervera's fleet, a flag of truce was sent into Santiago by the commander of our army, demanding the surrender of the city. While these negotiations were pending, all fighting came to an end, and the Rough Riders had but little to do outside of making themselves comfortable and caring for the many who were getting sick because of the lack of shelter and proper food. Food was now coming in more rapidly, and soon all were supplied with tents and blankets. During this time Theodore Roosevelt’s personal baggage appeared, and he celebrated the arrival by treating himself to a shave and a change of linen, something impossible to do since the fighting had begun.
In his own writings, Mr. Roosevelt has spoken at great length of the devotion
which all of the Rough Riders displayed toward him. They were anxious to wait on him at all hours of the day and night. Some would pitch his tent, others would clean his weapons, and still others would go hunting and bring in such game as the vicinity afforded. When ordered to do anything, there was rarely a grumble. Those in the hospital bore their sufferings with remarkable fortitude.
In return for this, Theodore Roosevelt did all he could to make life less hard for those under him. The game that was brought to him he sent to the hospital, that the wounded might have proper nourishment; and he either went himself or sent somebody to the seacoast, to purchase food which the commissary department possessed, but which, through lack of organization, it was slow in distributing. When no shelter was to be had, he slept on the ground with his men, and when they had to work on the trenches at night, he was up and around superintending the labor.
“He was one of us, and he let us know it,” was said by one of the Rough Riders. “He ate the same food we did, and he was
mighty good to the sick and the wounded. He paid for lots of things out of his own pocket, and I don't believe he has ever asked Uncle Sam to pay him back.”
There was no telling how soon the truce would come to an end and fighting would begin again, and night after night the Rough Riders were kept on guard. There was a standing order that each fourth man should keep awake while the others slept, and no matter how dark or rainy the night, Theodore Roosevelt tramped around from one trench to another, seeing to it that this order was obeyed. He also visited the intrenchments of other commands, to compare them and make certain that the grade of service was equally high among the Rough Riders. This shows distinctly that he was a natural-born military commander.
The truce lasted a week, and while all operations were supposed to have come to an end, both the Americans and the Spaniards spent the time in strengthening their positions. At one time the Americans constructed a fairly good defence, in which they placed two Gatling guns and two automatic Colt guns, and this was named Fort
Roosevelt, in honor of the Rough Rider commander.
On the tenth of July the fighting began once more, and again the batteries on both sides sent shot and shell into the camps of the enemy.
It was largely fighting at long range, and the only Rough Riders who took part were those who manned the Colt's guns, and a small body of sharpshooters stationed in a trench well to the front.
On the next day the Rough Riders were ordered northward, to guard the road running from Santiago to El Caney. Here some fighting was in progress, and the troopers expected to get into battle once
But the skirmish came to an end before they arrived, very much to their disappointment.
Hardly had the Rough Riders settled in their new position than a storm came up which proved to be the heaviest yet experienced during the campaign. While Theodore Roosevelt was sleeping in his tent, the shelter was blown down and away, and all of his personal effects were scattered in the mud and wet. As best he could, he donned his clothing, saw to it that his men