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one, and soon scores of Rough Riders and others were down with malaria or fever. Doctors and surgeons were scarce, and hospital accommodations were scanty, and again and again did Colonel Roosevelt send down on his own account to the seacoast and to Santiago for food and medicines of which his command were in dire need. He was now colonel of the Rough Riders in reality, his promotion having been granted to him just one week after the heroic charge up San Juan Hill. His old colonel, Wood, was installed at Santiago as military governor. This, for the time being, left Colonel Roosevelt in command of the cavalry brigade, no small honor to one who had been, but a few months before, a stranger to military duties. During this time in
time in camp, Theodore Roosevelt visited Santiago and the forts at the entrance to the harbor, and with the pen of a skilled author he has, in one of his books, given us vivid pictures of the sights to be seen there at that time the crooked streets with their queer shops, the wretched inhabitants, the grim and frowning forts, all hemmed in by the towering mountains and the sea. He likewise tells of his trips
to the mountains, and how his companions were usually exhausted by the climbing done. For one who in his youth had been so delicate, he stood the exposure remarkably well, for which he was thankful.
For some time the authorities at Washington did not know what to do with the troops in Cuba. It was suggested that they move up to higher ground, or to another neighborhood. But General Shafter knew, and so did all of the officers under him, that to keep the army in the island would only mean more sickness and death.
“I will go to the general with a protest," said Colonel Roosevelt. And he did so. Meanwhile the other head officers drew up a letter of protest, and this was signed by all, including the commander of the Rough Riders. In his own letter Roosevelt protested against the treatment of his men in the matter of rations, clothing, and hospital accommodations, and in the other letter, called by the officers a Round Robin, there was a protest about remaining in Cuba longer, with the fever getting worse every day. These letters were made public through the press of the United States, with the
result that the troops were ordered home without further delay.
The Rough Riders left Cuba on August 7, just six weeks and a half after landing. The time spent in the island had been short, but to many it seemed an age. None were sorry to depart, although sad to think that some of the sick had to be left behind.
The transport used this time was the Miami, and Mr. Roosevelt tells us that, taken as a whole, the accommodations were better than they had been on the Yucatan. But on the trip much trouble was had with some of the stokers and engineers, who insisted upon drinking some liquor smuggled aboard.
“I will not permit this,” said Colonel Roosevelt. And he read the disorderly ones a strong lecture and made them give up their liquor. After that, as there was much grumbling, he set a guard ; and that was the end of that trouble.
The destination of the transport was Montauk, on the extreme eastern shore of Long Island.
The trip took nine days, – rather a dreary time to those anxious to see their native land once more. When an
anchorage was gained, a gunboat came out to the transport with the welcome news that Spain had agreed to our terms.
The sick had still to be cared for; yet, taken as a whole, the month spent at the camp at Montauk was pleasant enough. Here Colonel Roosevelt met that part of the regiment that had been left behind in Florida, and all the stories of the fights had to be told over and over again.
“ It was good to meet the rest of the regiment,” says Mr. Roosevelt, in his book. “ They all felt dreadfully at not having been in Cuba. Of course those who stayed had done their duty precisely as did those who went." Which was true; yet, as he adds, those who had been left behind could not be comforted.
Colonel Roosevelt was still in charge of the brigade while at Montauk, and much of his time was taken up in getting out necessary reports, and seeing to it that the entire camp was kept in first-class sanitary condition.
“And he was up to the mark,” said one of those who were there. “He didn't allow the least bit of dirt, and everything had to
ho, the 176 AMERICAN BOYS' LIFE OF be as shipshape as if we were at West Point. And it was a good thing, too, for it kept the sickness from spreading."
The sea-breeze is strong at Montauk, and this soon began to tell upon all who were sick, putting in them new life and vigor. Here every possible attention was given to those who were down, so that ere long many were up again and as well as ever.
When he had a little time to himself, Theodore Roosevelt would gather a few friends around him, and either go back ride. War was to him a thing of the past, and he was once more willing to become a private citizen as of old.
In those days the camp at Montauk was constantly crowded with visitors from New York City and elsewhere, who poured in upon every train. All of the soldiers who had been to Cuba were hailed as heroes, and had to tell their stories many times.
“Every soldier had a crowd following him," said one private.
66 The visitors wanted to know how we had fought, how we had been treated by the government, how things looked in Cuba, and a hundred