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for ten days or so the world would be willing to treat them as heroes, yet after that time they would find they would have to get down to hard work just like anybody else, unless they were willing to be regarded as worthless do-nothings.” This was the best possible advice, and it is believed that many of the soldiers profited
Before the men were mustered out, they treated their beloved commander to a genuine surprise. They had had a fine bronze of a “Bronco Buster” made, and this was presented to Colonel Roosevelt on behalf of the whole regiment. It touched him deeply, and today this bronze is one of his most highly prized gifts.
At last came news that the Rough Riders would be mustered out of the United States service the next day. That evening a great celebration took place, in which all of the men joined, each according to his own notion of what a celebration should be. Large bonfires were lit, and here some delivered speeches, the soldiers from the colleges sang, those with Indian blood in them gave a characteristic dance, and cow
boys and ranchmen did “double-shuffles” and “cut up” as suited them.
On the morning of September 15, four months after the Rough Riders had been organized, the colors were lowered in camp, the men were mustered out, and officers and privates shook hands and said goodby.
“It was the greatest sight I ever saw," says one of the number. “Not until that moment came did we realize what it meant to part with those who had fought with us in battle and suffered the hardships of life in the trenches. Strange friendships had been formed, some between those who were very rich and very poor, and others between those who were well educated and very ignorant. One man who was studying for a professional life had as his particular chum a rough cowboy who had never spent six months over his books. But the two had stood by each other and suffered, and I really believe they were willing to lay down their lives for each other.
“Many of the men could hardly bear to part with Colonel Roosevelt. He had stuck by them through thick and thin, and they
worshipped him. Some shook hands half a dozen times, and some hardly dared to speak for fear of breaking down. I never expect to see the match of that scene again.”
NOMINATED FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK - A ROUGH RIDER WAY OF CAMPAIGNING – ELECTED GOVERNOR
- IMPORTANT WORK AT ALBANY – THE HOMESTEAD AT OYSTER BAY - CHOPPING DOWN A TREE FOR EXERCISE
The war with Spain was at an end, and Uncle Sam had now to turn his attention to the Philippines, where for many months to come military disturbances of a more or less serious nature were to take place.
Theodore Roosevelt might have remained in the army, and had he done so there is no doubt but that he would have swiftly risen to a rank of importance.
But the people of the State of New York willed otherwise.
“He is a great military man,” they said. “ But he was likewise a fine Police Commissioner and a Civil Service Commissioner, fighting continually for what was right and good. Let us make him our next governor."
The convention that nominated Theodore
Roosevelt for the highest office in the Empire State met at Saratoga, September 27, 1898, just twelve days after the Rough Riders were mustered out. At that time Frank S. Black was governor of the state, having been elected two years before by a large majority. The governor had many friends, and they said he deserved another term.
“Roosevelt is not a citizen of this state, said they. “He gave up his residence here when he went to Washington to become Assistant Secretary of the Navy.”
“ We don't want him anyway,” said other politicians, who had not forgotten how the Rough Rider had acted when in the Assembly. “If he gets into office, it will be impossible to manage him.” And they worked night and day to defeat the hero of San Juan Hill.
On the day of the convention, the hall where it was held was jammed with people. The people were also crowded in the street outside, and on every hand were seen Rough Rider badges.
" It was a Roosevelt crowd from top to bottom,” says one who was there.