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had been forced to rely only on these troops, New Orleans could not have been saved. His chief hope lay in the volunteers of Tennessee, who, under their generals, Coffee and Carroll, were pushing their toilsome and weary way toward the city. Every effort was made to hurry their march through the almost impassable roads, and at last, in the very nick of time, on the 23d of December, the day on which the British troops reached the bank, the vanguard of the Tennesseeans marched into New Orleans. Gaunt of form and grim of face; with their powder-horns slung over their buckskin shirts; carrying their long rifles on their shoulders and their huntingknives stuck in their belts; with their coonskin caps and fringed leggings; thus came the grizzly warriors of the backwoods, the heroes of the Horseshoe Bend, the victors over Spaniard and Indian, eager to pit themselves against the trained regulars of Britain, and to throw down the gage of battle to the world-renowned infantry of the island English. Accustomed to the most lawless freedom, and to giving free rein to the full violence of their passions, defiant of discipline and impatient of the slightest restraint, caring little for God and nothing for man, they were soldiers who, under an ordinary commander, would have been fully as dangerous to themselves and their leaders as to their foes. But Andrew Jackson was of all men the one best fitted to manage such troops. Even their fierce natures quailed before the ungovernable fury of a spirit greater than their own; and their sullen stubborn wills were bent at last before his unyielding temper and iron hand. Moreover, he was one of themselves; he typified their passions and prejudices, their faults and their virtues; he shared their hardships as if he had been a common private, and, in turn, he always made them partakers in his triumphs. They admired his personal prowess with the pistol and the rifle, his unswerving loyalty to his friends, and the relentless and unceasing war that he waged alike on the foes of himself and his country. As a result they loved and feared him as few generals have ever beer loved or feared; they obeyed him unhesitatingly; they followed his lead without flinching or murmuring, and they made good on the field of battle the promise their courage held out to his judgment."
but he has, in his estimate of Jackson, anticipated a remarkably good drawing of himself and his "Rough Riders.” At twenty-three, writing of these fighting frontiersmen, he threw upon the canvas a picture that with very slight alterations might stand for an illustration of the First Regiment of United States Volunteers in the attack on Las Guasimas. The same qualities that gave General Jackson the loyal support of the lawless Tennesseeans made Roosevelt the idol of the daredevil spirits who crowded to the ranks of his unique regiment. He was a comrade to every one of them and took the hardships of the campaign with an uncomplaining good nature that was not outdone by the bravest and most patient man of command. He fought with them and with them shared the honors of victory. And in his story of “The Rough Riders" he has never intruded his own personality at the expense of any one else. This is also true of all his writings that deal with his own experiences, especially of his hunting books. The personal element is, of course, prevalent in them, but it is not obtrusive or out of perspective. There is no assumption of modesty in them, no affectation of indifference to the writer's own share in the expe
riences and observations recorded. He is quite frankly and inevitably the chief actor in the tale, but not at all the hero. He takes his part with zest, and his personality lends a natural and constant charm to every adventure. But he is intensely interested in the
in the country he hunts over, in his companions, in everything that presents itself to his eager and vigorous mind, to his keen and alert vision. “Had he done nothing,” says one of his critics, “but write his fascinating hunting books, and lived through the experiences they relate in so simple and winning style, he would probably be more widely known in other lands than any other American save one or two." Had he not obscured his reputation as a historian by his industry in making history he would have a distinct place in the circle of American writers in that field. It remains true, however, that if his life had been less full and active his literary work would in all probability have had less value, and the value would have been less peculiar.
Mr. Roosevelt is most successful as a writer when the subject he has in hand most completely enlists his sympathies. His histories and biographies are best and most interesting where they
are the unconscious representation of the author's mind and character. He has no patience with and little charity for weakness of any sort, and where the weakness shows in a prominent character he finds no excuse for it. Theorists are his abomination, and he does not stop to consider words when discussing them. Of President Jefferson he says: “Though a man whose views and theories had a profound influence on our national life, he was perhaps the most incapable executive that ever filled the presidential chair; being almost purely visionary, he was utterly unable to grapple with the slightest actual danger, and, not even excepting his successor, Madison, it would be difficult to imagine a man less fit to guide the state with honor and safety through the stormy times that marked the opening of the present century."
But in the open, dealing with wild and picturesque figures such as the early settlers of America and their Indian foes who possessed the land before them, Mr. Roosevelt becomes an actor in the scenes he would describe, and develops surprising power as a writer of great force and clearness. In “The Winning of the West” he has contributed to literature four volumes of