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and Captain Llewellyn of New Mexico. There was Lieutenant Ballard, who had broken up the “Black Jack” gang on the border, and Captain Curry, a New Mexican gun-fighter of fame. There was Micah Jenkins, of South Carolina, a gentle and courteous gentleman on whom danger acted like wine; and there was Allyn Capron, fourth in a line of soldiers-rated by Mr. Roosevelt as perhaps the best soldier in the regiment.
One may be pardoned for quoting the following passage from Colonel Roosevelt's own book, “The Rough Riders":
“The men generally gave one another nicknames, largely conferred in a spirit of derision, their basis lying in contrast. A brave but fastidious member of an Eastern club, who was serving in the ranks, was christened “Tough Ike’; and his bunkie, the man who shared his sheltertent, and who was a decidedly rough cowpuncher, gradually acquired the name of The Dude.' One unlucky and simple-minded rangerider, who had never been east of the great plains in his life, unwarily boasted that he had an aunt in New York, and ever afterward he went by the name of Metropolitan Bill.' A huge, redheaded Irishman was named 'Sheeny Solomon.'
A young Jew who developed into one of the best fighters in the regiment accepted with entire equanimity the name of ‘Pork-chop.” We had quite a number of professional gamblers who, I am bound to say, usually made good soldiers. One who was almost abnormally quiet and gentle was called “Hell-roarer”; while another who, in point of language and deportment, was his exact antithesis, was known as ‘Prayerful James.’” Their arms were the regular army carbine, the Krag, though a few held to their favorite Winchesters, using the new models which took the Government cartridge. They did not drill with the saber. Mr. Roosevelt and Colonel Wood both knew that would be a needless waste of time, as the saber is a useless weapon in modern warfare. They secured horses, and practiced mounted drill with great diligence; but it turned out that they served as foot-soldiers, and some days were lost because the unprepared war department was unable to send their horses to Cuba. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this war with Spain was the promptness with which men of wealth and social position volunteered for the service, and the fidelity with which they did their duty. Of those enlisted in the Rough
Riders, Colonel Roosevelt has said: “Their only thought was how to perfect themselves in their duties. They were never so tired as not to respond with eagerness to the slightest suggestion of doing something new, whether it was dangerous, or merely difficult and laborious. They not only did their duty, but were constantly on the watch for some new duty that they could construe to be theirs. No call was ever made upon them to which they did not respond with eager thankfulness for having the chance to answer it. Later on I worked them as hard as I knew how, and the regiment and the country will always be their debtor."
The ordnance bureau at Washington, curiously affected with the “mañana” policy of the Mexican, had been sending by freight the equipments most needed by the Rough Riders; but had finally yielded to Colonel Roosevelt's urging, and began the use of express trains. So that just as the last rifles, revolvers and saddles came, the Rough Riders were ordered to proceed by train to Tampa, Florida. Instantly all was joyful excitement. San Antonio, Texas, had been their headquarters, and they were glad to make their start from the city where the Alamo preserves