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north and west. The isles of the sea, the heritage of the Spaniard, the present of Columbus to the crowns of Castile and Leon, had fallen at one blow into the possession of a stronger nation. No matter what were the terms of the peace; no matter what were the resolutions of Congress and the proclamations of executive officers; when General Toral surrendered the city of Santiago de Cuba a new realm had been added to the territory of the American republic. July was the month of rains, and the soldiers suffered a good deal from exposure. From beginning to end they never had been given the wagons which regulations promise those who serve in the army. To each regiment are allotted twenty-five wagons. The Rough Riders did not always have one. At times they had as many as two, but never three. They were compelled to organize pack-trains of their own, as has been moted in an earlier chapter. But they were liable to lose these every day because superior officers would see the horses and want them. As a result, it had been impossible from the beginning of the occupation of the island for Colonel Roosevelt to get to the front supplies of clothing or medicine for his men. On the coast at Daiquiri still stood heaps of barrels and bales and boxes of provisions of every kind that were needed in camp. But the problem of getting them over the fifteen miles to the front was one that defied solution. As long as the fighting lasted the men were keyed up with excitement, and refused to yield to the pain or the weakness that attacked them. But when the strain was over they suffered the collapse which must in reason follow such an expenditure of vitality, and were especially susceptible to malaria. If they had received the food for which the Government had paid, the food which they should have had, it is likely the soldiers in Cuba would have come home in the best of health. As it was every man acquainted with the facts must realize that the officers were doing very well indeed to get back with half their commands. The headquarters of the army at Washington were a good deal in a quandary as to the best disposition to make of the men. Some correspondents of newspapers, and some of the men themselves, with a prurient love for sensation, had published in the United States the untruth that the men were suffering from yellow fever. It was one of the maladies of Cuban production, to escape which the war had been fought. It was to provide against the possibility of importing that undesirable product that many an argument for “free Cuba” had been made. The men did not have yellow fever at all. There was a camp far to the rear where a number of Cubans afflicted with this malady were confined. Once in a while the doctors in the camps of the American soldiers would be sure they saw a case of genuine yellow fever among the men, and would banish the unhappy wight to the hospital at the rear. In every such case yellow fever developed. Other cases, diagnosed in precisely the same manner, were held in the shabby camp hospitals, and not one of these men was ever afflicted with that malady. Every one of them proved to be suffering from malarial fever, and most of them recovered. But it was by no means certain that any would long remain well. The continually enlarging hospitals were being more and more filled with soldiers who had not flinched either at danger or labor, and who were wholly disabled long before they would admit it. Hospital supplies were inadequate. Actually, no cots were delivered until the day before the commands sailed from Cuba. It is doubtful if ever bungling officialdom used an army so shabbily. One suggestion from Washington was to remove the troops to the high country, the mountains in the interior of Cuba. That, when there were no wagons to serve them ten miles from the shore! Then it was suggested to move the troops no longer needed for fighting to the level land west of Santiago. That was a sugar-cane country, subject to heavy rains against which the men had no protection. They were better off right on the hills of El Caney, where at least the water from the torrents that fell hourly could run down the gullies and leave the camp untroubled. But every officer knew the one thing needed was the removal of the troops back north —to American soil. They all knew that, but few of them felt like telling the War Department what it ought to do. Colonel Roosevelt could see no reason why the truth should not be told. He knew his rank— not in the army alone, but among men, and in the hearts of his fellow citizens. So he was one of the field-officers who wrote out and signed and forwarded to Washington, through General


Shafter, the “Round Robin,” by which the removal of the troops from the island was urged as the one means of saving them. And three days later the command for the removal was received. It may seem a curious thing that news of an early departure for home will operate as a curative for sick men; but it will. And many a man who had been really ill, in whose eyes were gathering the shadows which so often eclipse vision, arose from his improvised couch at El Caney and came to New York a well man. The knowledge that they were to be removed was medication to every man in the camp. Some were recorded as yellow fever patients, and these were left on the island. In nearly every case they died. Some in equally as bad health were taken aboard the transports, and these usually recovered. August 7 the Rough Riders embarked at the Daiquiri iron mines, where they had come ashore seven weeks before. It was one of the shortest campaigns on record, and the most effective. For though peace was not yet declared, it was certain the United States could get any terms desired. There were better facilities for putting

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