The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

Book Reviews

Who Rush to Glory. By Clifford P. Westermeier. Caldwell,
Idaho (The Caxton Printers, Ltd.), 1958. Pp. 272. Illus-
trations, index. $6.oo.
Sixty years after it occurred, the Spanish-American War is
being rediscovered. Within the past twelve months, for instance,
John Edward Weems of the University of Texas has brought out
The Fate of the Maine, Frank Freidel has told a serious tale with
the frivolous, though historically apt, title of A Splendid Little
War, and Clifford P. Westermeier of the University of Arkansas
has resurrected the Cowboy Regiments in his Who Rush to Glory.
For a war that lasted only 115 days and killed fewer than any good
Fourth of July weekend nowadays, these three inquiries alone
represent a lot of scholarly attention.
Primarily Professor Westermeier has dug through newspapers
to relate the formation and experiences of the 1st Volunteer Cav-
alry Regiment, led by a young colonel named Theodore Roose-
velt; the 2nd Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Colonel
Jay L. Torrey; and the 3rd, led by Colonel Melvin Grigsby. Some-
where in there Leonard Wood held a nominal command, but he
was only a bit of military top brass whereas his second-in-com-
mand, Teddy Roosevelt, was both a personality and a "character."
As no one needs to be reminded, young Roosevelt implanted his
infectious enthusiasm so deeply in the picture of the Cowboy
Volunteers that they have come down to most of us simply as
Teddy's Rough Riders.
Around San Antonio, in fact, they were known primarily as
Teddy's Terrors. Five days after Admiral Dewey actually got the
war underway at Manila Bay, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Roosevelt resigned to come to Texas to recruit men who could
ride. In fact, their ability to ride and their presence in San An-
tonio were about all that many of the Rough Riders had in com-
mon. The first group contained fifteen students from Harvard and
Yale, three mounted policemen from New York City, and three
members of the United States Cavalry. Seven others were mem-
bers of the "dead swell Knickerbocker and Sommerset Clubs"
of New York and Boston. But in San Antonio they rode as no
better than equals with $2o-a-month cowboys and received ad-
vancement only if they proved themselves better men with a horse
or with command.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed November 28, 2014.