The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 484
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484 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The men came to Texas in a spirit of almost pure adventure.
They soon found that war had its serious aspects, even before the
enemy's bullets were to be faced. There was an upstart quality
about the war's planning that forced the men to have to live with-
out even the lesser comforts-for two weeks, for instance, they had
no knives and forks; for another week they were without uniforms.
Summer came early to San Antonio, and the men drilled in oo-
degree weather. The story circulated that when Colonel Roosevelt
wired the commissary department in Washington to send spurs for
his riders the reply directed the colonel to win his spurs in Cuba.
By the time the Rough Riders left San Antonio for Tampa on
May 29, they had left their stamp on Texas, and the state had
claimed them as part of its folklore and history. It had been a
memorable month-memorable to matrons looking eastward with
eligible daughters, to sefioritas, to local public officials whose
thoughts were quoted in newspapers throughout the country, to
saloonkeepers, and even to a concertmaster, whose rendition of
"The Cavalry Charge" one night was punctuated with the rat-a-tat
of two thousand pistol shots from an audience including eight
hundred of Teddy's Terrors.
And when the men left that May day, they took a deep sunburn
that would withstand the hottest Cuban climate.
The war has often been limned as a psychological necessity to
a young country that had gone a third of a century without heroes.
Spain represented Goliath; the United States was David, though
armed comparatively with considerably more than a slingshot.
The United States was young, fresh, and eager. The Spanish were
the tired, arrogant, inaccurate, and cynical older generation. This
is beautifully illustrated by four quotes from Spanish newspapers
which Professor Westermeier provides:
From El Heraldo de Madrid: "News is brought to us that
Buffalo Bill, ... has risen against the American government, and
is burning towns near his birthplace in New York." And again,
"... Indians are rising against the Yankees in Illinois, Ohio, and
other places. . .. Troops are asked for at Colorado, in the state
of Denver, and at St. Louis, in Missipa."
From Diario: "The Yankee president, Magginly, committed
suicide for fear the Spanish fleet would capture New York."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/592/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.