The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 485
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And from Pais, April 2o, 1898: "The country is not fit to live
in. The climate is execrable. When it is not sleeting and snowing,
the heat is almost unbearable. Avalanches are frequent at all
times, and these threaten the principal cities. As for the people,
besides the few whites engaged in business along the eastern coast,
the remainder of the country is one vast plain, covered with In-
dians, called cowboys, and great herds of roaming cattle."
A Barcelona newspaper shows that the Spanish could be as
mistaken about their foes as the Confederates-to-be had once been
about the fighting qualities of the Yankees: "The average height
among the Americans is 5 feet 2 inches, and they have never pro-
duced an athlete. This is due to their living almost entirely upon
vegetables, as they ship all their beef out of the country, so eager
are they to make money. There is no doubt that one full-grown
Spaniard can defeat any three men in America."
But there were not enough full-grown Spaniards to defeat the
horde of gringos, and the United States won an empire surpris-
ingly cheaply. The Rough Riders--those that made it-had to go
to Cuba and charge up Kettle Hill ignominiously, but success-
fully. They had joined the Rough Riders because they could ride,
but the army had no means to transport their mounts from Port
Tampa. Somehow they survived this pride-shattering blow to build
an esprit that helped elect their Teddy as President.
They were probably the singing-est bunch of cowboys who ever
rode out, in uniform or not. They changed "Marching Through
Georgia" to the "Cuba Libre Song"; they shouted, to the tune of
"Good-bye, My Lover, Good-bye," how
Dewey fixed them on the water,
But we will give them something hotter.
And if they hailed from Nebraska they warned that
Although some of us are small,
We only want a chance
To show Grand Island people
How to make the Spaniards dance.
As this bit of review shows, the author has produced a lively
account of a short verse in the long epic of American develop-
ment. If the story of the Cowboy Volunteers of 1898 is of no earth-
shaking significance, is it not refreshing to take a respite now and
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/593/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.