The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 262
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
clothing, the men were to roll it up inside their blankets and then wear
the blanket rolls diagonally over their left shoulders.'5
While officials in Austin were trying to turn raw recruits into reasonably
functional soldiers, there was other military activity in San Antonio. That
city had been selected as the mustering point for the First U.S. Volunteer
Cavalry Regiment, one of the three "cowboy" regiments authorized by
Congress that was "to be composed entirely of frontiersmen possessing
special qualifications as horsemen and marksmen." Recently promoted
regular army colonel Leonard Wood arrived in San Antonio on May 5,
and selected Riverside Park as the site of his regiment's camp. Over the
next several days the regiment's component companies began to arrive
from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Indian Territories, the Arizo-
nans bringing with them their mountain lion mascot. These men quickly
settled into their temporary housing in the vast exhibition hall and began
learning to be cavalry troopers.'"
The Rough Riders, as the members of this regiment quickly became
known, soon became the toast of the town, and the men reveled in their
new-found celebrity. Even without uniforms the contingent from Arizona
stood out, as they had adorned their hats with colored hatbands and the
inscription: "First Volunteer U.S. Cavalry-Arizona Column." These vol-
unteers had not been in the Alamo city long when orders arrived from the
War Department to increase the size of the regiment. Recruiting officers
had very little trouble signing up enough Texans to fill the new quota.
Over a hundred ultimately served, although they were spread across sev-
eral companies rather than all being placed in one."
Cavalry training was hot and dusty work. Many of the horses had to be
broken to the saddle, and the men's equipment and uniforms arrived in
spastic intervals. One of the favorite activities soon became outwitting the
camp guards and slipping into San Antonio for an evening of revelry and
then slinking back into camp after taps without being arrested by the sen-
tries. Sometimes luck favored the bold. Sgt. Horace "Kid" Sherman was
one of a fairly large group of men returning to camp after a night in local
saloons. He was still sober enough to realize that it would be tempting fate
to try to sneak all of the men back into camp through the various holes in
the fence. Instead, he lined them up and boldly paraded them toward the
' Erna Risch, Quartermaster Support of the Army. A Hstory of the Corps, 1775-1939 (Washington,
D.C. Office of the Quartermaster General, 1962), 523; W. H Mabry, "General Order No. 182,
Apr 28, 1898," Wozencraft, Report of the Adjutant Genera4 32-33-
l6John C. Rayburn. "The Rough Riders in San Antonio, 1898," Arizona and the West, 3 (Summer,
7 Rayburn, "Rough Riders," 116 (quotation). The exact number of Texans who served in the
Rough Riders is difficult to ascertain. Theodore Roosevelt listed oo, more or less, in his The Rough
Rzders (1899; reprint, NewYork. Signet, 1961), 150-185; Edward Marshall named lo6 m The Sto-
ry of the Rough Riders: Frst United States Volunteer Cavalry, The Regiment in Camp and on the Battlefield
(New York: G. W Dillhngham, 1899), 260-320o, and Virgil CarrmingtonJones numbers 127 in Roo-
sevelt's Rough Riders (New York: Doubleday, 1971), 341.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/314/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.