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Synopsis

Osprey's examination of the brief but colorful history of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, detailing the rich experiences of the men who fought in its ranks. Founded in May 1898, the unit's actions in Cuba during the Spanish-American War (1898) have passed into military and national legend. The men who volunteered for the force came from a broad spectrum of American society, including seasoned ranch hands and cowboys, college athletes, and policemen. The unit was posted to Cuba in June 1898, where the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry fought in the battles of Las Guasimas, Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill. At this time, its commander, Colonel Leonard Wood, took charge of the US 2nd Cavalry Brigade, leaving Theodore Roosevelt to assume command of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry. The unit subsequently became known as 'Roosevelt's Rough Riders', after Buffalo Bill's popular cowboy show that featured 'Rough Riders of the World'. Many of the volunteers were struck down by disease and sickness during the campaign, and the unit was eventually withdrawn, returning to a hero's welcome in the US. The last veteran of the unit died in 1975, but a rich body of source material has survived, and much of this is covered in this fascinating work.

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