The Rough Riders and the Battle of San Juan Hill

The Rough Riders

The Battle of San Juan Hill

Formed by future president, Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders were a group of soldiers that played a very important role in the Spanish-American War. The Rough Riders were a rag-tag group of hunters, cowboys, polo players, sheriffs, glee-club singers, Native Americans, and athletic college buddies. But the group was key to winning two important battles against the Spanish in Cuba.

The first of these victories was at the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24, 1898. During the fighting, dozens of the Rough Riders were hurt or worse, but they managed to drive the Spanish away. After the victory at Los Guasimas, the Rough Riders started to lay the groundwork to capture the city of Santiago, which was a major city in Cuba.

Taking the city was key to freeing the island from Spanish rule. The Spanish had retreated to defend the San Juan Heights from the Americans. A week later, on July 1, 1898, an American force, including the Rough Riders, bravely charged the hill to attack the Spanish.