History books and biographies regale their gullible readers about the heroic charge up San Juan Hill by the Rough Riders led by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, but the truth is that Roosevelt's war record is a tawdry lie.
Wikipedia quotes Roosevelt thusly
'"On the day of the big fight I had to ask my men to do a deed that European military writers consider utterly impossible of performance, that is, to attack over open ground an unshaken infantry armed with the best modern repeating rifles behind a formidable system of entrenchments. The only way to get them to do it in the way it had to be done was to lead them myself."'
This story is even more preposterous than those told by Commander McBragg in the 1960s cartoon shorts interwoven with episodes of Underdog. The above quote by Roosevelt is more of his blustery pompous flatulence for which he became famous and delusional.
One of the near contemporaneous accounts of Roosevelt's exploits comes from a man who knew the 10 presidents from Andrew Johnson to Woodrow Wilson. A lawyer by trade and politician of necessity, Richard Franklin Pettigrew wrote his thoughts of the presidents - all of whom he met personally - in his memoirs toward the end of his life.
Of these 10 presidents, Pettigrew made the following observation:
These ten presidents were not brainy men. They were not men of robust character. They were pliable men, safe men, conservative men. Many of them were usable men who served faithfully the business interests that stood behind them.
While Roosevelt was no murderer in the sense that Lyndon Johnson or either George Bush was, he was still a dishonest character on numerous occasions, and a golden boy of the exploitative and rapacious robber barons of the Gilded Age. Neither Pettigrew, nor Professor Giddings of Columbia University who knew Roosevelt since boyhood, was impressed with Roosevelt either intellectually or morally.
One example of Roosevelt's mendacity was his sworn denial that he was a citizen of New York in order to escape inheritance taxes, claiming instead that he was a citizen of Washington, DC. However, shortly thereafter, he was running for the governorship of New York as a New York citizen. So not only was Roosevelt a tax cheat, he was a liar. Taxes are only for the little people.
Pettigrew's most important contribution comes from his rendition of Roosevelt's trip to Cuba as an opportunist looking to polish his resume for the presidency in the Spanish American War. While Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt enlisted as a lieutenant colonel, along with a doctor, Leonard Wood, into the regiment to later be known as the Rough Riders.
Neither of these men had a lick of military experience, yet both were determined to create military names for themselves. Landing east of Santiago, Cuba, and having abandoned its horses in Florida, the regiment made its way by foot toward San Juan Hill 10 miles away. Before reaching its target, the regiment was ambushed at El Caney and in risk of annihilation except for an unnamed colonel of a black regiment who rescued Wood and Roosevelt from certain defeat.
The 2 regiments then made their way to Kettle Hill, in the vicinity of San Juan, to engage the Spanish. While the unnamed colonel and his regiment took Kettle Hill, Roosevelt, now commander of the regiment upon Wood's promotion to Brigade commander, bivouacked on his hinder quarters far from the front lines. It was the black regiment which took San Juan Hill. The only thing Roosevelt took was a dump.
After San Juan Hill was captured by the black regiment, Wood and Roosevelt charged up Kettle Hill to find absolutely nothing but an empty kettle used for evaporating sugar cane.
However, none of this is recorded in Roosevelt's account of the war, History of the Spanish War. Instead Pettigrew said,
[he] says that he charged up San Juan Hill and found the trenches full of dead Spaniards with little holes in their foreheads and that two Spaniards jumped up and ran away and that he missed one of them but killed the other with a shot in the back from his revolver.
Yet Pettigrew stated that he consulted the Department of War records which attributed no role to Wood or Roosevelt in the taking of San Juan Hill because it was the black brigade which achieved the victory. He also refers the reader to Colonel Bacon who published the results of a hundred affidavits by veterans of San Juan Hill, all of whom stated that Roosevelt was not there or anywhere else in the war except at El Caney where his unit was nearly decimated.
So like the criminal George Bush, Jr, Teddy Roosevelt invented a fake military history for himself in order to deceive the nation about his great military acumen. Roosevelt belongs in the Hall of Shame and Liars. He is all American scum.
Wikipedia contributors. "Theodore Roosevelt." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.
Richard Franklin Pettigrew, Imperial Washington, Charles H Kerr & Company Cooperative, Chicago, October 1, 1922
Copyright 2015 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.