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Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt rallied "rough riders" to participate in the Spanish-American war. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Roosevelt's Rough Riders” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Sketch of Theodore Roosevelt and "Rough Riders." June 19, 1898. The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Image 21. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Led by the fiery Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919) and full of cowboys, athletes and other tough, courageous men, the Rough Riders were legends in the Spanish-American War. This cavalry battled not only guerrilla forces on a hot, humid battle field but also disease and a lack of equipment. The American intervention in this war would largely shape U.S. foreign policy and interventionism. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


April 25, 1898 Teddy Roosevelt given permission to organize a Rough Riders Cavalry, in which he will be Lieutenant Colonel.
May 1898 Recruitment and preparations.
June 13, 1898 The Rough Riders head to Cuba.
June 20, 1898 Rough Riders not real soldiers.
June 24, 1898 The Battle of Las Guásimas.
July 1-2, 1898 The Battle of San Juan Hill.
July 8, 1898 Colonel Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt up for promotion.
August 15, 1898 The Rough Riders return home.
June 24, 1898 Rough Rider Reunion.