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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 171

upon which the Spaniards counted openly as their grewsome ally,—down to the day when, the army’s work done, Colonel Roosevelt “wrecked his career” finally and for good, by demanding its recall home, he himself has told the story in “The Rough-Riders.” Every school-boy in the land knows it. The Rough-Riders came out of the heroic past of our country’s history, held the forefront of the stage for three brief months, and melted back into college, and camp, and mine with never a ripple. But they left behind them a mark which this generation will not see effaced. To those who think it a sudden ambitious thought, a “streak of luck,” I commend this reference to the “rifle-bearing horsemen” on page 249 of the second volume of his “Winning of the West,” written quite ten years before: “They were brave and hardy, able to tread their way unerringly through the forests, and fond of surprises; and though they always fought on foot, they moved on horseback, and therefore with great celerity. Their operations should be carefully studied by all who wish to learn the possibilities of mounted riflemen.” Before he or any one else dreamed of the war, he had