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

Page 192

carefully planned battle. It was the way they won that frightened the cravens at home, as it did the Spaniards. The victory cost some precious lives, but it is at such cost that victories are won, and the moral effect of the attack was very great. Beyond a doubt it saved worse bloodshed later on. It has been Theodore Roosevelt’s lot often to be charged with rashness, with what his critics in the rear are pleased to call his “lack of tact.” It is the tribute paid by timidity to unquestioning courage. The campaign having been carefully planned, and General Wheeler having issued his orders to attack the enemy, the thing left to do was to charge. And they charged. The number of the enemy had nothing to do with it, nor the fact that he was intrenched, invisible, whereas they were exposed, in full sight. He was to be driven out; and he was driven out. That was war on the American plan, as understood by the Rough-Riders.
  Ten days of marching and fighting in the bush culminated in the storming of the San Juan hills, with Colonel Roosevelt in full command, Colonel Wood having been deservedly promoted after Las Guasimas. The story of