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

Page 195

was there; but if he abandoned the wounded cavalryman, it was to let him die. He dropped his gun and stayed. Not until the battle was won did the surgeon come that way; but the trooper’s life was saved. He told of it in the hospital with tears in his voice: “He done that to me, he did; stayed by me an hour and a half, and me only a nigger!”
  The colored soldiers had taken a great liking to their gallant side-partners. They believed them invincible, and in the belief became nearly so themselves. The Rough-Riders became their mascot. They would have gone through fire for them, and in sober fact they did. So fighting and burrowing together, holding every foot they gained from the enemy, they came at last to the gates of the beleaguered city, and there were stayed by the white flag of truce. Two weeks they lay in the trenches ready to attack when the word was given, and then came the surrender. Up to that point the Rough-Riders had borne up splendidly. Poor rations had no terrors for them. If “cold hog” was the sole item on the bill of fare, it went down with a toast to better days. Starvation they bore without grumbling while fighting