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

Page 196

for their lives and their country. The sleepless night, the rain-storms in the trenches, the creeping things that disgust Northern men, the tarantulas and the horrible crabs, they took as they came. It was not until they were fairly back home, in Camp Wikoff, that they rebelled against tainted food sent up from the ship and demanded something decent to eat. But before that they had their dark day, when the fever came and laid low those whom the enemy’s bullets had spared.
  It was then, when the fighting was over but a worse enemy threatened than the one they had beaten in his breastworks,—an ally on whose aid the Spaniards had openly counted, and, but for the way in which they were rushed from the first, would not have counted in vain,—that the Rough-Riders were able to render their greatest service to their country, through their gallant chief. Until Colonel Roosevelt’s round-robin, signed by all the general officers of the army in Cuba, startled the American people and caused measures of instant relief to be set on foot, the fearful truth that the army was perishing from privation and fever was not known. The cry it sent up was: “Take us