Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Rush Across Town to Do Good Deeds." -- James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

CO of the Roosevelt Acted in the Finest Tradition of Theodore Roosevelt

In an interesting twist of history, the aircraft carrier’s namesake was involved in a similar situation. During the summer of 1898, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. Army, was leading the famed “Rough Riders” in Cuba. The Rough Riders were part of the Army’s Fifth Corps garrisoned near Santiago de Cuba. At the time, more than 4,000 of the Fifth Corps’ 4,270 soldiers were sick with malaria and yellow fever. Many were on the verge of dying. The eight divisional commanders, including Roosevelt, were convinced that if they remained in Cuba Fifth Corps would be wiped out.

The divisional commanders met with Major General William R. Shafter, Fifth Corps Commander, and requested that Fifth Corps immediately redeploy to the United States. While it is unclear how Shafter responded to the request, he was certainly aware that President McKinley wanted to maintain a military presence in Cuba until the United States was able to finish peace negotiations with Spain. Whatever his reaction, the divisional commanders left the meeting compelled to put their request in writing.

The writing allegedly fell to Colonel Roosevelt, as he was the lowest ranking officer among them and the only volunteer, which meant he had the least to lose, career-wise, in the event the chain of command was to react negatively to the letter

Roosevelt delivered the letter to Shafter, but, presumably not convinced the corps commander would act on it in a timely fashion, also allegedly handed a copy of it to the Associated Press correspondent who was covering the Cuba beat. That correspondent quickly cabled the letter to AP headquarters and it published nationwide the same day.
Yes, there was blowback. Part of that may have been why Col. Roosevelt was not nominated for a CMH (which was belatedly awarded over a century later).

The Fifth Corps was almost immediately removed from Cuba and sent to an army camp on Long Island, NY.

Theodore Roosevelt's book, The Rough Riders, is worth the read. The link will take you to Project Gutenberg, where the book is available in all electronic formats of note.

ADDENDUM: Modly's trip to bitch out the crew of the TR cost the taxpayers nearly a quarter-million.

No comments: