First of all, I’m a little pressed for time here. I stayed up late last night writing an essay that was due today for another class. I was having an “essay-writing party” with two of my friends in the same class, so of course we wasted a good amount of time following antics on Facebook and waiting on Tiff’s Treats. So needless to say, this blog post is happening a bit too close to it’s due date . . .
So. The Rough Riders. My job is to “locate additional information on a topic or issue that you found interesting in the book that you checked out of PCL for the previous assignment,” find a couple websites about those topics, and write about 200 words over it. Okay, simple enough. Forty minutes is plenty of time for that.
Rough Riders is a very detailed memoir, basically chronicling the day-by-day struggles of Theodore Roosevelt and his cavalry unit during their campaign in the Spanish-American War. First of all, I really know nothing about the Spanish-American War other than when it was briefly mentioned in high school history. But after a trip to Britannica, I learned what went down.
Basically, it was 1898 and Cuba was having a hard time getting independence from Spain, so the U.S. decided to help them out. Congress demanded that Spain let go of its grip on Cuba, and that they would use force if needed. So of course Spain declared war on the U.S. The war lasted less than a year and Spain let go of Cuba. They also gave Guam and Puerto Rico to the U.S. in the process.
Alright, so now I actually know what the Spanish-American War was all about. Next order of business is to find something else to learn about . . . well, Roosevelt’s memoir can’t be the only narrative of the Spanish-American War, right? In World War II there are tons of memoirs from different parts and facets of the war. Roosevelt’s is only his eyewitness experience with the cavalry. It would be interesting to read from other personal accounts from the war, maybe even from the Cuban or Spanish side, if I can find it.
And there are! This webpage isn’t really an internet source, but it does give me the titles of other Spanish-American War memoirs that are out there.
On an unrelated note, I really wish that I had time to actually read this book instead of skimming through it. Just looking at the Table of Contents makes me feel like this is a really exciting and informative narrative. Chapter 1-4 are like the rising action: Raising the Regiment, To Cuba, General Young’s Fight at Las Guasimas, and the Cavalry at Santiago, respectively. Chapter 5, In the Trenches, sounds like the climax, and Chapter 6 (The Return Home) is the falling action. AAUUUGGHHH. I really want to read it. But it’s not required and I really don’t have time to right now . . . but I will return for you Teddy!