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Rough Riders

Updated on July 7, 2010

Rough Rides is a name borne by the First Regiment of United States cavalry and also by the Second United States volunteer cavalry in the Spanish-American War. The original Rough Riders were the men who carried messages through the Western States before the organization of the pony express in 1859, and the name was used by William F. Cody in his "Wild West" show, which contained a "Congress of the Rough Riders of the World." The army regiments were thus named because of the great number of Western ranchmen in their ranks, and they played a prominent part in the Spanish-American War. The first regiment was organized by Leonard Wood, who was commissioned colonel, and Theodore Roosevelt became lieutenant-colonel. Before the disbanding of the regiment in 1898 a Rough Riders' Association was formed, to which all members of the regiment are eligible, the right of membership to descend to the eldest son.


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