lunes, 20 de octubre de 2008

La crisis del 98

From "The Rough Riders", in "The Rough Riders - An Autobiography", by Theodore 'Teddy' Rooselvelt, The Library of America Series #153, published by Literary Classics of the United States.

"I asked where the Colonel was, and as he was not in sight, said,"Then I am the ranking officer here and I give the order to charge"-for I did not want to keep the men longer in the open suffering under a fire which they could not effectively return. Naturally the Captain hesitated to obey this order when no word had been received from his own Colonel. So I said, "Then let my men through, sir", and rode on through the lines, followed by the grinning Rough Riders, whose attention had been completely taken off the Spaniards bullets, partly by my dialogue with the regulars, and partly by the language I had been using to themselves as I got the lines forward, for I had been joking with some ans swearing at others, as the exigencies of the case seemed to demand.
I was enabled to get back into the lane, at the same time waving my hat, and giving the order to charge the hill on our right front.
The whole line, tired of waiting, and eager to close with the enemy, was straining to go forward; and it seems that different parts slipped the leash at almost the same moment. The First Cavalry came up the hill just behind, and partly mixed with my regiment and the Ninth.
By this time we were all in the spirit of the thing and greatly excited by the charge, the men cheering and running forward between shots, while the delighted faces of the foremost officers, like Captain C.J. Stevens, of the Ninth, as they ran at the head of their troops, will always stay in my mind. As soon as I was in the line I galloped forward a few yards until I saw that the men were well started, and then galloped back to help Goodrich, who was in command of his troop, get his men across the road so as to attack the hill from that side. Captain Mills had already thrown three of the other troops of the regiment across this road for the same purpose. Wheeling around, I then again galloped toward the hill, passing the shouting, cheering, firing men, and went up the lane, splashing through a small stream; when I got abreast of the ranch buildings on the top of Kettle Hill, I turned and went up the slope. Being on horseback I was, of course, able to get ahead of the men on foot, excepting my orderly, Henry Bardshar, who had run ahead very fast in order to get better shots at the Spaniards, who were now running out of the ranch buildings.
Some forty yards from the top I ran into a wire fence and jumped off Little Texas, turning him loose. He had been scraped by a couple of bullets, one of which nicked my elbow, and I never expected to see him again.
Almost immediately afterward the hill was covered by the troops, both Rough Riders and the colored troopers of the Ninth, and some men of the First. There was the usual confusion, and afterward there was much discussion as to exactly who had been on the hill first.
Eighty-nine were killed and wounded: the heaviest loss suffered by any regiment in the cavalry division. The Spaniards made a stiff fight, standing firm until we charged home. They fought much more stubbornly than at Las Guasimas. We ought to have expected this, for they have always done well in holding intrenchments. On this day they showed themselves to be brave foes, worthy of honor for their gallantry"

Cabe señalar que este cuadro de Frederic Sackrider Remington, titulado "Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill" presenta el uso del color como principal diferencia respecto a esta recreación (que incluye unos breves prolegómenos), también cuesta arriba.

En resumen, que esta anotación no tiene nada que ver con otras cosas (aunque también del 98).

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