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Rough Rider, member of 1st Volunteer Cavalry, in the Spanish-American War, member of a regiment of U.S. cavalry volunteers recruited by Theodore Roosevelt and composed of cowboys, miners, law-enforcement officials, and college athletes, among others. Their colourful and often unorthodox exploits received extensive publicity in the American press.
Col. Leonard Wood resigned as White House physician to command the regiment. Roosevelt, who resigned as assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, was second in command. It was a flamboyant unit that received more publicity than any other unit in that war, especially for its uphill charge in the Battle of Santiago (July 1, 1898). The Rough Riders joined in the capture of Kettle Hill and then charged across a valley to assist in the seizure of San Juan Ridge, the highest point of which is San Juan Hill.