Rough Riders Essay, Research Paper
Spanish-American War, war waged against Spain by the United States in 1898, to free Cuba from Spanish rule. The war grew out of the Cuba s struggle for independence.
A strong reaction to this conflict developed in the United States. In 1897 Spain attempted to compromise by granting Cuba partial independence and abolishing the system of reconcentrados. The Cubans pressed for independence. On February 15, 1898 the U.S.S. Maine which was sent to the port of Havana to protect UNITED STATES citizens and property, was sunk by an explosion. The cause was unknown, but Yellow Journalism pointed to an enemy mine. Both the United States and Spain declared war.
On May 1 the Spanish fleet anchored in Manila Bay was destroyed by United States naval forces. Later, on July 1 U.S. troops penetrated the outer defenses of the city of Santiago de Cuba and on July 3 a Spanish naval squadron was destroyed while attempting to cross the U.S. blockade of Santiago harbor. On July 18 the Spanish government requested a settlement. Spain relinquished Cuba and offered the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the United States. A U.S. Navy study later published in 1976 suggested that spontaneous combustion in the ship’s coal bunkers caused the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine.
The Movie we watched was based on this war which I have just briefly outlined. The movie didn t outline the whole war but concentrated on the famous Rough Riders . They were formally known as the First United States Cavalry Volunteers. They were a group of men which were made up of anything from bank robbers to men whose fathers owned those banks. This regiment got there name because of how unorthodox they were and their broad range of men from rich to poor and anything in-between. They were spirited men who eagerly wanted to fight for their country.
The Rough Riders were great soldiers, they didn t have the extensive training or discipline of the 54th infantry had but a new style of warfare was used in this war. In Glory the men fought in traditional warfare. The men were arranged in lines and marched. This was thought of to be a strong form of warfare. It may not have made much sense to march straight into gunfire but it was what worked at the time.
By the time we became involved in the Spanish American War we used a form of fighting known as guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare is basically an organized ambush. Men were put in positions and fought but it made more sense to take cover and fight rather than march straight ahead and fight in suicide battle. It made more sense that if people could survive longer than your side had a better chance of winning and to lower the amount of casualties is always a great thing as well.
The 54th regiment were well trained men who were treated like soldiers. They had to follow all orders and there wasn t time to live. The Rough riders camp was different in that they were trained to fight. They seemed to be happier then the men of the 54th. This may be because they weren t black and not treated as equals, but Bucky O Neil of the cavalry treated his men as men. He knew they were soldiers but he let them live and have fun but he kept them in line and made sure that if someone died because of another soldier they would have to live with that. That each man was accountable for another man and had to fight the war or battle to the best that they possibly could.
Leaders of both regiments cared for the men. Roosevelt seemed to shed tears for his fallen soldier and Shaw died for his men and did what he could to gain respect for his men and to gain his men s respect as well.
I believe that the type of guerrilla warfare shown in the movie the Rough Riders make more sense and works better as far as saving lives. This type of fighting broke the mold of conventional warfare. It abandoned the use of its old ways and developed a type of organized chaos. This type of fighting used in the Spanish and American War has been used sense. It showed up in World War 1, World War 2, and was also used in the Vietnam War. This method is still used today and is very effective. Today the technology is much greater and most fighting is done in the way of bombing and aerial attacks but when ground hand to hand combat occurs the form of fighting is guerrilla warfare.
The change of fighting style reflected the times in the way that the United States was moving forward technologically and they also changing the history of fighting with their new types of combat. Overall their methods of combat were very successful and are still very useful today. This type of combat saved lives for both sides, in a way, but also helped turn the page of history in a way of moving forward and still keeping our position as a world power.