Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
salt spray dashed over them in showers of shining white, but they yelled back defiance at the ocean. Their leader watched them from his horse, and laughed loudly at their sport.
They were Roosevelt and his men. Roosevelts Rough-Riders belong to history now, with the war in which they held such a picturesque place. I had seen them go, full of youthful spirits, eager for the fray, and it was my privilege to hear the last speech their Colonel made to them on the night when the news of the disbandment came. He had ridden up from the Commanding Generals quarters with the message, and, calling his men about him in the broad street facing the officers tents, told them of the coming parting.
I know what you were in the field, he said. You were brave and strong. I ask now of you that every man shall go back and serve his country as well in peace as he did in war. I can trust you to do it.
They tried to cheer, some of them, but they had no heart in it. The men went quietly to their tents with sober faces, and I saw in them that which warranted the trust their Colonel put in them.