The American war against Spain took place in 1898 when Roosevelt was still a strong young man in his thirties. Roosevelt was a strong and brave young man with ambition. His eyesight problem that had begun from his boyhood did not stop him from going further to achieve what he wanted. Teddy was a brilliant man who had written outstanding works without the assistance of any other writer. The brilliant nature was derived from his enthusiastic behavior of developing friendships with prominent intellectuals in the country. This character had persisted from his childhood days as he had a strong urge to know about many different things. Roosevelt was never accused by anyone for being a pacifist. He was an American patriot and always called for military action against countries that bred enmity against his country especially in the 1880s and 1890s. According to Roosevelt, war was an inevitable part of human life, he did not believe in long-term peace because it made a country softer and inefficient in managing its daily activities. He thus promoted his policy of manliness when it came to declaring war against enemies.
Roosevelt had never held a military office before 1897; he had only worked as a civil servant and a Commissioner of Police in New York. He had grand ambitions to get into politics, but they seemed to fade away because of his behavior of alienating some individuals fed him with vital foreign issues. Teddy was elected in 1896 as a reward of his services to the country. Most of his friends urged that he was an extraordinary man and needed to be appointed as a Secretary to the Navy in the new Republic. McKinley, who was the president at that time had considerable doubts and did not believe that Roosevelt had the ability to hold such a post. He later appointed him and Roosevelt commenced on a brighter note by writing a naval article. According to Maddox (1898) while Roosevelt was in office as the Secretary to the Navy, there was growing enmity between America and Spain relating to the Cuba territory of Spain. Spain feared that America was undermining its dominance in the territory. Roosevelt had the urge to declare war on Spain, and he patiently waited for the opportune moment in 1898 when Spain went to the extreme. He declared the war after an insulting criticism to the American president and the destruction of a Cuban harbor by Spain.
The war was the most fascinating thing to him; he quickly gathered volunteers and prepared them to take part in the war. He was so enthusiastic and did not want to miss out in the way at any instant. His volunteers formed a group, which he called Rough Riders. Agitated Americans demanded war against the enemy. This was the starting point for the Rough Riders expeditions. Roosevelt was motivated by the group’s promising might. A victory in the war is the only thing that was going to excite him. He had organized the group, and it operated at Tampa where preparations were done as further orders were to being awaited. The main target to the expedition was Santiago, one of the strategic places in Spain. The Rough Riders took part in an engagement at Las Guasimas where sixteen Americans died, and fifty were wounded. This was an ambush attack led by Roosevelt and Wood. This was one of the exciting events in Teddy’s life. He considerably wanted to beat the enemy and boasted about this.
The surrounding hills in the city barred the group to access supplies. These hills such as San Juan Hill made it difficult for the soldiers to use pack animals. The group’s strategy was to attack Spain from all fronts. While in the jungle, it was split into several subgroups. At the end of the jungle, the group was exposed to Spanish attackers. Maddox (1898) asserts that Roosevelt was not moved with this threat but still held that Rough Riders must move on and confront the enemy. His was a brilliant fighter who quickly reorganized his army; his strategy was to go ahead of the enemies and gain an advantage over them. He was reinforced by Bardshar, and they killed numerous Spaniard soldiers who had failed to retreat. The strategy had been effective in countering the Spaniard soldiers. Gun powder helped the group counter the coming Spaniard attacks.
Americans still pushed up hill, to combat the Spaniards who were proving hard to wipe out. Luckily, the Spaniard soldiers fired their last volley and fled the place. They went to a ridge near Kettle and Juan Hills where they continued firing against the Rough Riders. Barshar and Roosevelt were not discouraged. They went ahead and fought the soldiers thus displacing them further. Their main objective was to take over Santiago; the victories motivated the group further. The dominance over Santiago was determined by another war at the Santiago harbor. The American looked more prepared than the Spaniards who later called for a cease-fire. The group emerged victorious in the war. This attracted criticism in the next period because of the enormous loss of lives.
The victory was of a considerable advantage to Teddy, it gave him a political advantage, and he immediately set out to campaign. Maddox (1898) points out that Roosevelt wanted to be elected as a governor in New York. He was elected governor. Later on, he ascended to America's presidency. He accumulated most of his group members in the Rough Riders as a reward for their efforts in granting America the war victory.