Theodore Roosevelt, 26th United States President, 1901-1909. Leader of the Rough Riders in the Spanish America War, 1897-1898.
“He had held up well. Roosevelt, the amateur soldier among amateur soldiers, had been blooded. He had fired his pistol at the enemy, been fired at, and had led his men into battle. He had seen blood fly, witnessed the deaths and wounds of his men, experienced the exhaustion of battle-tensed muscles, nerves and senses.
This was a far more serious business than hunting game or arresting thieves in the Badlands but he had adapted to it with extraordinary quickness - two months and two days had passed since Congress had declared the “state of war” - and he had a peculiar zest for it. He was saddened by the misery and pain of war as evident even in such a small arena as Las Guasimas, but the misery and pain did not diminish his romantic ideas of military glory. Through his pince-nez, as if viewing patriotic scenes through a stereopticon, he saw great deeds of “valor”, “fortitude”, “coolness and courage”, and conspicuous gallantry”, in much finer resolution than the horrors of the battlefield. What his men had gone through in their baptism of fire was “heartbreaking”, he said, but he took pride in his casualties.” - Dale L. Walker, pgs. 181-182, ‘The Boys Of ‘98, Theodore Roosevelt And The Rough Riders’, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1998.