H .F. O'Bevine to Culberson, May 26, 1898

The coming of the Spanish-American War meant that the regular army and militia needed to be augmented with volunteers. President William McKinley authorized the raising of three regiments of volunteer cavalry from the western states. Only one, the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, would actually serve in combat. Their name would go into history as the "Rough Riders."

The legendary unit was led by Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt and drew many recruits from Texas, particularly from the Texas Rangers. Beginning in May 1896, the Rough Riders began to train in San Antonio. Although Texas horses also joined the unit, in the end no transportation could be found to take the horses to the fighting in Cuba. The Rough Riders would fight as infantry. On July 1, 1896, the Rough Riders made their famous charge up San Juan (actually Kettle) Hill, seizing Spanish fortification at the cost of 1000 American casualties. This famous exploit would catapult Theodore Roosevelt to the White House.

This letter offering to raise a unit of riflemen covers many of the concerns of Texans as the fighting in Cuba grew closer.

"Texas Rising "

H.F. O'Bevine to Culberson

Dallas, Texas, May 26th 1898

Governor C.A. Culberson

Executive Mansion

Dear Sir

Judging from the number and nature

of the letters which I have received from Western

Texas and Indian Territory, I can easily assemble

200 riflemen, and thus form a nucleus for a regiment of

mounted rifles, on the order of the "Rough Riders"

or old "Texas Rangers." Such men as I refer to, do

not want to join the Regulars, though eager to

be pushed to the front where the "fighting is the thick-

est." At a private meeting last evening, it was

proposed to call our troop the "Culberson Car-

bineers," in honor of your father.

As President McKinley has issued his second

call, I now take the liberty of asking your Excell-

ency to give me authority to proceed further in

the matter, so as to be in readiness for action as

soon as we are needed. As for myself I am an

"immune," having had the fever incidental to residence

in Cuba and Central America.

Your Excellency's obedient servant

H.F. O'Bevine

"Texas Rising "

H .F. O'Bevine to Culberson, May 26, 1898, Records of Charles Allen Culberson, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011