Spanish American War (1898)
A Splendid Little War, Part 2 - The Course of the War

A Splendid Little War, Part 2 - The Course of the War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.6

     challenging words:    ably, stranglehold, tampa, hilltop, overrun, grueling, best, clearing, undertake, ranks, militia, battlefield, embedded, all-black, military, commander
     content words:    War Department, Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Riders, Before U. S., General Calixto García, Before Santiago, San Juan Hill, Fifth Corps, General William Shafter, On July

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A Splendid Little War, Part 2 - The Course of the War
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     The U.S. Navy had ably handled the first battle of the war with Spain. Now the plan called for landing troops in Cuba. The War Department scrambled to gather and train soldiers. Streams of men responded to the president's call for volunteers. An army of 26,000 swelled to over 200,000. The U.S. military machine began to move again after the long peace. The machine, however, was a little rusty.
2     Tampa, Florida, had been picked as the staging area for troops headed to Cuba. Volunteer and militia units assembled and shipped to Florida. Tampa was overrun by the new units. A quartermaster corps of 57 men struggled to equip the flood of soldiers. Some unit leaders, frustrated with delays and errors, bought supplies for their men out of their own pockets.
3     The log jam in the army frustrated Teddy Roosevelt more than anyone. He quit his job as the number two man in the Department of the Navy. He formed his own cavalry regiment. The unit came to be known as the Rough Riders. Along with the main body of U.S. ground forces, they landed on Cuban soil on June 22, 1898.
4     The Spanish had held positions above the landing site at the port of Daiquiri. Before U.S. troops landed, the site was secured by a Cuban rebel force. Still, the landing of some 16,000 U.S. troops was a mess. Roosevelt himself described the scene: "Different parts of different outfits were jumbled together . . . one transport had guns and another had the locks for the guns. Soldiers went here, provisions went there...," he wrote.
5     The American goal was to capture the port of Santiago. The Cuban rebel troops under General Calixto García would join in the battle. Before Santiago, however, the troops had to brave defenses at San Juan Hill. The soldiers had a grueling march to even reach the battlefield. They stumbled through the jungle heat in standard issue wool uniforms.

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