The Battle of Quasimas

The following account of the skirmish at Las Quasimas, Cuba appeared in Tarrytown New York’s Tarrytown Argus on Saturday, July 2, 1898.  The account refers to the trail crossroads at which the skirmish occurred as “La Quasina.”

The initial skirmish of Colonel [Leonard] Wood’s Rough Riders and the troops of the 1st and 10th Regular Cavalry, which will be known in history as the fight of La Quasina, did not end in the slaughter of the Americans.  This was not due to any miscalculation in the plans of the Spaniards, for as perfect an ambuscadeas was ever formed in the brain of the Apache Indian was prepared, and Colonel Wood and Lieutenant Colonel [Theodore] Roosevelt and their men walked squarely into it.

For an hour and a half, they held their ground under a near perfect storm of bullets from the front and the sides, and then Colonel Wood, to the right, and Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt to the left, led a charge which turned the tide of battle and sent the enemy flying over the hills toward Santiago. 

One dusky warrior of the 10th Cavalry, with a ragged wound in his thigh, coolly knelt behind a rock, loading and firing, and when told by one of his comrades that he was wounded, said: “Oh, that’s all right. That’s been there for some time!”

Lithograph by Kurz & Allison.

2014.8.24, Courtesy of The Library of Congress