Arizona Rough Riders

rough riders
Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

In 1898, Arizona became the first  in the nation to sign up  for a “cowboy cavalry” for the Spanish-American War. Prescott, which had about 2,000 residents then, saw 1,000 willing volunteers—the same kind of response came from the booming mining towns of Jerome and Bisbee. These men became the “1st United States Volunteer Cavalry,” led  by Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, who renamed them his “Rough Riders.”

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