Did Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders include any outlaws or lawmen?

Jari Teilas

Kotka, Finland

The legendary captain of Company A, William O. “Buckey” O’Neill, was a Yavapai (Arizona) County sheriff and Phoenix deputy city marshal. Yet he’s listed as a lawyer on the troop roster.

Following the 1889 Canyon Diablo train robbery, O’Neill and his posse captured outlaw Bill Sterin. Legend goes that Sterin enlisted in the Rough Riders under another name and died at the San Juan Heights, ironically the same battle where O’Neill was killed.

Rough Rider Tom Rynning later became a captain of the famed Arizona Rangers.

And Tom Horn—Pinkerton detective, lawman, champion rodeo star and hired killer – served as a packer who supported some of Roosevelt’s troops at San Juan Hill, but he was not a member of the Rough Riders.

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