Frank and Percy Talley of the 1st City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) were destined to leave England to take part in the last, and most costly, single-day battle of the Gallipoli Campaign, on 21 August 1915.In never-before published letters, the Talley brothers describe their training in England and their move to the East Coast to man the trenches there during the invasion scare of 1914 and the Zeppelin attack at Great Yarmouth. Their letters provide a rare insight into the activities of the yeomen in preparing for war, their transportation to Egypt and Suez and their expectation that they would be used in action at Gallipoli.After walking into a maelstrom of fire on 21 August 1915, the trooper-brothers were separated; each wrote home not knowing whether the other had survived. Both were wounded. Their letters from the Suvla trenches are brief but telling – the last, desperate battle for Gallipoli as seen through the eyes of two brothers from London.
The “gripping” (The Washington Post) story of the most famous regiment in American history: the Rough Riders, a motley group of soldiers led by Theodore Roosevelt, whose daring exploits marked the beginning of American imperialism in the 20th century. When America declared war on Spain in 1898, the US Army had just 26,000 men, spread around the country—hardly an army at all. In desperation, the Rough Riders were born. A unique group of volunteers, ranging from Ivy League athletes to Arizona cowboys and led by Theodore Roosevelt, they helped secure victory in Cuba in a series of gripping, bloody fights across the island. Roosevelt called their charge in the Battle of San Juan Hill his “crowded hour”—a turning point in his life, one that led directly to the White House. “The instant I received the order,” wrote Roosevelt, “I sprang on my horse and then my ‘crowded hour’ began.” As The Crowded Hour reveals, it was a turning point for America as well, uniting the country and ushering in a new era of global power. “A revelatory history of America’s grasp for power” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Both a portrait of these men, few of whom were traditional soldiers, and of the Spanish-American War itself, The Crowded Hour dives deep into the daily lives and struggles of Roosevelt and his regiment. Using diaries, letters, and memoirs, Risen illuminates an influential moment in American history: a war of only six months’ time that dramatically altered the United States’ standing in the world. “Fast-paced, carefully researched…Risen is a gifted storyteller who brings context to the chaos of war. The Crowded Hour feels like the best type of war reporting—told with a clarity that takes nothing away from the horrors of the battlefield” (The New York Times Book Review).
This book examines the brief but colorful history of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, and details the rich experiences of the men who fought in its ranks. Founded in May 1898 after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the unit was composed of volunteers from all walks of American life. Posted to Cuba, it fought in the battles of Las Guasimas, Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill. At this time, Theodore Roosevelt assumed command, and the unit became known as 'Roosevelt's Rough Riders'. Eventually withdrawn, the men returned to a hero's welcome in the US. The last veteran of the unit died in 1975, but a rich body of source material has survived, and much of this is covered in this fascinating work.