Get writing ideas and topics with the Genealogy.com Biography Assistant
What memories did he/she have of Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders? Choose this Topic to help you record his/her thoughts and experiences during the Spanish-American War, whether he/she was in the U.S. or overseas.
Did the events beginning in 1895 which led to the Spanish-American War interest him and his/her family?
- Cuba was one of Spain's few American colonies that had not revolted in the early 1800's. In 1895 however, Cuban patriots took up arms to fight for independence. Did he/she have an interest in their struggle?
- The U.S. tried to persuade Spain to give Cubans more say in their government. In January 1898, President McKinley ordered a battleship to protect U.S. citizens in Cuba against attack. Did he/she think the U.S. had a right to do this?
- In February 1898, a huge explosion sank the U.S.S. Maine which was anchored in Havana Harbor. To this day, no one knows what exactly happened. What was his/her opinion? Did this justify war? Why or why not?
- In April 1898, the U.S. declared war against Spain. Theodore Roosevelt organized a regiment, consisting mostly of volunteers, to go and fight. They were known as the Rough Riders. Did he/she know of anyone who was directly involved with the war?
- The Spanish commander surrendered Santiago after the U.S. artillery captured San Juan Hill and the Santiago Harbor. Within days the war was over. How did this make him feel about U.S. military and political power?
- Did he/she think that the U.S. should be involved in overseas issues such as these? What responsibilities did he/she think that the U.S. had to the rest of the world in this case, if any?
Did he/she take part in military activities during all or part of the Spanish-American War?
- At what point did his/her duties related to the Spanish-American War begin? Did he/she volunteer to join the fighting, or was he/she part of the regular troops?
- Where was he/she stationed during the war? What were the people and the surrounding areas like? How long was he/she there?
- How did he/she keep in touch with his/her friends and family back home during this time? Did he/she save any letters he/she might have written or received?
- Did he/she become close friends with any of those he/she served with? Did they keep in touch in later years? Did he/she save any of their lives? Did they save his?
- What were his/her duties? Did he/she participate in the fighting? Did he/she have medical or transport duties? Was he/she especially skilled at one particular task?
- What was his/her most vivid memory of this time? Specific people or places? A certain event?
- Was he/she injured in any way? Describe what happened. What went through his/her mind when he/she realized he/she was hurt?
- If he/she was injured, did he/she heal quickly or not? Did he/she return home because of the injury, or did he/she go back to fight? How did his/her injury change him in ways that he/she noticed years later?
- Did he/she ever need to take someone's life? Describe the experience and how it affected him both immediately and in the long term.
- In the end, Spain gave up Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. Did he/she leave the service after the fighting was over? Did he/she feel that his/her efforts had served a purpose?
- If he/she had volunteered to fight in the war, did it turn out to be exactly as he/she had expected? Was he/she able to return to "normal functioning" afterwards, or did it have an emotional impact on him?
- After all was said and done, what did he/she learn from his/her experiences in the military? Why were these lessons valuable to him? How did they change him and his/her ideas or values?
- How would he/she be different if he/she had never had these experiences?
- What sort of memorabilia did he/she save from this time? What did it symbolize to him? What memories and feelings did it bring back after the war?
Was he/she at home during a portion of the Spanish-American War?
- Why did he/she stay home? Was he/she too young or too old? Did he/she wish that he/she could have gone?
- What was it like at home? How was life different because of the war? What was the biggest sacrifice he/she had to make because of it?
- If loved ones went to fight, how did he/she feel when they left? Was he/she scared? Did he/she think that he/she would ever see them again?
- How did he/she keep in touch with his/her loved ones who were away during this time? Did he/she save any letters he/she wrote or received?
- Did any of his/her loved ones die because of the war? Who? Did he/she know how he/she or he/she died? When did he/she find out about their death?
- When did the war end for him? When the peace treaty was decided upon? Or perhaps it was when a loved one came home. Describe that day.
- In the end, Spain gave up Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. Did he/she think that this was right? Did he/she feel that the fighting had served a purpose?
- What was it like when his/her friends and family finally came home? Had they changed in ways he/she didn't expect? Had he/she changed in ways they didn't expect? What the hardest to adjust to once they got back? What was the easiest?
- Did it take a long time for life to return to normal? Did it ever? Was it easy to put it all behind him and get on with his/her life or did he/she have to struggle? Why?
- What sort of memorabilia did he/she save from this time? What did it symbolize to him? What memories and feelings did it bring back after the war was over?