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[139] a Confederate had vanished. And if a primary election could have been held, or there had been an initiative and referendum, Fitz Lee would have been chosen the commanding general for the Spanish War. As it was, he was made major-general of volunteers, and commanded the 7th Corps, which was made up of regiments from North and South, and East and West, and Blue and Gray (our friend, William Jennings Bryan at the head of one of them)—all of whom, ‘in mutual, well-beseeming ranks, marched proudly all one way to the music of the Union, under the old flag, and Fitz Lee, whose fame as a fighter surpassed that of any other general in the army.’

Applications poured in upon him from all parts of the country for places upon his staff. One of them, I have heard, came from the then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, who thought General Fitz would certainly be where the fighting would be fiercest and most glory would be won.

President McKinley had promised General Fitz if Havana was attacked he should lead the forces, but the politicians feared if such a chance was given him that the presidency would follow in the wake of the glory he would gain as the hero of the war, and he was side-tracked in Florida.

Shafter was chosen for the chief command because it was thought perhaps he would probably be even less formidable in peace than in war.

The scene shifted to Santiago, which became the chief seat of war. Mr. Roosevelt, we remark in passing, with that quick penetration for which he is so noted, foresaw the plans of the politicians, and sought glory with the Rough Riders from the ranches of the West. If these same politicians had known all (esse et posse) that there was in that young man, they would have switched him off long before he ever reached the famous hill of San Juan.

As it was, he only got there, as a smart paragrapher told us at the time, by swimming his horse from Key West to Cuba, with his sword in his mouth.

What followed you all know. What remains to be administered (de bonis non) of the spoils of that Spanish War is known only to Him, who understandest man's thoughts afar off.

I fear I am too fond of episode for an occasion like this, where

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