“In December 1898, Major General Leonard Wood wrote to the adjutant-general of the army in support of the initiative to grant Roosevelt the Medal of Honor. Wood’s letter is, even today, the best nonpartisan account of the colonel’s bravery ever written:

Colonel Roosevelt, accompanied only by four or five men, led a very desperate and extremely gallant charge on San Juan Hill, thereby setting a splendid example to the troops and encouraging them to pass over the open country intervening between their position and the trenches of the enemy… He gathered up a few men and led them to the charge… The charge in itself was an extremely gallant one, and the example set a most inspiring one to the troops in that part of the line… There was no doubt that the magnificent example set by Colonel Roosevelt had a very encouraging effect and had great weight in bringing up the troops behind him. During the assault, Colonel Roosevelt was the first to reach the trenches in his part of the line and killed one of the enemy with his own hand… His services on the day in question were of great value and of a most distinguished character.

Major General Leonard Wood
Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald