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John Green of the Rough Riders

1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, Troop G

Contributed by Sandy Combs

Rough Rider Lt. John Wesley Green
Lt. John Wesley Green
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John Wesley Green served with the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry ("Rough Riders") as a First Lieutenant in Company G. He joined the unit in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 7, 1898. Originally from Ohio, Green was married and living in Gallup, New Mexico. He was 37 years old, stood 5 foot, nine inches tall, with hazel eyes and black hair. Green saw action with his Troop in Cuba, at Las Guasimas and San Juan and Kettle Hills.

After the Spanish American War, he went on to command the 40th U.S. Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine-American War. He died on September 8, 1933 and was buried at the former Bennington National Cemetery, which is now the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma, San Diego, California, Plot 325.

Green's Obituary:

Capt. John W. Green, Indian fighter, a lieut. with Roosevelt's rough riders in Cuba during the Spanish-American war, and of whom Pres. Theodore Roosevelt said. "He is the one whom I grew to trust most," died of a heart attack Sunday night at his home, 3653 3rd. Ave.Capt. Green, 74 was retired 2 months ago by the Santa Fe railway after seving for 23 yrs.

Capt. Green is survived by his wife Victoria and a daughter, Adelaide Miller, who lives at the home address; a sister, Mrs. Jennie Riffey, in Mancos, CO.

Funeral services will be held, Thursday at 3 p.m. from Bonham Brothers' mortuary, and burial will be Bennington National cemetery, Point Loma. the funeral service will be conducted by the Christian Science church. There will be a military burial.

"Soldier at 17"

Capt. Green was born in Columbus, Ohio. When a boy he wanted to be a good soldier. He made good his disire at the age of 17, and for more than 25 yrs. was in the army, and constabulary police in Manila. Following his outstanding military, record with Col. Theodore Roosevelt in Cuba Capt. Green was selected for important posts in the Philippine service during the war and after the American army was in charge of the insular police in Manila. He was made a captain there and distinguished himself many times in line of duty.

The last insurrecto general, Rufino de Laso, surrendered to Capt. Green. The surrender occurred Dec. 18, 1900, at Jemeniz, near Manila.

After the Spanish-American war a special story was written in Washington and sent out by the Associated Press in which President Roosevelt paid high tribute to Captain. Green, saying: "He is one whom I grew to trust most, and I can recommend Captain Green as I can recommend but few men."

His excellent and brace military record brought Capt. Green recognition after the war. He was warden of the New Mexico state prison, and for six yrs. was marshal of Gallup, N.M. He was a member of Governor Prince's staff of that state and was signally honored by Theodore Roosevelt when the president visited San Diego during the first Exposition.

"Entertained President"

San Diegans recall the trip to Oceeansside to meet the presidential party. Capt. Green was in the group. When the local committee boarded the train in Oceanside, Capt. Green once related to a Union reporter, Roosevelt was sitting in a chair sound asleep. Capt. Green and Mrs. Roosevelt were warm friends, So were Mrs. Roosevelt and Mrs. Green and her daughter, Adelaide, who were with the reception committee.

While Teddy slept Mrs. Roosevelt and Capt. Green chatted about 15 minutes or so. Suddenly the sleeping president awoke. Immediately he recognize his old comrade of the Rough Riders.

"Hello there Green, glad to see you," exclaimed Roosevelt, as he rubbed his eyes. Then the two companions of the stirring days of Cuban campaign recounted tales of bygone days.

When they had finished their talk. Roosevelt, addressing himself to members of the committee, said: "I am in the hands of my friends, and whatever you plans are is agreeable to me, but I have one request-that we be allowed to spend one hour at the home of Capt. Green and family."

The wish was granted, and after the formal reception in San Diego, Col. Roosevelt was driven to the Green home, Mrs. Roosevelt was ill and unable to accompany him.

"Recruited Company"

When the Rough Riders were recruited for the Cuban campaign, Capt. Green enlisted 45 men, mostly cowboys and plainsmen, at Gallup, N.M. The flag under which they werre recruited was in Capt. Green's possession at the time of his death; also a handsome sword that was presented to him by the town of Gallup in recognition of his war time services to the government.

Capt. and Mrs. Green recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. They were married in Durango, CO. The union's True Vow Keepers' club afforded Capt. and Mrs. Green one of their enjoyable pastimes. They never missed a True Vow gathering.

Capt. Green was a charter member of Fidelity lodge of Odd Fellows, Gallup, N.M.; a member of Bennington camp No. 20 and commander of the southern division of Indiana War Veterans. 


Brown, Wesley - photo and obituary. Cemetery Transcription Library  (burial data)

Jones, Virgil Carrington, Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. (New York: Doubleday, 1971) 300. (background data)

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