The "Rough Riders" was a group of cowboys and ranchers who Theodore Roosevelt recruited and supplied to fight in the Spanish American War (1898). Officially, they were the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, US Army. And of course, Roosevelt became Colonel Commanding.
The 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders) were raised in 1898, the president at the time was William McKinley. The commander of the Rough Riders was Colonel Leonard Wood, second in command was Theodore Roosevelt.
The "Rough Riders" were significant because America loves Heroes. Many of our military heroes have become President (Washington, Grant). The Rough Riders, with Theodore Roosevelt as their Colonel Commanding, were heroic in their exploits, and their acts of heroism made all the papers.