Sergeant George Berry

Battle of San Juan Hill

“Their battles,” Timothy Egan wrote in an article entitled “The American Century’s Opening Shot,” in the New York Times of Saturday, June 6, 1898, “were sharp, vicious crawls through jungle terrain in killing heat.”  Regulars and volunteers, blacks and whites, fought side by side, endured the blistering heat and driving rain, and shared food and drink as well as peril and discomfort.  They forged a victory that belonged to all of them.

This black and white photograph shows Sergeant George Berry of the 10th Cavalry, who planted the colors of the 3rd and 10th Cavalries on San Juan Hill, Cuba, July 1, 1898.  The Battle of San Juan Hill was a pivotal engagement in the Spanish-American War.  Included among the troops on the campaign were the Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th Regiments, along with the notorious Theodore Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders.”  Both the Buffalo Soldiers and the Rough Riders were the first troops to storm up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill.  During the battle, most of the cavalrymen were forced to leave their horses behind, due to the impossible footing and rough terrain.  However, their victory would ultimately lead to the siege on Santiago City and thus the Spanish surrender of Cuba.  Photo taken circa 1898.


2013.33.10, Courtesy of Fort Huachuca Museum