Military Wiki
Hamilton Fish II
From 1899's "The Rough Riders" by Theodore Roosevelt
Nickname Ham
Born (1873-06-27)June 27, 1873
Died June 24, 1898(1898-06-24) (aged 24)
Place of birth New York City
Place of death Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Buried at Saint Philip's Church Cemetery, Garrison, New York
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1898
Rank Sergeant
Unit 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment

Spanish-American War

Hamilton Fish II, of the Rough Riders, a wealthy young New Yorker, was a Sergeant in the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the Rough Riders, during the Spanish-American War.


Fish was a graduate of Columbia University where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall. Fish was son of diplomat and banker Nicholas Fish and grandson of the 26th U.S. Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish.

Fish was not the only soldier from a prominent family in the unit: "...To this rugged crew, Roosevelt added some 50 men with backgrounds closer to his own: Ivy Leaguers from wealthy Eastern families. In citing their qualifications for active duty, Roosevelt touted their athletic accomplishments. Dudley Dean was ``perhaps the best quarterback who ever played on a Harvard 11. Bob Wrenn was ``the champion tennis player of America. Other Easterners included ``Waller, the high jumper; Craig Wadsworth, the steeplechase rider; Joe Stephens, the crack polo player; and Hamilton Fish, the ex-captain of the Columbia crew. [1]

He was a member of "L" troop commanded by Captain Alyn Capron. He was one of the first Americans killed in the Battle of Las Guasimas, near Santiago, Cuba, on June 24, 1898. He died of a gunshot just near the heart and survived less than a minute or so per the Rough Rider who was wounded by the same bullet that killed Fish.


A dog given as a present by Teddy Roosevelt to Hamilton Fish became the mascot of Company B of the Rough Riders and a canine celebrity after the war. The animal, named "Don", reportedly also rushed up San Juan Hill with the Rough Riders. Don's subsequent owners were Col. William Wallace, then when Wallace died, Wallace’s physician, a Dr. Hadley. A contemporary account stated that "Since that time the big dog had had the freedom of the Quaker town (of Whittier), and had never walked through the streets without receiving much attention from small boys and girls to those of larger growth.” Death came from “a big touring car containing four persons, going around a corner at so high a speed that the old dog, which was walking quietly along, could not get out of its way.” [2]


Hamilton Fish was played by Holt McCallany in the 1997 TV movie Rough Riders[3]


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