Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Rough Riders Encampment ~
The Rough Riders (1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment), 1200 strong - included cowboys, Indians, polo players, ranchers, hunters, socialites, lawmen, trappers, et al. This hodge podge group left Tampa to fight in the hills of Cuba for their belief that "All Men Should Be Free." Teddy and his horsemen became a legend in their own time.
Erected by the 1st U. S. Cavalry Regiment Rough Riders, Inc.
Location. 27° 56.931′ N, 82° 28.988′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on North Howard Avenue north of West Gray Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located in front of the Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory. Marker is at or near this postal address: 522 North Howard Avenue, Tampa FL 33606, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rough Rider Encampment (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Beginning of the Cigar Industry in West Tampa (approx. 0.6 miles away); The West Tampa Boys Club Academy of The Holy Names (approx. ž mile away); Dobyville (approx. 0.8 miles away); Centro Espańol de West Tampa (approx. 0.9 miles away); Plant Field (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hyde Park's Bungalow Terrace (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
More about this marker. The marker is capped with the seal of the Tampa Historical Society.
Regarding Rough Riders Encampment ~. The Rough Riders were a small subset of the roughly 30,000 U.S. troops who came to Tampa and made it their base from which to group, plan, and prepare for the Spanish-American war. When the time came, the troops were sent to Cuba on ships embarking from Port Tampa, at the southern terminus of Henry B. Plant's railroad system.
While much of the 1,200-strong Rough Riders regiment camped here at the site of this historical marker, Col. Roosevelt and some general officers enjoyed the comfort and elegance of Plant's Tampa Bay Hotel, across from downtown along the Hillsborough River (now the H. B. Plant Museum, University of Tampa,
The "sand flat without a tree" referenced in the marker is more widely recognized today as the site of Fort Homer W. Hesterly. Fort Hesterly was built in 1941 through the Work Projects Administration as an armory and base for the National Guard. Fort Hesterly has been home base for the 116th Field Artillery Battalion and the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and was used briefly by the U.S. Air Force's Tactical Air Command. The facility was also for several decades one of Tampa's most important venues for public and community events, hosting dances, concerts, sporting events, political events, etc. It was here where Tampa's citizens came to see speeches from President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as to attend concerts from artists such as Nat King Cole, Pink Floyd, The Doors, REO Speedwagon, and on four separate occasions, Elvis Presley.
Named for a prominent Tampa citizen who served in the Army during World War I and went on to become a Lt. Colonel with the Florida National Guard, Fort Homer Hesterly was an active National Guard facility until 2005, when the 116th Field Artillery Battalion was relocated to a site in neighboring Pinellas County. Since that time, various plans have been mentioned for repurposing the site, though none have come to fruition.
Related markers. list of markers that are related to this marker. This list of markers explains Tampa's key role in the Spanish American War.
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • War, Spanish-American •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,153 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 5. submitted on October 24, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 6. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.