In 1898 a mysterious explosion sank the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor, killing 266 American sailors. Congress declared war on Spain two months later, and the wave of patriotism that swept the country inspired some 235,000 men to enlist. Then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt hastily organized a volunteer cavalry regiment known as the "Rough Riders" and soon became one of the most celebrated combatants of the war. The war ended almost as quickly as it began; the first American troops landed in Cuba on June 22, 1898, and Spain surrendered less than a month later. But the conflict left an indelible impression on the American landscape: the Spanish-American War turned the United States into a world power with colonial possessions scattered from Cuba to the Philippines, and the image of Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba galvanized the popular impression of American fortitude. One of many tributes to the popular hero, Abe Hoffmann's "Blaze Away" used the theme of the U.S. Cavalry to celebrate his hero. Although the tune itself is catchy, the popularity of the sheet music arguably had more to do with the mustachioed soldier leading the charge on the cover than it did with the music inside.