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The Rough Riders


ABC Network
1958 - 1959
30 Minutes

Following the devastation of the war between the states, two Union soldiers formed and unlikely alliance with a Confederate officer as they  wandered westward across the prairies, mountains, towns, deserts between the Great Smokies and the High Sierras in search of a new life.

"This is the story of three men who came to known as the Rough Riders. Many years later and half a continent away that name was to win undying glory on the slopes of San Juan Hill. But our story is the beginning of a legend. Three men who came to be known in awe and admiration as the Rough Riders." -- Opening Narration

These rough riders included:

  • Kent Taylor as Captain Jim Flagg, a Union soldier. He comes from a long line of no-nonsense military men.
  • Peter Whitney as Sergeant Buck Sinclair, a Union soldier. Despite his gruff exterior, Buck is an easy-going sort. He is  expert tracker.
  • Jan Merlin as Lieutenant Cullen Kirby, a Confederate officer. He holstered his pistols backwards so he could cross-draw. Kirby is the son of plantation owner and has a cousin named Sam Hanks (Wendell Holmes) whom he visits while traveling west.


On their way west, the Rough Riders:

  • Protect a farmer and his daughter from a band of raiders.
  • Rescue a family of Maccabites from renegades.
  • Intervene in a bloody feud between two families.
  • Encounter a group of hooded vigilantes.
  • Are attacked by a group of Union Army deserters.
  • Bring down a gang of counterfeiters who wounded locals.
  • Stop a gang from shanghaiing men for sea voyages.
  • Get involved in a shootout over a land dispute.
  • Help farmers victimized by a phony government agent.
  • Volunteer to be the law in a frontier town without a marshal.
  • Track down a gang of outlaws who murdered some settlers.
  • Help a famous French singer held for ransom.
  • Transport a women to a trial who can prove a man innocent.
  • Defy a rouge Confederate officer who uses his loyal rebel troops to terrorize the local countryside.
  • Discover a plot by William Quantrill to kill President Johnson.
  • Reveal the treachery of a Union Officer who is keeping Confederate soldiers beyond their sentence despite the fact the war is over and surrender terms were signed at Appomattox.
  • Learn of a plan to steal an army payroll,
  • Intervene with a hostage negotiation when outlaws kidnap the governor to exchange for another outlaw.

TRIVIA NOTE: The program closed with this announcement: "Watch for our next story of these three men whose every path crated adventure--adventures destined to create the adventures of the Rough Riders."

Obituaries: Kent Taylor: 04/11/1987; Peter Whitney: 03/30/1972;

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