"Double-shot your guns and give 'em Hell."
When people talk about badass American Presidents, they usually refer to the "big three"; George Washington single-handedly winning the Revolution by swinging his ballsack around like a pillowcase full of bricks, Teddy Roosevelt bludgeoning people into submission with an oar, and Andrew Jackson dueling everybody from American Indians to U.S. Senators. A lot of people, however, fail to realize that Zachary Taylor - known as "Old Rough and Ready" - was one of the most hardcore motherfuckers to ever take the oath of office.
Born in a log cabin in rural Virginia in 1784, the unstoppable urge to kick fucking asses led Zack to join the U.S. Army in 1808. He was garrisoned in Indiana when the War of 1812 broke out and the British started whipping American balls all over North America, but Taylor didn't give a shit. When a massive screaming horde of over 600 rifle-toting, British-led American Indians launched a raid on Taylor's garrison at Fort Harrison, he just loaded his rifle and ran a stars-and-stripes up the flagpole. Taylor only had 15 guys under his command, 5 of whom were sick as hell and puking their goddamned guts out like a frat brother with alcohol poisoning, but he told his men to bust their fucking nuts and kill anything that moved. The Native Americans even set fire to the fort at one point, but Taylor and his men extinguished the flames and chased off the army of badass Indian braves. This was the first American military victory of the War of 1812, and it helped inspire Taylor's countrymen to flip out, stop being such goddamned pussies, and fight off the British invasion.
Zachary Taylor went up against the Indians again in the Black Hawk War, and later served with distinction against Osceola's successors in the Second Seminole War. His no-bullshit, balls-out attitude earned him the nickname "Old Rough and Ready", because even though he was a fucking General at this point, he didn't give a shit about his appearance. He wore rumpled clothes, an old beat-up hat, and was ready to fistfight anybody, anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
General Taylor got the perfect opportunity to brush up on his face-smashing skills in 1845, when he was sent to defend the borders of Texas against the Mexicans. William Travis and Sam Houston had done their thing and declared independence for Texas, but the Mexicans were still pretty fucking cheesed off about the whole thing, so they decided to take the territory back. Fuck that. ZT showed up with an army, garrisoned the Rio Grande, and coolly asked the punks across the river whether or not they felt lucky. They foolishly stepped to him, attacking a detachment of U.S. cavalrymen and besieging Fort Texas, so it was up to Old Rough and Ready to crack some motherfuckers' heads together like unripened coconuts.
At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, Zack led 1700 badass hardcore frontiersmen in a balls-out cavalry charge against 4000 Mexican troops, engaged them in hand-to-hand combat, and beat their asses down with the realness. Then he marched across the Rio Grande and forced his way south towards Mexico City. Monterrey fell after tough-ass street-to-street fighting, and the city of Saltillo wasn't far behind. Well this really pissed off General Santa Anna, who was in command of all Mexican forces in the area. You should probably remember this guy as the motherfucker who beat the shit out of the Texans at the Alamo, killing every person he could find and taking no prisoners. Santa Anna put together 20,000 pissed-off motherfuckers and marched them on Taylor's army of only 4,500. Taylor didn't exactly have a fucking panic attack and start hyperventilating into a paper bag however - he ordered his cannons to use double-loads of grapeshot and blow the shit out of anything that moved. Despite being flanked by the enemy, Taylor somehow pulled a victory out of his ass, inflicting over 2500 casualties on the enemy and crushing the main body of the Mexican Army. The war ended a few months later, and Taylor was honored as a real American war hero.
Mexico surrendered to the U.S. and ceded the territories that became the states of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California, and New Mexico. Taylor decided it was time to end his 40-year military career, having led American troops to victory in four wars, and retired in 1848. Even though he didn't really even give a shit about politics he was nominated for the Presidency by the Whig party, who hoped to ride his badassitude all the way to the Oval Office. Taylor won, despite his indifference, because back in the 19th century the American public wasn't content to be led by a guy who hadn't personally stabbed another man to death with a bayonet. The Whigs, thinking that Taylor didn't give a crap, believed that once he was in power they would be able to use him as a puppet President, and immediately started telling him what they wanted him to do. He told them to go fuck themselves. He was a fucking badass war hero, and he wasn't going to be pushed around by a bunch of soft, overweight senatorial dumbasses. The contentious 12th President went completely against many core Whig beliefs, opposed the spread of slavery into the newly-acquired territories, and told everyone else to get bent. If people didn't like it, tough shit. He said that if any dumbasses even thought about seceding from the Union he would personally resign his post and mercilessly march his army all over the country, crushing anybody foolish enough to willingly incur his wrath.
Unfortunately, he never got the chance. President Taylor stroked out and died 16 months into his term, and one of the toughest, most badass generals and commanders in American history was replaced by some dude named Millard.
The Complete List
About the Author