Marines at Camp Pendleton recently reworked a cannon captured in Nicaragua during the Banana Wars in 1912 by then-Colonel Joseph Henry Pendleton.
A graduate of the Naval Academy in the class of ’84 (that’s 1884), Pendleton had already fought in Cuba and the Philippines, sailed around the world a couple times, and was commander of a battalion of Marines drawn in large part from the detachment aboard the armored cruiser USS Colorado that came to assist Col. Smedley Butler’s expeditionary battalion fighting Nicaraguan rebels near Coyotepe Hill in October 1912.
For his deeds in helping crush the rebel force led by Gen. Benjamín Zeledón (whom the Marines buried after the battle), Pendleton was presented with one of the four black powder cannon captured from the old fortress which he kept in the man cave the rest of his life.
After his death, Maj. Gen. Pendleton’s widow donated the artillery piece to Camp Pendleton in 1943, where it has sat under increasing layers of paint for generations.
Now, after some 40-50 hours of work, Marines at Camp Pendleton have cleaned and refurbished the cannon– even finding out it is actually an old U.S. Army field piece from the 19th Century.