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Photo USNA1-1.1.   Pío Blandón Arróglia (left) and Pedro Blandón Arróglia, ca. 1930.       


Two archived copies of the same photo.  Both of these men were Sandinista sub-jefes in the area from El Jícaro to La Concordia-La Pavona and Condega from at least late 1929 (this is NOT the better-known Sandinista General Pedro Blandón).  The two brothers, cousins of EDSN jefe Doroteo Blandón, are mentioned by old-time Sandinista Martín Blandón Rodríguez, IES 033: 7, and in PC30.01.20 Uhrig Contact Report; Pedro Arróglia is also mentioned as a Sandinista jefe in IR30.01.18 and IR30.03.22 and other reports from the first six months of 1930.  On the rear of the second photo is the following:

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.2.   Damage at La Luz Mine from Sandinista raid of April 1928.         

For US-generated records describing the events surrounding the destruction of the mine, see Top 100, p. 2.

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.3.   George Marshall, Superintendent La Luz Mine (April-May 1928).     

George Marshall, superintendent at La Luz Mine, was seized by the Sandinistas and died in captivity, though evidence indicates he died of dysentery, not Sandinista mistreatment; in fact it appears the rebels treated him well.  These photos show Marshall during his captivity.  In the last photo (3C), the arrow on the left points to "Arcadio Herrera," and on the right, to what looks like "J. M. Lopez".

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.4. Sandino's wedding to Blanca Aráuz, May 1927.    

Augusto Calderón Sandino and Blanca Aráuz, day of their wedding, May 19, 1927.

The wedding party, outskirts of San Rafael del Norte, May 19, 1927.  The last cropping is of Pedro Altamirano, or Pedrón.

Photo USNA1-1.5.   Sandino and Blanca Aráuz in camp, ca. 1930.   


Photo Cluster USNA1-1.6.   Sandino and Liberals in Jinotega during the Civil War? 


The man labeled "1-Sandino" looks very much like Sandino.  "2" is labeled Pedro Lopez.  Pedro López's name appears exactly once in extant Sandinista correspondence, in the early stage of the war (EDSN-Docs 28.01.01e).  What's the man doing with the handkerchief in the left foreground?  Judging from the position of the roof corner in the building in the background, this photo was probably snapped a few moments after the photo below, as the photographer moved along with the crowd and horsemen.

If the writing on this photo says "Sandino," it's probably wrong.  Note that the photographer faces the middle of a large tall windowless building with elaborate molding to the left, suggesting a church.  The photographer is probably moving to his left, following the flow of the horses and procession, and will soon get to the corner of the building and roof, at which point Sandino and Pedro López ride by and he snaps the first photo.  That seems likeliest anyway.

These two photos present something of a puzzle.  They were pasted onto the page of a Marine Corps photo album with the title "Groups of Sandino's Bandits, July 1928," as seen in the thumbnail above.  The two were clearly taken the same day during the same event, by someone in the street near the town plaza, watching a passing parade of Liberal or Sandinista soldiers.  The troops were probably entering a bigger town -- evidenced by the size of the building in the background, probably the church. The likeliest places are Ocotal, Jinotega, Estelí, or Matagalpa.  The only time Sandino rode triumphantly through major towns was during the Civil War and right after.  It thus seems reasonable to surmise that these two photos were taken in a bigger Segovian town around February-March 1927, while the Civil War still raged.  These were probably Liberal Sandinistas.

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.7.   Sandinistas in the Western Segovias, 1927-28. 

This photo, and the four to follow, appear to be in the Western Segovias, probably around San Lucas-Somoto. Note the characteristic half-moon shape of the horsemen's formation, with rifles raised and the skull-and-crossbones red-and-black flag in the center.

 Similar half-moon formation.


Evidently a mock battle being staged in the center of the half-moon formation.  Appears almost ritualized, and certainly theatrical. Such mock combat is also seen in the next photo.

Pointing rifles directly in each other's faces. The piled-stone and thatch dwelling suggests an area of longtime indigenous settlement, such as around Somoto-San Lucas.

Photo USNA1-2.8.   EDSN Sargeant Major Alejandro Molina.   

The illegitimate son of wealthy Estelí landowner Blas Miguel Molina, Alejandro Molina served as a Sergeant Major in Sandino's Ejército Defensor for about 15 months (from December 1927 to February 1929), after which he went into exile in Honduras with his mother.  Soon after he was arrested, imprisoned at the National Penitentiary in Managua.  Was this photograph found on his person?  How did it end up in a "July 1928" Marine photo album?  For more details, see Top 100, p. 38.

Photo USNA1-1.9.  Sandinistas and Ismael Peralta in Jinotega.  

The man on the far right is identified as Ismael Peralta, a Sandinista general in the Yalí-Constancia district, which suggests that this photo was taken somewhere around Jinotega.  The men seem especially interested in brandishing their weapons. Two separate prints of the same photo, followed by a second version, of much higher quality, from the collection of Walter C. Sandino.  That a poor quality version of this photo found its way into the Marines' archives suggests that this image circulated widely during the period.

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.10.  Sandinista anti-aircraft battery in the jungle. 

Three versions of the same photograph, again suggesting its widespread circuation at the time.  The first two images, of lesser quality, are in RG127; the third is from the collection of Walter C. Sandino.  Caption of the top photo reads, "A BANDIT LEWIS MACHINE GUN."  In this photo, four men point their weapons skyward -- three rifles on the left, and a Lewis machine gun resting on a man's right shoulder on the right.  The man in the white shirt in the center seems to direct the two men in front of him.  All this suggests these six rebels were posing in an offensive posture directed against airplanes.  The third image, of higher quality, reveals another individual, in the background whose hat protrudes over the extended right arm of the man in the white shirt.  This makes eight men total:  seven in the photo plus the photographer, marked by his shadow.

The lettering here looks like "Explorando el campo, 13 de mayo de 1928."  The photo album page says July 1928, which is probably close, perhaps in the Eastern Segovias or Jinotega area.

No title, EDSN column in the jungle, ca. 1928.

Photo USNA1-1.11.   Augusto Sandino, Francisco Estrada, Juan Gregorio Colindres, 1928.

No date. Sandino on left, Francisco "Pancho" Estrada in middle, Juan Gregorio Colindres on the right. Probably 1927-28.

Photo USNA1-1.12.   EDSN: Lorenzo Blandón, Carlos Salgado, Clemente Torres H.

Probably 1928, probably the Western Segovias.  Carlos Salgado, of course, was one of the leading Sandinista generals in this region from the end of the Civil War till the end of the rebellion, and one of the shrewdest and most capable of all rebel chieftains.

Photo Cluster USNA1-1.13.   Sandinista horsemen. 

No title, no date, ca. 1928, two archived copies of the same photo.


Photo USNA1-1.14.   Sandinista Generals Manuel María Girón Ruano and Francisco Estrada.

This photo, and the next one (Photo 16) were taken a few moments apart by the same person standing in the same place, as one can see by comparing the corner of the roof.  The place was probably La Luz Mine, the time April 1928 (see Photo Cluster 2 on this page).  The inscriptions read "Jiron," "Estrada," and (in Photo 16) "Carlos Quesada."  On the capture and execution of Girón in Feb-March 1929, see Top 100, p. 6.

Photo USNA1-1.15.   Sandinista Colonel Carlos Quesada.

This and the previous photo (Photo 14) appear to have been taken a few moments apart.

Photo USNA1-1.16.   EDSN jefes Pedro Torres, Celestino Zeledon? and Carmen Torres?

My best interpretation of the lettering on this photo ( ) is: "3. Pedro Torres. 2. Celestino Zeledon. 1. Carmen Torres."  The latter's name appears frequently as a Sandinista sub-jefe; the other two names do not correspond to any names in my databases.  Were these men Sandinistas?  Liberals?  Conservatives?  Unknown.



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