Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton (1860-1942)

Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton, U.S.M.C., retired, was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1860, a son of Joseph Rhodes and Martha J. (Cross) Pendleton, the former a native of Rhode Island, and the latter of Connecticut.

General Pendleton received his early schooling in Rochester, and at Beaver, Pennsylvania, and in 1878 he entered the U.S. Naval Academy at the U.S.S. Hartford. He was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1884; a First Lieutenant in 1891; a Captain in 1899; a Major in 1903; and Major General in 1923; retiring from active service in 1924.

During the Spanish American War, General Pendleton served on board the U.S.S. Yankee. From 1904 to 1906 he commanded the First Regiment of the First Brigade of Marines in the Philippines. Later in 1906 he was in command of the Marine Barracks at Guam, and from 1906 to 1909 he was in command of the Barracks at Puget Sound, Washington. In 1909 and 1910 he had command of the First Brigade of Marines in the Philippines. In 1912 he was in command of the Marine Barracks at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the Provisional Regiment and of the U.S. Forces on shore in the Nicaraguan campaign of that year. As a colonel, he commanded the forces at Masaya, Nicaragua, and at the bombardment of the fortifications of Coyotepe, and Barranca. On October 4, 1912, he led the assault and capture of these places. In 1913 he was in command of the Marine Barracks at Puget Sound. In 1914 he originated the idea of a Marine Corps Base in San Diego, and in July of that year came to San Diego as a colonel of the Fourth Regiment. During the years 1914 to 1916 he commanded two expeditions to the Pacific coast of Mexico. From 1915 to June, 1916, he had his regimental headquarters on the Exposition grounds, participating in all ceremonies of the Panama California Exposition.

Practically throughout the World War, General Pendleton was assigned to a peculiarly important post of duty, acting as commanding officer of the Marines in restoring order in the Dominican Republic. He was commander of the column of the United States Marines on the advance from Monte Cristi to Santiago, at the engagements of “Las Trincheras” and Guyascanes” and received the surrender of the city of Santiago on July 6, 1916. During this campaign, he was commander of the Fourth Regiment of Marines and the other United States forces in the Dominican Republic. He was appointed commander of the Second Provisional Brigade in the Dominican Republic on November 30, 1916, and he administered the departments of “War and Navy” and of “Interior and Police” from November, 1916 to October, 1918. For six months during 1917 and 1918, he was, in addition, acting military governor of the Dominican Republic. General Pendleton from November 11, 1918, until September 26, 1919, was commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Parris Island, South Carolina, and on October 1, 1919, returned to San Diego as commanding general of the Second Advanced Base Force of the U.S. Marine Corps.

General Pendleton was Mayor of Coronado from 1928 to 1930, and has been a member of the Coronado School Board since 1924. He has been a member of the Board of Management of the San Diego Army and Navy Y.M.C.A. since its organization; a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chapter, American Red Cross and the Coronado Community Chest; and a past president of the San Diego Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution.

General Pendleton was married to Mary Helen Fay, a daughter of Professor W.W. Fay of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1863 to 1898, in August, 1884, and they have two children: Helen Fay, now Mrs. Albert Rockwell of Warren, Pennsylvania; and Edgar Bache Pendleton.

[excerpted from Heilbron, Carl. History of San Diego County v.2: Biography. San Diego: San Diego Press Club, 1936. (pages 18-20)]

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