The capture of Nicaragua’s Castle of the Immaculate Conception by Nelson

In 1673, Spanish conquistadors built Castillo de la Immaculada on the grassy knoll above the raging rapids at El Castillo on the San Juan river. With Britain at war with Spain, a young Horatio Nelson was among the twenty-five hundred British sailors and soldiers with orders to capture Granada, León, and Realejo. Then a twenty-one-year-old Royal Navy lieutenant, Nelson brought four 4-pound naval cannon and a howitzer up the river and bombarded the fortress for a week, pounding the walls with over four hundred cannonballs.

The two hundred Spanish defenders ran out of food and water and surrendered, but so many of the British, including Nelson, fell ill with yellow fever and dysentery that the British withdrew.

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