These five-inch brass trophy guns were captured from the Spanish Arsenal at Cavete [sic], in the Phillipine [sic] Islands on May 1, 1898, following the defeat of the Spanish Squadron in Manila Bay by the United States Navy. Admiral Dewey, the hero of the campaign, directed that the guns be sent to the United States National Museum (now the Smithsonian Institution). The guns are on loan from the Smithsonian Institution Division of Armed Forces History. Plaques atop the gun barrels state they were made in Sevilla, Spain in 1875.
From 1900 to 1943, there were 29 such pieces of ordnance from the Revolutionary, Mexican-American, and Spanish-American wars displayed on these grounds. Many were dispersed to the battlefields across the country, while some were scrapped for the World War II effort.