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USS Ohio (1820)

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Laid down:1817
Launched:May 30, 1820
Commissioned:before October 16, 1838
Fate:sold 1883
General Characteristics
Displacement:2,724 tons
Length:197 ft
Beam:53 ft
Draft:22.2 ft
Complement:840 officers and men
Armament:12 x 8-inch guns, 7 x 32-pounder guns

The second USS Ohio was a ship of the line of the United States Navy.

She was designed by Henry Eckford[?], laid down at New York Navy Yard in 1817, and launched May 30, 1820. She went into ordinary and in the ensuing years decayed badly. Refitted for service in 1838, Ohio sailed October 16, 1838 to join the Mediterranean Squadron[?] under Commodore Issac Hull[?]. Acting as flagship for two years, she protected commerce and suppressed the slave trade off the African coast. Ohio proved to be an excellent sailor repeatedly making more than 12 knots. One of her officers stated, "I never supposed such a ship could be built -- a ship possessing in so great a degree all the qualifications of a perfect vessel." In 1840 Ohio returned to Boston where she again went into ordinary. From 1841 to 1846 Ohio served as receiving ship[?].

To meet the needs of the Mexican War, Ohio recommissioned December 7, 1846, and sailed January 4, 1847 for the Gulf of Mexico, arriving off Veracruz March 22. Ohio landed ten guns on March 27 to help in the siege of Veracruz; but the city soon surrendered.

Ohio drew too much water for coastal operations in the gulf. However, 336 of her crew participated in the Tuxpan River Expedition[?]. In 1847 the entire distance from the mouth of the river to the town was covered with thick jungle growth. The enemy had constructed three well-positioned forts on bluffs overlooking bends in the river. On April 18 Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived off the mouth of the river with 15 vessels. At 10pm light-draft steamers Scourge, Spitfire, and Vixen, each towing a schooner, moved up stream. Bombships Etna[?], Hecla[?], and Vesuvius followed closely while 30 surf boats containing 1,500 men brought up the rear. Approaching the town, the squadron came under hot fire from Fort LaPena[?]. Commodore Perry ordered Commander Franklin Buchanan[?] to disembark the surf boats and storm the fort. As the landing party swept ashore, the Mexicans abandoned their position. The other two forts fell in a like manner, with only light casualties substained by the squadron. Men from Ohio retrieved the guns of brig Truxtun which had foundered in a storm near Tuxpan September 16, 1846. The town was occupied and all military stores destroyed.

Following Tuxpan, Ohio sailed from Veracruz and arrived in New York May 9, 1847. On June 26 she sailed to bolster the Pacific Squadron[?], first carrying the U.S. minister to Brazil and operating off the east coast of South America until November. Ohio spent the next two years in the Pacific protecting commerce and policing the newly acquired California Territory[?] during the chaotic early months of the gold rush.

In 1850 she returned to Boston where she again went into ordinary. In 1851, Ohio became receiving ship and continued this duty until again placed in ordinary in 1875. Ohio was sold at Boston to J. L. Snow[?] of Rockland, Maine September 27, 1883. She was burned in the following year, in Greenpoint Harbor[?], New York; the remains are still accessible to scuba divers.


  • Howard Chapelle[?], The History of the American Sailing Navy: the Ships and their Development (New York: Norton, 1949)

External link

See USS Ohio for other Navy ships of the same name.

This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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