Acton Memorial Library
Wellington Chickering, Daniel Cronin, Harry F. Gibbs, Oscar W. Jenkins, Charles B. Jenness, Chester Johnson, John A. Johnson, John Jones, James R. Lawrence, John C. Meehan, Luke Robbins, Sumner Rogers, Robert J. Tufts and Eben F. Wood served on the Ohio.
Designed by Henry Eckford, Ohio was laid down at New York Navy Yard in 1817 and launched 30 May 1820. She went into ordinary and in the insuing years decayed badly. Refitted for service in 1838, Ohio sailed 16 October 1838 to join the Mediterranean Squadron under Commodore Issac Hull. Acting as flagship for 2 years, she protected commerce and suppressed the slave trade off the African coast. Ohio proved to be an excellent sailer 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 7 December 1846 and sailed 4 January 1847 for the Gulf of Mexico, arriving off Vera Cruz 22 March. Ohio landed 10 guns on 27 March to help in the siege of Vera Cruz; 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 3 well-positioned forts on bluffs overlooking bends in the river. On 18 April Commodore Perry arrived off the mouth of the river with 15 vessels. At 10 p.m. 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 Matthew C. 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 2 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 16 September 1846. The town was occupied and all military stores destroyed.
Following Tuxpan, Ohio sailed from Vera Cruz and arrived in New York 9 May 1847. On 26 June 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 27 September 1883.
From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Navy Dept., Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, 1959-1981, vol. 5, 143. Online at: www.history.navy.mil/danfs